Scent allergy KOs curler

STEVE GREEN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

Nova Scotia second Mary-Anne Arsenault was taken to hospital yesterday after suffering an allergic reaction to perfume at the Scott Tournament of Hearts.

Fortunately, she returned to play in the night draw, feeling just a little tired.

Arsenault said she started having trouble breathing in the fifth-end break during an afternoon game against Janet Harvey of Manitoba at the John Labatt Centre.

She was eventually taken to London Health Sciences Centre's University Hospital.

"And I love perfume," Arsenault said.

"I always buy some every time I go through the duty-free," Arsenault said. "But it's just that one -- I think it's Poison -- that has one ingredient, whatever it is, that gets in my airways and makes them close over.

"I've always had a sensitivity to that one, but whoever it was had so much on, it was overpowering."

Arsenault was at least able to keep a sense of humour about it.

"See what a girl's got to do to get an interview?"

Arsenault has won five Canadian women's curling championships along with skip Colleen Jones.

Arsenault was replaced in the afternoon game by Mary Sue Radford, who became the first alternate to see action here this week.

"It was a little nerve-wracking in that first end because I didn't have a chance to warm up or throw any rocks, but once that first end was over with I felt OK," Radford said.

As a result of the incident, players were asked not to wear perfume for the rest of the competition.

The issue of fragrance allergies in the workplace has become more common and employers are being asked to monitor employee concerns.

Arsenault has won five Canadian women's curling championships along with skip Colleen Jones.

Arsenault was replaced by Mary Sue Radford, who became the first alternate to see action here this week. She had to throw second stones in the sixth end, but then moved up to lead for the remainder of the game.

"It was a little nerve-wracking in that first end because I didn't have a chance to warm up or throw any rocks, but once that first end was over with, I felt OK," Radford said.

Jones, who came back to win a bizarre game 7-6, said it was the first time it had happened to Arsenault.

"We started the (sixth) end without her and when she wasn't back to throw her stones I took a medical timeout. I went back to check on her and she was on a chair leaning over. Her legs were shaking and she was shaking and it was obvious she wasn't going to continue.

"Something like that rattles you for a little bit. I just had to take a deep breath and say, 'Mary Sue, you're in.' And she did awesome."

As a result of the incident, players were asked not to wear perfume for the rest of the competition.

The issue of fragrance allergies in the workplace has become more common and employers are being asked to monitor employee concerns.


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