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After Severe Allergic Reaction, Pa. High School Asks Students to 'Axe' the Axe

Update Date: Mar 21, 2013 01:39 PM EDT
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A high school in eastern Pennsylvania is asking students to axe use of the popular body spray Axe after one of its students had a severe allergic reaction to the fragrance. However, even though the school has issued the request, the family is continuing to home school the affected student in the foreseeable future. They hope that they can find a solution that will allow the student to attend school next year.

Axe Body Spray is a cologne and fragrance popular among the high school set. However, despite its prevalence, Freedom High School is asking its students to stop using it, writing on its website, "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."

The school has issued the request in response to the allergic reaction of high school freshman Brandon Silk. Silk and his doctors have been working together to treat his allergy for two years, and the 15-year-old is currently being treated with a variety of steroids to combat it. According to WFMZ, Silk was exposed to the body spray in school, when he smelled the fragrance that someone was wearing.

Silk says that his throat closed so tightly that it was impossible to even fit a straw in the crevice. The school nurse treated him with an Epi Pen and called an ambulance. Over the course of the next nine days, Brandon's throat closed three times.

The allergy is so severe that it has prompted the family to write to Axe body spray's parent company Unilever. However, the family says that they have received little help from the company.

"We were made aware of a report about an allergic reaction, and we are looking into the matter," a Unilever spokesperson wrote to ABC News in an email. "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."

The school says to Patch that their website posting was a request, not a ban. In a school with 2,000 students, such a ban would be unenforceable.

That is why Brandon is taking classes at home, in order to avoid exposure to the fragrance. His mother is determined to find a better treatment so that he can return to Freedom's premises next school year.

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