There are reasons people choose and enjoy isolation, but developing disabling adverse effects from the toxic chemicals in everyday products and materials is seldom one of them.
Do you know someone who says fragrances bother or disable them? Chances are pretty good that you do.
Fragrances used to be made from pure plant extracts. Not so anymore, in fact they have become increasingly toxic over the last decades. And they are virtually unavoidable now, even outside, as they are emitted from dryer vents everywhere.
When your friend, family member or colleague informs you that something you use has an adverse effect on them, how would you respond?
Do you choose the friendship? Or the product?
Would you stop using your perfume or cologne and other scented products to be “safe” near your friend?
Can you stop using fabric softeners, dryer sheets and fragranced (or otherwise toxic) laundry products?
Would you change your favorite moisturizer or lipstick if they are causing your friend or co-worker to experience adverse health effects?
Would you shop around for new products that don’t have toxic fragrance chemicals and other harmful ingredients?
How willing are you to do these things for your friend, family member or colleague?
When you choose the friendship, you also choose health; your own health, your friend’s health, future generation’s health, and eco-system health!
And when you do, we are able to enjoy your company, your self, your gifts and your services, your experiences, your sorrows and your joys.
We can enjoy being WITH YOU!
When you choose the products, we can’t!
(Hint: it’s usually not because we don’t like you anymore)
We cannot enjoy the scrambled brain cells, the headaches, the blurred vision, the trouble recalling words, the dizziness, the difficulty breathing, the loss of co-ordination, or any other often debilitating symptom that those toxic chemicals can produce in our bodies and brains. We can not enjoy them when they start, nor for the minutes, hours, days, or weeks it takes to recover. Nor can we enjoy the things we cannot do as a result of the toxic effects.
Will you do what we all need you to do?
If you choose to still use your “carefully (or not) chosen” products instead of the friendship, believing they are more important than the well-being of another human being, then guess what! The advertisers have successfully worked their manipulative marketing magic to make a few extra dollars off you! Really!
But you are not the only one!
They use some of their profits to fight testing and regulation and even go so far as to create misleading “science” to publicly deny adverse effects, claiming their toxic chemicals are within government limits, if there are any (which they usually wrote) so that when someone tells you they are experiencing health problems from those products, the industry line is that it couldn’t possibly be their fault, and of course you should keep spending your money with them.
We all have power. Much more than we realize.
Everything we say, do and buy has effects and consequences. We can make a choice as to what kind of consequences and impact we have in and on the world.
We can have a world where friendship, health and long-term well-being are more important than short-term images and corporate profits.
But we have to make an effort to make that happen, if that’s what we want.
What kind of a world do you choose?
What kind of products do you buy and use?
If we keep choosing the toxic products advertised on tv and in glossy magazines, more and more people (including children) will become sick and injured. It’s not just people with MCS/ES who are affected. Cancers, MS, autism, asthma, fibromyalgia, diabetes, obesity, sperm damage, reproductive difficulties, and many other health problems are being connected to chemicals commonly found in fragrances and other everyday products. Health care costs are climbing, we are all paying for them at the same time the corporations profit from making us sick.
If you dig deep enough, you might find that many of the suppliers of fragrance and cosmetics ingredients also make pesticides, solvents and other products and materials derived from the oil, gas and coal industry, as well as pharmaceutical and medical supplies, thereby profiting at both ends.
People have varying degrees of MCS/ES.
Most of us think it’s normal to have some products that just don’t agree with us, so we search for another product that does. It’s almost easy to ignore and forget about the symptoms, until they become more common and in response to more products. Not until it gets to a point that it’s difficult to find safe products, do we start asking more questions and search for answers. Yet if diagnosed and “accommodated” early (not subjected to further exposures), severe MCS/ES can usually be avoided, and other accommodation is MUCH easier to accomplish. If however the MCS/ES progresses due to prolongued and/or repeated exposures, it becomes harder, much harder.
At that stage, the person with MCS/ES will NEED help, as everyday exposures, like from shopping, etc will be harmful and often impossible to safely endure.
Common tasks that require energy will become extremely difficult, so help would really be appreciated, even required, yet far too often cannot be accepted if the help causes more harm from fragrance chemical residues and exposures than doing without the basic necessities would.
Where would you or your friend receive help from then?
Life should not be about choosing from bad or worse.
There are still few to no agencies we can call upon who are serious about accommodating our needs, even when there is a severe medical requirement.
It still seems to require a serious effort for people to stop using fragrance chemicals, kind of like quitting smoking, although there are so many safer options available. It just takes a commitment and a decision to look for them!
All we have are the friends and family who believe friendship and kindness are more important that fragrance and other toxic chemicals.
Choose people, not products!
If you want to learn more about fragrances, and how and why they are so problematic these days, here are two excellent resources:
How to be fragrance-free (updated):
A list of fragrance-free policies that includes municipalities, hospitals, schools and others…
Many people with MCS/ES also have EHS and will need you to turn off your wireless devices in their presence.
Here are some MCS Visitors Guidelines for visiting people with more severe MCS/ES
check in particular Section 4. Guideline Checklists for a visit to a MCS person
photo cropped from a poster made by AEHA Ontario, now known as EHA Ontario