Someday, indoor air and environmental quality information could be posted on the front door of every building and most buildings and services (products and materials too) could be safe and accessible for everyone
In the meantime, we have Human Rights laws (in some places) that we can use in order to gain safe(r) access to neccessities like employment, housing, apartment buildings… facilities (restaurants, shops, hotels and theatres…) and services (health care etc), transit and other public places, so it is a good start, since access is something many of us with MCS/ES do not have now, although equal access is, for now, probably too much of a stretch in this chemical and wireless addicted society.
Some (but not all) of the information and resources I present here are from Ontario, Canada, but they can be used to inspire similar actions everywhere.
There are 7 short videos about the Ontario Human Rights Code
(a single video does not appear to be available)
The written information is available here (they have a PDF also):
Below is video number two of a training series done by The Ontario Human Rights Commission about the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and it specifically mentions environmental sensitivities (which include chemical and electromagnetic/wireless “sensitivities”) as does the 2nd video in the series above.
Disability and human rights
What is disability?
“Disability” covers a broad range and degree of conditions, some visible and some not visible. A disability may have been present from birth, caused by an accident, or developed over time. There are physical, mental and learning disabilities, mental disorders, hearing or vision disabilities, epilepsy, drug and alcohol dependencies, environmental sensitivities, and other conditions.
I recently wrote about how the accessibility standards have made a difference for me here and previously wrote about how there is usually little or no safe access for many of us with MCS/ES, because in addition to the chemical barriers, there are many attitudinal barriers to changing the way things are done.
“Chemical sensitivity? Hell, let’s cut this sensitivity BS. If your kid runs out in the street and gets hit by a truck and his body is broken and crippled, you don’t say, poor child, he’s sensitive to trucks. Let’s quit with this sensitivity crap. These chemicals are poison.”
Environmentally Induced Illnesses: Ethics, Risk Assessment and Human Rights
T. Kerns 2001
For info about MCS/ES see here and here and here
For helpful policies see here and here and here and in the sidebar >
“Make it clear that the policy applies to everyone
(including visitors, patients, etc).”
REMEMBER: A policy is only good if it is enforced!
Something that I believe may be helpful in achieving compliance, is appealing to the self-interest of others. For example, mentioning the recent announcement from the Royal Society of OBGYs advising pregnant women to live as if they have MCS/ES (ok, not in those words, but the advice is essentially the same), and presenting research that shows different types of health harm to the general public and their children from the same substances and materials that disable us.
The full video instruction series (and supplemental information) can be found here:
Working Together: The Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
Learn about your rights and responsibilities under the Code and the AODA and how they affect you at work, in services and in housing.
This e-learning video is for the public, private and not-for-profit sectors and completes the training requirements for section 7 of the AODA. The video has been divided into 5 parts, and takes about 20 minutes to view. …
It seems that some other information pages on their website have been replaced.
The Human Rights System in Ontario
Ontario’s human rights system consists of three separate and independent parts:
Making Ontario Accessible
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the Accessibility Standards
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Introduction to the ADA
Canadian Human Rights Commission
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
Accommodation Ideas for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or Environmental Illness
U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Among other things
Perhaps, all this will finally make a difference?
But it isn’t just indoor spaces, it’s outdoors too. We need to be able to freely and safely sit in our own homes, yards, and balconies without being subjected to the disabling effects of wireless radiation or toxic trespass from neighbors using pesticides, doing laundry with toxic products, burning wood or garbage, along with pollution from other sources and radiation from cell towers or area wi-fi.
“For example, under the common law it is a trespass to place anything upon someone else’s property, or to cause anything to be placed there by wind, water or other means. Any invasion of another’s land – whether by people, flood-waters, structures, or pollutants – constitutes a trespass.(7)”
Thanks Linda. Only wish enforcement was the norm. It however isn’t so, not even non-smoking by laws which are recognized Globally. Non-enforcement is the same as no accommodation — a reality in Ontario. I wouldn’t be sleeping on the street for over a year if accommodation in shelters and multiple unit dwellings was a reality. It isn’t so I am leaving the country. I am glad you and others are making a difference.
Sadly, like I mentioned in another post about accessibility, some people won’t play nice willingly but have to be forced to do so legally.
So many of us would be able to work and disability could be prevented and health improvements could be made!
I’d leave for warmer, chemically safer climes myself, if I could, but I have no independent source of income and travel isn’t safe for me now either. I like the idea of a guaranteed annual income, which might allow us to head to safer areas, at least occasionally.
Maybe someday someone will start up MCS/ES airlines, where passengers have to walk through a chemical sensor before boarding and there’s no wireless allowed on board so that those of us with really severe “sensitivities” could travel for therapies and treatment, or to see loved ones during times of need, or even for the rare holiday!!!
I hope you are able to meet up with better circumstances, wherever you go!