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A lame law

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The Equality and Anti-discrimination Commissioner (LDO)

The Equality and Anti Discrimination Commissioner refers to your request by e-mail of 13 May 2011, where you take up a number of issues related to asthma and sensitivity.  LDO enforces the Anti-Discrimination and Accessibility Act (DTL), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. The law also has provisions on universal design, see § 9, and individual arrangements, see § 12 Several of the issues you refer to may raise questions for DTL, and we will try to give you feedback on these individually. You will among other issues related to shopping malls, especially with an emphasis on shops and restaurants solutions. LDO has recently received several inquiries that address these issues. A similar case was treated in 2009, but this was dropped. The rationale to discontinue said the LDO including following:

“There is no doubt that shopping malls and individual stores in a mall is to be regarded as” private activities aimed at the general public “which basically is committed to ensuring universal design for Discrimination and Accessibility Act § 9 Allergy is regarded as a disability that is protected by Anti-Discrimination and Accessibility Act. The LDO will however note that the perfume smells and cooking smells are smells that can hardly be avoided in today’s society, where both the sale of foods and the use of perfume is generally accepted and legal. The LDO has made it clear in guidance to A that it can raise questions about violations of the duty of universal design in the Discrimination and Accessibility Act § 9, if a mall has unacceptably poor ventilation that can cause allergic reactions. Something more than ordinary proper ventilation will initially require fundamental changes in the shopping center’s construction. A shopping center that has common proper ventilation, will delegate meaningful protection of the people use assumptions, which are also in line with legislative intent and legislative history of the Act. The central question in this case is about discrimination and Accessibility Act § 9 can be used to require fundamental changes in corporate structure to provide for some use conditions. Discrimination and Accessibility Act § 9 assumes that availability will be ensured through the main solution to the current business function to
could be used by many people as possible. In Proposition. No. 44 2007-2008 p. 139 stated that claims about universal design can not justify fundamental changes to the character and function. The Ministry also states that the term many people as possible are selected in order to demonstrate that the statutory target of universal design is wide, but it is not always possible to accommodate all user requirements. It is emphasized further in the Proposition. No. 44 (2007-2008) p. 260 that “target group for the rule of universal design are as many as possible, and this means that as far as possible to take allow for different user requirements. The decisive factor for the facilitation requirement arises is whether it is possible, by a physical arrangement of the environment, to meet the appropriate use conditions. It will not be possible to maintain all user requirements through the physical arrangements, and this is reflected in the statutory text. As technological advances make it possible, however, the duty of universal design to address emerging user requirements.

The LDO believes that if one should meet A’s requirements, it could easily lead to the need for major modifications and fundamental changes in shopping centers in Norway. After the LDO’s assessment, it is natural that this type of requirement is regulated in the Planning and Building Act and associated regulations. The new Planning and Building Act proposed regulations does not prohibit the kind of solutions that A believes are problematic. How the LDO considers that this is outside the LDO may decide through its individual case management, and outside of the Discrimination and Accessibility Act § 9 is intended to include. LDO finds on this basis that there is no reason to consider the matter further. ”

LDO has been shelved was appealed to the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Tribunal. The Tribunal upheld the LDO conclusion, cf Tribunal case 09/2010. The principles that the LDO and the Tribunal has assumed will also apply to complaints of other shopping centers. We emphasize also that buying center’s responsibility for the universal design will only apply to the common area inside the center (for example, entrance to the center, escalators / elevators, air facilities, toilets etc). The remaining charge will be on each activity within the center.

A question of universal design at the shopping centers in terms of environmental inhibition to that described in the LDO has been shelved primarily involve an assessment of the ventilation system is acceptable. The LDO will also consider issues about the use of air fresheners and perfume-free detergents. The requirement that businesses should be universally designed, however, not a mall chance to refuse even individuals to use perfume. A total ban on all use of perfumes and other perfumed products had adopted a new law, then such a ban would involve an infringement of individual normal behavior. This is the only parliament can do. When it comes to the problems you have experienced with regard to your visit to for an example NAV, ratings will be the same. NAV’s offices are aimed at the general public, and should therefore be in line with the requirements of universal design. If businesses do not meet the requirements of universal design to the LDO to process a complaint on the matter within the framework as it is explained in this letter. In a complaint to the LDO must be pointed out clearly the matters complained of. Beyond this, it is not so much the LDO may make on the basis of our mandate. Questions about the closed stores, product placement and smoking outdoors will be political issues that must be addressed at a higher level.

LDO thanks anyway for your inquiry and hope this was clarifying.”

