Accessibility Recommendations from ARCH and CELA

Accepting the leadership offered by the Task Force on Environmental Health to address the health care system, proactive change can begin immediately at all levels of society including federal, provincial, and municipal governments and public departments and agencies.

These would include, but are not limited to, public transportation providers, school boards, and the private sector.”


screenshots
of  the report recommendations
with source added

 

The Legal Rights and Challenges Faced by Persons with Chronic Disability Triggered by Environmental Factors

From ARCH Disability Law Centre and the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA),  September 2019

“3. Conclusion While there has been significant research and study into barriers to include persons with EH disabilities, critical obstacles remain.

Seeking help in the health system, trying to find and/or retain adequate housing or employment, entering public spaces, shopping, or using public transportation, limit the inclusion of persons with EH disabilities in our communities.

Much more needs to be done to acknowledge the significant hurdles faced by persons with EH disabilities.

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The Canadian Human Rights Commission’s “Environmental sensitivity and scent-free policies”

The Canadian Human Rights Commission’s
Policy on Environmental Sensitivities
has been updated to add more on scent-free policies.

Image description: “Environmental sensitivity and scent-free policies” text on a blue background to the left, with a photo of a dark haired woman resting her chin on her hand, while looking wistfully (towards the title  text) out a window with rain drops on it, on the right side.

The new policy includes this:

“A scent-free policy is similar to other workplace policies such as
anti-harassment policies. It applies to all employees and is intended to guide
their conduct. If an employee does not comply with the policy, disciplinary
action can be taken.”

and this:

“If an employee with environmental sensitivities needs to leave because of a trigger, this person should not suffer negative impacts because of their disability
or their need for accommodation.”

 

Visit the CHRC website to download the PDF:
https://www.chrc-ccdp.gc.ca/eng/content/policy-environmental-sensitivities

 

Full text of the policy
(as copied from their PDF for people who have difficulties with PDFs):

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The Fragrance-free Checklist

 

It seems like the best way to clear up some confusion about being fragrance-free, is to provide a checklist of products and places where fragrances that can make you not be fragrance-free are found, so that you don’t inadvertently bring fragrances with you when going  somewhere with a strict fragrance-free policy.

The checklist addresses some common misconceptions about what being fragrance-free really means.

Being fragrance-free is about more than not using perfume or cologne.
It’s also not about skipping deodorant, as some people seem to think.

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Accessible Meetings Guide Addresses Chemical and Electrical Sensitivities

Another great resource shared by Mary Lamielle, this time on how to make events accessible for people with MCS/ES.

Accessible Meetings Guide Addresses Chemical and Electrical Sensitivities

accessible events

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Harvard Medical School Associate Professor Speaks about MCS: Video

Dr. L. Christine Oliver is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Co-Director of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

This is an excellent half hour presentation.

Dr Oliver packs so much about the issues faced by people with MCS into the first 16 minutes of this video. If you can’t watch the whole video, at least watch this much.  Alison Johnson finishes off by reading from her important book Amputated Lives.

Alison Johnson is the author/producer/director of books and documentaries on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. Visit http://www.alisonjohnsonmcs.com to download a transcript or to purchase her books or DVDs.

amputated-lives-chemical-sensitivity

MCS Awareness Video by Maria Rizzo

This excellent video about MCS/ES was made in 2020 by Maria Rizzo, who was behind the Fragrance Free Revolution, but has not aged a second.  It is just as relevant today as it was then.

The only thing that has changed, is that Maria is no longer with us. She lost her life in December 2020 after being subjected to too many exposures when spending time in hospitals with her father.

She wasn’t able to recover from those exposures, the broken heart of losing her father, and of the world that harms us instead of welcomes us.

The tribute her partner wrote when he informed the community of her passing can be found here.

I miss collaborating with Maria, I miss her creative energy, and her ability to do things in clear and concise ways.

She’d still be with us if hospitals and the rest of the world stopped inflicting unnecessary poisons on us all, and instead respected our human rights as well as their own vulnerability to 24/7 exposures to unnecessary hazardous substances.

Her death is a great loss to the global MCS/ES community.

 Rest in power Maria.

Text: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Choose People...Not Products. Be Fragrance Free Always No Fragrance or Fragranced Products

2021 – Welcome to MCS/ES Action and Accommodation Month

Traditionally May is MCS and MCS/ES Awareness Month.

