Are Natural Fragrances Really Any Better?

Awareness is growing about the harmful effects of synthetic, artificial fragrances. This is with good reason, but now, many people have jumped onto the natural fragrance and essential oil (EO) bandwagons, believing them to be safe alternatives.

Is this a good thing?

Some believe so, after all, what could be wrong with something that’s natural?

It’s time to have a closer look.

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So You Think We’re Being Difficult When We ask You to Change Products?

Seriously though:

We are not trying to make your life difficult.

We’re just asking you to choose products that don’t disable us.

“Really? Products we can buy in every store disable you?”

Yes! Everyday products and materials can disable us.

There’s actually a lot of info out there that the things that disable us are harming many other people too, just in different ways.

An info dump of links are included below. Take your time and read through them, as you will learn things that will help you protect yourself and your family in the absence of product and material regulations that should exist to protect us.

In many places, it’s also the law to accommodate us
to the point of undue hardship.

“inconvenience, morale, and preferences are not valid considerations in assessing whether an accommodation would cause undue hardship”

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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

The new online resource from ADA Hospitality, Accessible Meetings, Events & Conferences addresses chemical and electrical sensitivities in their planning process.

“The guide is an updated version of a 1993 work authored by June Isaacson Kailes and Darrell Jones. The Mid-Atlantic ADA Center and TransCen Inc. sponsored the update and publication in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the ADA. The updated version includes both regulatory updates along with practical guidance from meeting planning professionals and subject matter experts.

Mary Lamielle, Executive Director of the National Center for Environmental Health Strategies (NCEHS), was invited to comment on the 1993 Guide for the update. She made extensive recommendations addressing the access needs of people with chemical and electrical sensitivities.

The following pages include the NCEHS fact sheet Planning an Accessible Meeting or Event for People with Environmental Sensitivities or Intolerances and recommendations that were incorporated into the just-issued guide. Those with environmental sensitivities are urged to use the fact sheet and the guide to substantiate individual disability accommodation needs and to ensure all meetings are healthier for everyone.”

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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

Safe Housing Survey

Do you (or will you) need safe housing?

Until the end of November 2019, Health Risk Navigation Inc. (HRNI) is conducting a much needed (yet simple) survey of the housing needs of the chemically injured in order to have quantitative data to show housing providers, communities, policy, and decision makers, funders, and other relevant parties.

This kind of data doesn’t exist currently, so even though safe housing is our core need, there are no official documents that anyone can easily point to.

More details are available on their FAQ page:
https://www.hrni.ca/Housing-Survey-FAQ.php

Some of you may have already done the 1st edition of this survey in June of 2019, when it originally came out. Thank you! Even though the survey now has a different format, those responses are not lost.

You don’t have to do the revised one, but it would be helpful if you could spend the 10-15 minutes to do so… just mention that you completed the original on the last page where people are asked to share any additional comments.

The questions of the initial survey and the current survey are identical, except that the current survey now has four new questions at the beginning  that seek  consent of the respondents to save and share info (largely due to EU privacy laws).

Every question also gives an explanation as to why the data is requested. Additionally, every question (except the consent questions) now gives us the choice to answer “Prefer Not To Say”.

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Now Online: “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Survival Guide”

Great news!

Pamela Reed Gibson’s groundbreaking and information filled book “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Survival Guide” (2nd Edition) is now available to read online, or as a download, for FREE!

 

It’s still very relevant and extremely useful even though it came out in 2006.

There are also a lot of other excellent resources, including research papers, available on the new website: Continue reading

Hyperthyroidism in Cats Exposed to Air “Fresheners”, Upholstered Furniture, and New Buildings

Cats are adversely affected by toxic chemicals too

 

… “Higher TDCIPP exposures were associated with air freshener use, houses built since 2005 and cats that prefer to nap on upholstered furniture.” …

The same things cause disabling adverse effects in people with MCS/ES.

Learn more:

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How to Basics: Accessible Washrooms for People With MCS/ES

So many accessibility guidelines completely skip the fact that these necessary and super easy to implement accessibility measures make it possible for perhaps  1/3 of the population to use (or use without harm) a public (or other) washroom, and especially help provide access for those who have disabling chemical and or environmental “sensitivities” (a term that trivializes the condition and effects).

Fragranced products not only create accessibility barriers for people with chemical and environmental “sensitivities”, fragrance sensitivity, autism, sensory sensitivities, migraines, asthma, MCAS/MCAD, and others, but fragrance ingredients have been linked to a number of other short and serious long term health effects in the general population.

It has come to our attention that too many places that hang up a scent or fragrance-free sign in the front office, have air effers and scented soaps in the washrooms. That’s not how this is done.

How to Basics:
Accessible washrooms for people with environmental sensitivities

Image is of a public washroom with sinks on the left side, a cleaning cart in the middle, and garbage cans holding open the stall doors on the right. There are purple bars across the image with the following lines of accessibility tips text:

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Accessibility STOP Signs

I ran across a sign that the lung association had created, and while I am glad they are doing something , I found the message and visual required some tweaking.

Of course, the lung association didn’t come up with the term “sensitive”, it’s what is used in human rights laws, but it seems to have created an impression in the public’s mind that chemical and environmental sensitivities are trivial, and not disabling or even life threatening like they can be.

It also needs to be said that signs without enforcement are endangering lives and perpetuating harm, systemic accessibility barriers, discrimination, and forced isolated segregation for those who are disabled by any or repeated exposures.

To download printable posters, see below.

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Mask Challenge Revisited

Back in 2017, there was an effort by Memes for Inconvenient Disabilities to get people to wear a mask to see what it was like to be a human canary.

Only one person we know of took the challenge, but she did not give permission to share her incredible insights from her experience.

I’ve discovered that Fast Company did their own version of the Mask Challenge and here’s their video: Continue reading

Three New Videos About Environmental Sensitivities

 

EHAQ (Environmental Health Association of Québec) is presenting three new videos for

Environmental Sensitivity Awareness Day – May 12, 2019

Presentations are from:

John Molot MD.

“Numerous papers have been published supporting a biological explanation for MCS. These will be reviewed as well as the evolving medical and political perspective.”

David Fancy Ph.D.

…”Drawing from insights from the ‘social model of disability’ this presentation identifies how the current cultural moment presents systematic barriers, negative attitudes and ongoing electromagnetic wounding that puts the responsibility on society for being the main contributing factor in disabling EHS persons.”

Meg Sears Ph.D.

…” Sears notes the urgency of curbing harmful products and thus chronic disease because as people are getting sicker, families and society also suffer and the healthcare budget balloons faster than the Gross Domestic Product – clearly an unsustainable situation.”

 

The videos are available in both English and French.
There’s no need to register this year, just visit the website:

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