The Sideshow

High school asks students to ax the Axe

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
The Sideshow

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A Pennsylvania high school is asking its students to stop using Axe Body Spray after one was hospitalized with an apparent allergic reaction to the scented aerosol deodorant.

An official at Freedom High School in Bethlehem posted an alert on the school's website on Tuesday notifying parents, faculty and students of the request:

The purpose of this posting is to make all parents, staff and students aware of a medical issue involving a Freedom High School student having an extreme allergy to Axe Body Spray. This allergy is potentially life-threatening for this student. Most recently this student has been transported to the hospital by ambulance for emergency medical treatment due to this student being exposed to Axe Body Spray while attending school.

My request to all Freedom Family members is that we 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.

On behalf of this student’s family and myself, thank you for your consideration.

The student's condition, or what specifically caused the allergy, was not immediately known. Freedom High School principal Michael LaPorta Jr. did not immediately return a phone call and email seeking comment.

A spokesman for Unilever, which owns Axe, said the company is aware of the report and is looking into the matter.

“The safety and well-being of those who use our products is always our first priority," the spokesman said in a statement to Yahoo News. "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.”

It's not the first time the edgy brand of men's grooming products has sparked controversy. In 2007, an activist group launched a campaign accusing Unilever of objectifying and degrading women in its marketing of Axe while simultaneously praising the "real beauty" of women through its positioning of Dove, which the company also owns.

It's also not the first time a scent has caused a stir in school. Last fall, a high-school Spanish teacher in Hiawassee, Ga., was accused of "bullying" one of her students, who suffers from a severe nut allergy, by burning a scented candle that apparently triggered an allergic reaction.

The teen's mother said the teacher knew about her daughter's allergy and was warned by the school nurse not to burn the candle in the classroom, but did so anyway.

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