After decades of awareness raising, it’s time to move on to welcoming action and accommodation, don’t you think?

Are people with MCS/ES, often referred to as Human Canaries, actually welcome in this world?

If you are a person with MCS/ES, please share in the comments if and how you are being accommodated and welcomed (or not) in this world.

If you are a person who doesn’t have MCS/ES, please share in the comments how you are accommodating and welcoming people with MCS/ES into the world.

image description: a faded beach ball mother earth... there's a large faded canary bird (representing human canaries) wearing a full face respirator, on the middle of the globe text reads: Are people with MCS/ES welcome in this world? seriously 'sensitive' to pollution May 2021 MCS/ES Action and Accommodation Month multiple chemical sensitivities MCS/ES environmental sensitivities

Earth Day Human Canary Starter Pack

Human Canaries are what’s left after the signs from wildlife and nature weren’t respected, but we’re not long for this earth either, unless there are some significant changes in people’s daily habits – yes, things everyone can start to do RIGHT NOW!

Let’s start with some hashtags:

#HumanCanaries #EnvironmentalSensitivities #EarthDay #EarthDay2021 #MotherEarth #ChemicalSensitivity #MCS #EHS #IAQ #EnvironmentalHealth #air #water #disabilities #ScentFree #FragranceFree #BeFragranceFree #NonToxic #StopTheKill
Then move on to some science and other research (with apologies for the formatting, I really hate wordpress now):

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What Now?

 

A brief account of a seriously “sensitive” to pollution person living in a society where fragranced and toxic products are more important than lives, where disabled lives are disposeable, where it’s now easy to be euthanized (even for for externally imposed and inflicted) suffering, but not to receive support to remove the causes of suffering, causes and conditions that have been made systemic for many people with disabilities.

I’m not a poet and I know it and I wrote it anyway…

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Are Essential Oils Fragrance-Free?

Some people are promoting their essential oils and EO containing products as being #FragranceFree.

A few years ago others were claiming their essential oils were #ScentFree.

It seems we need to have a closer look at this before more people are hurt.
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Oops!

Greetings everyone! Please accept my sincere apologies for the post that went out yesterday.

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Opportunity to Share Your Chemical and Fragrance Injury Stories

 

 Women’s Voices For the Earth  are offering  those of us who have been harmed by chemical exposures an opportunity to share our stories and experiences.

Has Your Health Been Harmed by Toxic Chemicals?
Share Your Story!

“When you share your experiences, it not only changes people who connect with your story, it also changes you. When people share their personal stories on a social issue, they become more invested in that issue because it is now theirs (Beautiful Rising.org). What’s more, it is contagious: Sharing leads to sharing leads to sharing and helps communities and individuals connect over similarities and differences.

We want to hear from you! Tell us, how have exposures to harmful chemicals impacted your health?

And if you are interested, WVE can also help you amplify your story in the media, or with policy and decision makers.”

Learn more here:
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When Being Quarantined or Isolated and Broke is “Normal”

But Shouldn’t Have to Be

Guest Post by Joanne Cabe

I read a post from someone who was out of work and broke, who wrote that being quarantined and broke, or being an essential worker and working over time, isn’t normal for anyone.

I had to respond. I don’t know that it will do any good on people’s awareness, but this was my try for the day:

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Canadian Petition for People with Chemical and Environmental Sensitivities

 

Dear everyone, if you are Canadian, please sign this petition, and no matter where you are, please share this with all the Canadians you know!

e-2729  Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:

We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:

1. Create an international classification of disease designation code in Canada for environmental sensitivities so that those affected may have access to medical care;

2. Include environmental sensitivities as a disability that must be accommodated on all relevant documents and forms in governmental departments and organizations that minister social assistance, housing, medical, and other public services; and

3. Ensure all indoor public spaces are declared scent and fragrance-free.

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Proclamation, Video, and Other News for May 12th Awareness Day

Toronto’s Mayor John Tory has lent (not given) his support with a Proclamation for  for Awareness Day:

“Proud to proclaim today as Myalgia Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities Awareness Day. It is important that we lend our support and understanding to those living with chronic illness, especially as we deal with #COVID19.

 

(I’m sorry there’s no written transcript for the image)
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