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Olbas Oil being used at work

(20 Posts)
Gingerbreadpixie Tue 16-Apr-13 16:34:13

Hi. One of the girls in my office has a cold and is using Olbas Oil. As a result our office got quite smelly with it. Is it OK to be around in pregnancy? I’m obviously not inhaling it directly but it’s in the air. I did ask her to open the window (they only open a little bit) which she did and there is a fan on in here too so it’s less smelly than it was. Should I be concerned? I feel embarrassed to say anything because I’m sure all my colleagues think I’m neurotic enough as it is!

UniqueAndAmazing Tue 16-Apr-13 16:38:55

www.madeformums.com/pregnancy-health-and-safety/colds-in-pregnancy/18722.html

says "“There really isn’t enough information on products like Vics, Olbas Oil and menthol, so it’s best to avoid them, particularly before 12 weeks. If you do need to use it, use it sparingly with a couple of drops on a hanky that you whiff every now and again,” explains midwife Lorraine."

you should probably ask them not to use so much and explain why.
but i think you'll be okay, smile

showtunesgirl Tue 16-Apr-13 16:38:55

I think it should be fine. Don't worry!

YouDontWinFriendsWithSalad Tue 16-Apr-13 16:42:57

Yes you'll be fine!

Gingerbreadpixie Tue 16-Apr-13 16:48:18

It's definitely less smelly now. I blurted out that I think it's unsafe in pregnancy (before I read these replies!) and she said she'd stop using it now. But think it might still be on a tissue on her desk! I'm going to pop out for some fresh air in a bit anyway so I'll assess the smelliness when i get back. If its still in the air I will forward the above info in a discreet email and say "sorry to cause a fuss but..." and give her the info. It's not been all day, just for the past half an hour and I leave at 6:30.

Gingerbreadpixie Tue 16-Apr-13 16:50:17

Oh I'm 21 weeks btw, not 1st trimester

starfishmummy Tue 16-Apr-13 16:54:29

If you are that worried then you should go home.

showtunesgirl Tue 16-Apr-13 16:55:54

Ah, you'll be fine then.

YouDontWinFriendsWithSalad Tue 16-Apr-13 16:58:26

You will honestly be fine - you will look like a bit of a nutter if you email her about the tissue on her desk!

Gingerbreadpixie Tue 16-Apr-13 17:01:59

Lol, I know! And I'm trying to do nutter damage-control at work as it is at the moment!!(I have been v anxious this preg!!)

YouDontWinFriendsWithSalad Tue 16-Apr-13 17:04:03

Oh dear, sorry you've been anxious, it's not a nice feeling. It sounds like your colleagues are really nice and tolerant though!

YouDontWinFriendsWithSalad Tue 16-Apr-13 17:06:00

I was just thinking that I was so laidback during my last pregnancy, but just remembered an instance when my colleague sprayed air freshener near me at work and I almost fell off my chair and then ran, coughing, out of the office with everyone staring at me, agog. blush

Gingerbreadpixie Tue 16-Apr-13 17:08:55

It's a pain and it dies get ms down but I'm learning to laugh at it a bit more. I actually posted on MN on Sunday to ask if bus vibrations could damage baby's brain!

ChunkyPickle Tue 16-Apr-13 17:09:29

Pregnancy aside (it's almost certainly fine), I think it's a bit rude to stink out a whole office like that, so a little email to HR might be OK if you felt they'd be helpful.

I've worked in environments where people were asked not to wear perfume (including customers! It was a medical office) in case of allergies, and in another office I was banned from having popcorn because of the smell through the office - I think it's just polite not to infringe on others too much with smells if at all possible.

showtunesgirl Wed 17-Apr-13 09:25:20

OP, is there any particular reason why you're so anxious as this can't be doing you any good either?

NotTreadingGrapes Wed 17-Apr-13 09:26:55

I have chronic sinusitis and used it throughout my pg.

I know that's an anecdote, but I'm sure it's OK.

Far more repulsive was the colleague with one of those icky Lancôme perfumes. Tresor I think. The one that smells like a child has upended all the detergent aisle into one bottle.

SeriousStuff Wed 17-Apr-13 11:39:28

I think you'll be fine - my DH slathered himself in Vick's the other night because he could barely breathe when sleeping. I would worry more if I was using it directly on myself.

I would imagine, in an office, that by the time you can smell it, it is just the smell rather than any chemicals.

PinkApple86 Wed 17-Apr-13 12:07:05

I used Vicks vapor rub at 14 weeks. Actually rubbed it on my nose. Personally I can't see how a smell can harm the baby. It's surely more dangerous walking down the high street and breathing people's second hand smoke. If u are that worried open a window or move desks but I think to email her is a slight over reaction. You can't tell people how to live. You're not the only person in the universe. Don't mean to be harsh but try and relax. Babies are tough. Our mothers and grandmothers smoked (if not first then certainly second hand), drank coffee, ate eggs, and most of us turned out fine! thanks

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Wed 17-Apr-13 12:15:30

I'm 26 weeks and have been doing the Vicks on feet thing to stop my cough from having the cold for 3 days now. Never even thought there would be a problem.

Doesn't say anything on the tub, I also have eaten throat sweeties.

I would presume olbas oil would be the same.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Snowflakepie Wed 17-Apr-13 12:40:18

It is incredibly unlikely that there would be any harm to a baby from olbas oil, Vicks, throat sweets like soothers or lockets, particularly after 12 weeks. The issue is more that the manufacturers are not going to do tests on pregnant women so cannot claim its safe categorically. Whether its a smell that offends in your workplace is entirely separate though!

For what it's worth, I have used olbas, Vicks, glycerin and honey mix, saline nasal spray, lockets, soothers and paracetamol to get through the continual viral infections that have spoiled this pregnancy. In desperation I had a look online for safety data on the stronger nasal sprays, and in the US they are considered safe for short term use. I mentioned this to my gp when I had bloods done at 28 weeks and my white cell count was high (yet another cold brewing). She said that the exhaustion due to lack of sleep from not being able to breathe at night was likely to be more damaging, so combined with the info I showed her and the agreement not to use the spray other than at night and only for a week at most, I went with the sudafed spray. Utter godsend. After only a few nights with proper sleep my body was able to cope again. Caution is always sensible but sometimes other factors are more important.

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