High School Bans AXE Body Spray

Bethlehem, Pa., principal urges students to not use fragrance after a 9th grader lands in the hospital

A Pennsylvania high school principal is asking students not to use a popular body spray after a teen was hospitalized over an “extreme allergy.”

The Freedom High School freshman was taken from the Bethlehem school by ambulance a few weeks ago after having a reaction to the fragrance in AXE Body Spray, according to principal Michael LaPorta.

LaPorta told NBC10.com that he posted a message to the school's website after the student's concerned parent raised a concern about the boy coming in contact with the fragrance again.

The message posted to the school’s website urged the school community to “take into consideration this student’s allergy to AXE Body Spray and refrain from using it as your cologne or fragrance of choice while attending Freedom High School.”

It is only the AXE body spray and not other AXE products that cause the boy to have the allergic reaction, the principal said.

Dr. Linda Graziano, of South Jersey Allergy & Asthma Associates, says respiratory problems, including asthma, could be triggered by a product in the air or even on the skin. It's possible the affected student could also suffer if he stood too close to another student who used a roll-on or lotion that contained the same trigger.

Graziano said she had never heard of an allergy to AXE before but did say that anything that can be aerosolized into the air such as bleach, perfumes and even some flowers can cause respiratory problems when breathed in by someone with an allergy.

"Avoidance is really all that can be done," Graziano told NBC10.com.

LaPorta says it's impossible to control all the student's hygiene preferences but that letters home to parents and conversations in the school are being used to try and make a comfortable environment for the student.

“In a school of nearly 2,000 students it’s almost impossible to police,” LaPorta said.

The principal said the student is doing well but he is unsure if the boy has returned to class at this point.

AXE's parent company Unilever said in a statement to NBC10 that the "safety and well-being of those who use our products is always our first priority."

"We were made aware of a report about an allergic reaction and we are looking into the matter," the company added. "If there are any issues with our products, we advise consumers to reach out to our Consumer Services Team at our 800 phone number, which is available on the back of our product packaging."

This isn't the first time a parent has called for AXE to be banned. In 2010 an Indiana mother sued her son's district saying the spray irritated his allergies.

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