Warning: This post contains many photos of cats.
What follows is something I thought was a great response by Kristine Kruszelnicki to someone who trivialized her MCS and compared it to his cat allergy
(shared with her permission, and with many photos of cats added by me):
I appreciate that you see similarity between my chemical sensitivities and yours, in that you’re allergic to cats and an exposure to one can leave you feeling ill for weeks, and likewise more susceptible to future exposures. In that regard, our problems aren’t so different.
Now imagine a world in which not only did some people have cats at their house that make you ill, but then while trying to go home to recover from a cat exposure you hopped onto public transit and nearly everyone had a cat around their neck.
Then you go to work (again surrounded by cat-wearing transit users) and find they’ve just cleaned your office and hallways with a cat hair solution.
Everywhere in your office building, the allergens linger. Worse still, you entirely choke up just going to the bathroom, and while washing your hands(with cat-infused soap)
you look up and see that they’re blowing cat dander out of the air fresheners on the wall!
You go swing dancing in an attempt to enjoy some of your life but you have to leave soon after arriving because a large number of people have applied cat hair to their clothes and body products, and by the time you’ve arrived it’s all over the room, floating in the air to be inhaled by all.
You try the movie theater, the restaurant, even the shopping mall and the same problem hits you there.
Cats just fricken everywhere!
But that’s not all!
You head back, already feeling ill from the first exposure (never mind the 10th) and walk down the street to get home (where unbeknownst to you, the downstairs neighbour is sending dander up the common air vents with his plug-in cat dander oil)
and on your walk home you get at least one face-full of cat fur blowing out of someone’s dryer vent.
How sick are you now?
I think right around the time you get to Walmart, trying to avoid the plethora of cat-covered products and people, and someone right behind you sprays a canned mixture of cat dander, hair and urine that get all over you,
you might suddenly start thinking that the unnecessary public use of cat products should be restricted.
Another person with MCS/ES chimed in:
And let’s not forget: there will be cat hair, cat dander oil and cat-scented cleaning products used in the doctor’s office where you will be seeking help for you cat-related allergies!
That’s not all! Since so many people love cats, and real cats are expensive to keep and require time to look after, an industry developed to make cheap and easy synthetic cat residues that can be and have been added to almost everything!
New research is telling us that these all pervasive synthetic cat residues are causing health problems in almost everyone, including those still in the womb!
But the synthetic cat residue industry has been lobbying the government regulators on a daily basis for the past 5 years to ensure that no air or product shall be free of their synthetic cat residues and that efforts to regulate them are stonewalled!
May we accept what we cannot change, and change what we cannot accept.
What do you think?
The story behind Kristine’s world full of cats story:
She recently posted on fb about being inadvertently sprayed with Febreze by another person while she was out shopping. She complained and was menacingly threatened with another chemical assault, which thankfully didn’t come about, but never-the-less, despite wearing her face mask, she had her brain, body and clothing contaminated with the fragrance chemicals, “enjoyed” a migraine, and required recovery time due the exposure
She further commented on fb that “I wish they’d just hurry up and ban products that are full of toxins (perfume, dryer sheets, air-un-fresheners) especially those that pollute everyone’s air. Or at least expose them as nasty and toxic, as they did with cigarettes.”
A few people responded with things like: these products “are not toxic as cigarettes. They don’t give cancer unless you make genuine efforts to absorb as much as possible in your body for decades. Don’t spray then directly in your mouth and you’ll be ok” and “they’re not toxic enough to worry about for most people”…
One person who suffers from cat allergies wrote
“When I have been exposed to cats, it leaves me unable to breathe in their presence AND in the long term as well (several weeks later) I am much more exposed to asthma attacks later too. Which is a major issue because I’m a highly active person who enjoys sports and severely impairs my physical activities, even weeks after cats are no longer present. (of course, it also gives me headaches, bloodshot eyes, and blocked sinus but those are minor health concerns)
So yes it’s a lot like my cat allergy. There are people with even more serious cat allergies and whose asthma attacks can be lethal. I still don’t consider cats “toxic” – it’s a personal health issue, not the product / animal at fault as most people don’t react this way and they have been deemed relatively safe by health organizations.” …
There was more discussion, with some still insisting that MCS is solely the problem of the person who has it, and not something that the rest of the world should be blamed or changed for.
They seemingly did not want to believe that there were significant amounts of toxic chemicals in everyday personal care and laundry products, air “fresheners”, and more, including chemicals that are linked to sperm damage, autism, cancer, diabetes, obesity and more.
Why would obgy’s be advising pregnant women to avoid the exposures that cause harm to people who have MCS, why would the UN and WHO say endocrine disrupting chemicals are a ‘global threat’, why would scientists around the world be saying that “toxic pollution – environmental contaminants in the air, water and land are at record levels and increasing, seriously harming people and wildlife in unforeseen ways” and calling for immediate action if all these products and chemicals were safe?
Those arguing that MCS was a personal problem also didn’t care that it is a recognized disability that must be accommodated in Ontario, Canada and elsewhere, and that fragrance chemicals are almost impossible to avoid these days, making access to basic needs in everyday life a real challenge to meet for over 850,000 people in Canada alone!
This all goes to show that decades of individual and voluntary efforts are not enough to make the world a chemically safer place for ALL beings, and that we need more action to right the systemic wrongs that currently provide more protection to polluters than to those who are harmed by pollution (and ultimately that is all of us).
What you can do to help make Ecocide a crime
Fragrance Ingredients include:
Benzene, Butyl Butarate, Toluene, Heptane, Isopropyl acetate, Parabens , Phthalates, Distillates, Petroleum, Naphtha, styrene, Ethylene Glycol…
For info about the adverse health effects from these and other chemicals, check these websites:
Excellent Fragrance Fact Sheet
from The Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment (CPCHE)
” It took decades for the workplace to acknowledge the dangers of smoking and to recognize the deadly effects of exposure to second-hand smoke. Once acknowledged, it was a few more years before the workplace became safe for workers from the dangers of second hand smoke. This paper suggests that fragrance is following the same trajectory”…
- Canadian Lung Association Pollution & Indoor air quality – Scents
- CDC Indoor Environmental Policy protects those with chemical sensitivities
- Dr. Anne C. Steinemann Resources: Fragrance-Free Policies, CDC Indoor Environmental Quality Policy, Leaders for Healthier Air, Air Freshener Fact Sheet, Green Clean Fact Sheet , Toxic Chemicals in Air Fresheners, Toxic Chemicals in Fragranced Laundry Products
- EWG Consumer Guides
- Not So Sexy
- Fragrance free policies from around the world
- Fragrance What’s that smell?
- Health Care Without Harm on fragrance chemicals
- Women’s Voices For The Earth Reports Reports about fragrances and toxic chemicals in everyday products
MCS Under Siege by Ann McCampbell, MD
New report: “Recognition Inclusion and Equity -‐the Time is Now: Perspectives of Ontarians Living With ES/MCS, ME/CFS and FM.
(Toronto: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Association of Ontario MEAO)
Photos taken by, and /or found and / or altered by Linda.
Most photos I find online are either available to freely use without credit, or found widely shared with no credit to original source. I avoid using other people’s obvious personal creations without asking for permission, unless they have been so widely shared it’s impossible to discover where they originated, and I do credit the original source whenever I can find it. It’s more difficult now as the free source I used to use has changed and it’s no longer clear. Hopefully my judgement regarding what is ok to use (and or alter) and what isn’t, is good enough and people enjoy the results. If not, please let me know.
I had fun putting them together for this post.