Well, what to say about it?

We can start with LDO’s own statements in the press and media:


– It is not those allergic, asthmatic and sensitive that should solve this problem for them, that is us and the society that should to that, says LDO’s own President. Video:

And here is also an article in where the Norwegain Health Department, Helsedirektoratet, says that if the public asks for smoke free public room outdoors then we will look in to it.

To say that normal ventilation would prevent an allergic and asthmatic, or sensitive person from getting sick in the environment is rubbish. It is a laughing stock! It does not matter if you got a normal ventilation system that is working, we still get sick from the chemicals in the scents spread in the air regardless. There are small changes in the environment that could make it better for allergic, asthmatic and sensitive people, and it was this I said to the The Equality and Anti-discrimination Commissioner, and it is not costly to make it happen.

  • No open plan area for shops selling perfume, scent, scented products, washing and cleaning agents, scented personal hygien products, chemicals, paint, pesticide a.s. Walls to keep it in a own department, and doors too the surrounding areas to keep the fumes inside the area. I could even be glass walls and doors so all products are visible.
  • Perfume and similar products in stores should not be placed by the cashier, it should be located in a secluded area to protect the environmental inhibited persons.
  • Walls and doors that secludes the hazard products could be of glass so the customers can see they are there and go there.
  • No open plan solution for kitchens.
  • People working places where the public got access, for example stores, offices a.s should personell not be allowed to use perfume and scented products at work.

In Norway, about 20-25% of the inhabitants of Norway is asthmatic and / or allergic and in addition we have those who are sensitive in other ways. Norway has a little over 4 million inhabitants. 25% out of 4 million inhabitants is approximately 1 million people with asthma and / or allergies. It is certainly far more than only I who got this problem and you have gotten message from others before me who are struggling. They others who have not said anything they certainly belong to the category that do not realize that asthma and allergies and sensitivities is classed as a disability and that they have rights in relation to their illness. And this is why they have not given more sound from them. They may not even know who to turn to. I’ve had my asthma for about 4 years now and I learned it for only a few weeks ago that the LDO should help me. Think of how many out there who do not know you, and do not know of their rights.

This is a law that is in a wheelchair. The law requires a ramp so physically impaired people can come into the shops with a wheelchair if there are stairs. Having asthma, allergies and sensitivity is as much a inhibition in this case as being unable to walk up the stairs. Having asthma, allergy, and sensitivity just as effectivily make a person having those diceases not able to enter an environment/locality that have irritants and allergens in the air. Asthma and allergies including sensitivity is also a handicap, but there is no “ramp” available to us, and you will not do anything about it either.

And that ventilation would help in allergies and asthma and sensitivity of the evidence, unfortunately, how little you really know about the disease. I’m get sick from perfume, smoke, etc. chemicals in the fumes (or as you call it fragrance) whether outside or inside, whether there is ventilation or not, and it has very little to do with the quality of the ventilation. Thw ventilation can be very good and follow all the classifications and standards that exist, but I and very many others become sick from perfume, tobacco, chemical fumes, cooking fumes, etc.. And it’s not just the aroma as you call it as I and all the others get sick from, ie the chemical composition found spread in the air.


This is best done by setting up a partition with door for these products. They may well be made of glass so that customers can easily see the merchandise at a distance. And door will be shut but not locked.

Location of the products also have plenty to say. For example, do not have perfumes and perfumed products, beauty products, detergents, personal hygiene products, or any other product holding chemicals or strong scent right next to the entrance or cashier but put them remote and also keep them behind glass wall with a door.

For your information.

This Act you have and how to manage it, I think is lame.

A law in a wheel chair. This is a law that tells us that allergy, asthma and other sensitivities is environmental inhibition and a handicap equally with other physically disabled persons. For the disabled persons is is obliged to have rams and/or elevators so they get acccess to whatever they want, and on the same time it says it is not able to help any of us that is handicapped by allergies, asthma and sensitivity with getting us our “ramp”. Can anyone wheel this law to the right office so we can get use of it?

By the pen
Annelie Molin


Author: Annelie

I like canoeing, photographing, friends, movies, food, humor, and going on trips. I dislike rudeness, dishonesty, violence, nastyness, and people not caring for others. I do not drink much, I do not smoke and I do not do drugs. I love friends who are kind to me and stick with me. If you want to give me a gift, the best gift is to stop smoking and stop using fragranced products. Then you give me health and that dear friend, is the best gift a person can get. It is a gift of love. I got asthma and I am hearing disabled.

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