Asthma UK community forum

Gyms - beware

I would like to warn anyone considering a gym membership about an experience I have just had. I joined the Teddington Fitness and Pools Centre and was getting on well. Until I was sprayed in the face, while exercising heavily, by a member of staff with a domestic aerosol air freshener. I could hadly walk, but all the member of staff did was go and get the female receptionist to laugh at my dificulties.

The same thing was about to happen again when I had to shout out in the gym, in front of all the other users, all of my health problems to stop the person spraying me.

The council is Richmond council in London and the practice of spraying people in the gym was ok'd by the council. I asked it's CEO Gillian Norton to help, but she refused to personally send an email to me.

So, make sure your council does not condone the use of aerosol air fresheners in it gyms like Richmond does.

Richmond's CEO is Gillian Norton on if anyone wishes to point out the dangers of spraying aerosols in peoples faces.

10 Replies

Wow, that's outrageous. Even if you don't have a health problem, air fresheners are just horrible.


Yes - and apparently, they are happy with using them because it does not say on the tin ""do not spray at people in gyms"".

I now have nowhere to exercise and feel really depressed about the whole situation. People are so thoughless. Sound alarmist, but I really do hope no-one else gets hurt by this crazy council.



try another gym, I've never heard of this before, although I find the air-con on gyms to be my enemy so prefer to just swim and everything else cycling and running out doors.


Had a similar experience on long-haul flight in and out of Malaysia. They spray the cabins/passengers with anti mosquito spray or something. It gave me a terrible sore throat and made me cough (was undiagnosed at that point) the only escape was to lock myself in the toilets. When I complained they told me it was ""perfectly safe"".


They're just bullies

After I compained the council said they'd dne nothing wrong and I would have to take legal action. I have two children to support and they know I can't afford to do this. It's sad that a woman like Gillian Norton the head of a large council can condone the bullying of people like this.


Ugh, how awful! Is it just me, or does that sound like assault?

Re the legal advice - Northumbria University runs something called the student law office - law students offer legal advice and representation to members of the public for free (closely supervised by their lecturers, obviously). You obviously aren't in the Newcastle area, but I wondered if any of the unis near you might run a similar scheme?

Such a shame they've driven you out like that - it's bad enough when a colleague sitting nearby me sprays her perfume, aerosols are so much worse.


Have you thought about taking this matter to the local paper? It can be an effective alternative to legal action, if the journalist thinks it's campaignable.


I would speak to and Health and Safety Executive, one thing to spray the air around you, but to directly spray at people is just madness, regardless of their health status. I am pretty sure that the manufacturer of this product would recommend contact is not made with the eyes, how can the user guarantee this if they allowed to spray it directly at people. I wouldn't let this one get away from you, the response from the local council is dreadful, I would personally ask for the written evidence to support the staff's actions for spraying people directly with air fresheners again, if still you do not get a response, just go to Health and Safety Executive, Local MP and newspapers.

Good luck, and look forward to an update on such a ludicrous affair.


All I can say is thanks for your support. In the age we live in, I am so surprised that this council - Richmond - in an affluent area of the country can be such as dinosaur with its attitude to people and their health.

I will definitely keep pushing this one, I am sure the CEO Gillian Norton is on a six-figure salary, so should be held accountable. We've all seen cases in the paper of people inhaling aerosol and suffering sudden death on occasion, so imagine the danger of doing this to someone who is exercising and suffering from a respiratory problem. It's beyond belief.


I have emailed all the schools in the area, warning them of the practice. It's just so irresponsible.


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