T.

3/7/94 SBO:SHK:ca XX MAR 18 1994

The Honorable Robert C. Byrd United States Senate Washington, D. C. 20510-6025 Dear Senator Byrd: This responds to your inquiry on behalf of your constituent (b)(6) XX . XX wanted information about the policies of various government agencies concerning multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS). We have forwarded your letter to the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Labor for response to the questions concerning the policies of those agencies. The National Academy of Sciences is not an agency of the federal government. XX requested information about actions by the Department of Justice since its issuance of regulations to implement the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in July 1991. Although the Department has taken no regulatory actions, it did issue one Letter of Findings with respect to an individual with environmental illness. The complainant alleged the City of San Francisco violated title II of the ADA when he was denied access to municipal buildings because of the perfume used by municipal employees. Our September 8, 1993, Letter of Findings assumed that the complainant's factual allegations were accurate, but concluded that a public entity is not required to prohibit use of perfume or other scented products by employees who come into contact with the public because such a requirement would not be a "reasonable" modification to its personnel policies, as is required by title II. Furthermore, nothing in the ADA or its legislative history indicates that Congress intended to require public entities to regulate use of such products by its employees. The failure of a public entity to adopt such a policy, therefore, does not violate title II of the ADA. The complaint also alleged generally that the city and County of San Francisco had not adopted a public access policy for individuals with environmental illness. Although formal cc: Records CRS Chrono MAF Kaltenbo.byrd.2 McDowney FOIA

01-02974 -2adoption of nondiscrimination policies may be helpful in ensuring that a public entity meets its obligations under the statute and regulation, our letter concluded that the regulation does not require public entities to adopt such policies with respect to individuals with disabilities or any particular class of individuals with disabilities. Also, after the complaint was filed, the City adopted an accessible meeting policy that included a requirement that all public meeting notices and agendas must include a notice asking individuals attending the meeting to refrain from wearing perfume or other scented products in order to allow individuals with environmental illness or multiple chemical sensitivity to attend the meeting. We therefore determined that the allegations in the complaint did not state a violation of title II of the ADA. We hope that this information will assist you in responding to your constituent. Sincerely,

James P. Turner Acting Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division

01-02975