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  • 1.  Allergen list

    Posted 08-18-2015 01:52 PM
    Do any of you have a posted 'warning' sign and a list of allergens in your building that visitors can ask to see, that you would be willing to
    share with me?


    Martin S. Fisher
    Executive Director
    Science Central
    1950 North Clinton Street
    Fort Wayne, IN  46805
    Phone: (260) 424-2400 ext. 441
    Cell: (260) 452-4047

    Spark Your Imagination!

  • 2.  RE: Allergen list

    Posted 08-19-2015 07:33 AM

    Good question.    In some restaurants/snack bars, there are warning signs about microwave use and nut products.  Are you asking about signs in your galleries, workshops and other areas?  What kinds of allergens might you be concerned about for your visitors?

    I am eager to hear the experience of others on this, too.

    Kathryn Boardman

    Cooperstown Graduate Program - SUNY at Oneonta
    Cooperstown NY

  • 3.  RE: Allergen list

    Posted 08-19-2015 08:20 AM

    As I clean my office of its old files and books unused for years, I'm suffering from my dust allergies and thinking this (relatively) new building of ours probably has a lot of allergens recirculating around the building, thanks to our HVAC, filters notwithstanding.  I imagine whatever we use for cleaning exhibits, bathrooms, glass doors, etc. could be problematic for lots of people.  Are these the types of allergens you're thinking of?  We don't have a café, so, food allergens are not an issue with us.

    Elspeth Inglis
    Assistant Director for Educational Services
    Kalamazoo Valley Museum
    Kalamazoo MI

  • 4.  RE: Allergen list

    Posted 08-20-2015 11:45 AM

    As an exhibit designer and a parent of a child with multiple life threatening food allergies I am somewhat attuned to allergens in the environment.  I'd like you to keep in mind two things, First you can probably find a person who is allergic to nearly everything you can think of - so trying to identify or eliminate every allergen simply wont happen. With that said, a relatively small number of allergens ( food) cause the vast majority of severe reactions; Milk, Nuts (tree and Peanuts), eggs, wheat, soy and fish ( inc. shellfish). These account for something like 80% off all severe reactions. You can add corn and get a few more percentage points. Many of these items are disguised in foods, corn and soy derivatives are in everything.

    As for non food items, Latex is at the top of the list, but again, you can find someone allergic/sensitive to almost anything.

    Whenever we go out to a place that has potential allergens, we ask to read product labels. We are a lot more savvy at sussing out hidden allergens than most so if I see a label that says gelatin, I know that is likely to be beef based and my kid will react to beef protein. 

    My suggestions is, rather than post a list of potential allergens, keep a binder with product labels that folks can look at. 

    Or, post a sign tat says "please ask to see our allergy information binder"

    Bart Hays
    Senior Exhibition Designer
    Monterey Bay Aquarium
    Monterey CA

  • 5.  RE: Allergen list

    Posted 08-20-2015 11:49 AM


    Your mention of duct work reminds me of the importance of having that cleaned periodically. 

    There was recently an outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease somewhere on the east coast.   That is a form of pneumonia caused by a kind of bacteria that often lives in duct work.    (The Belmont Hotel in Philadelphia was the first site of a significant outbreak of this that affected a large number of folks attending an American Legion convention.) 

    I would like to find out more about hvac systems cleaning and maintenance to know what is recommended in light of this health risk.

    Kathryn Boardman

    Cooperstown Graduate Program - SUNY at Oneonta
    Cooperstown NY

  • 6.  RE: Allergen list

    Posted 08-22-2015 02:53 PM

    In California we have the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.  Its nickname sf Prop 65, because it was listed that way on the ballot.  Prop 65 requires businesses to notify persons about significant amount of chemicals in products they purchase, may be in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment.  The notification must provide a clear and reasonable warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to a listed chemical.

    Businesses have three ways to comply.  First, no notice is required if exposures are so low they create no significant risk of cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.  Second way is to test all chemicals at your facility against a 45 page, 20 entries per page average list and see what the exposure levels are.  The third way is to post a warning simply based on the assumption that at least one of the listed chemicals is present without attempting to determine the level of exposure.  Most businesses simply post the sign.

    To my knowledge there in no requirement to post allergen warnings, except under CalOSHA requirements for employees.


    Raymond Meyer
    Safety & Security Manager
    Aerospace Museum of California
    McClellan CA