People all over the industrialized world have been developing Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and Environmental Sensitivities, or Environmental Illnesses. We are exposed to so many petrochemical pollutants, in our air, water, foods, clothes, furnishings, homes, and elsewhere in daily life, substances which are now known to cause many kinds of adverse health effects, and some of us just have the epigenetic disposition to feel the effects faster and more extremely than others who may develop cancer or some other condition many years later.
Amelia Hill (aka the Amazing Amelia Hill) lives in Australia and developed very severe, or extreme MCS after not being properly diagnosed for too many years. A lack of proper diagnosis and precautionary measures usually results in a debilitating worsening of the condition, which is best addressed with avoidance of the triggering substances, and building up health in very targeted ways. This is much more difficult to do the longer one isn’t able to take the steps to avoid exposures and rebuild life with safe alternatives.
Amelia’s life is probably unlike any you have ever heard of (even mine) although there are many similarities between the experiences those of us who have severe MCS/ES share. Amelia is known as “amazing” because of the ways she handles her life.
You will see why here.
Amelia’s story has been featured as the cover story in what may be South Australia’s most popular newspaper weekend magazine: Continue reading
Posted in Chemicals, Disability, Education, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Food, Health, Healthy Environment, Human Rights, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Public Health
Tagged allergies, Amelia, asthma, Australia, Chemicals, chemicals in clothing, EHS, elecrtosensitive, Food, fragrance-free, health care access for people with MCS/ES, indoor air quality, MCS, MCS housing, pesticides, petrochemicals, sensitive to pollution, wireless
Mimi from Ontario, Canada has this to say to us:
I wish that you could accept that this is real and that your habits make me ill.
I wish you could understand how switching to fragrance-free products is such a small act that means a world of difference to me – literally.
It means being able to have a clear mind in order to work effectively and support myself, it means being able to receive hugs, it means not suffering every day.
Posted in Accessibility, Disability, Education, Fragrance, MCS/ES, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Support
Tagged fragrance-free, hugs, MCS, Products, think clearly, work
Can you imagine a world where it’s unacceptable to profit from polluting people and the environment we all depend on for life?
Someone imagined it was ok to pollute for profit, it wasn’t always happening or acceptable.
What if it’s possible to live good lives while looking after the planet and each other?
For things to change, we have to imagine something different first.
Then, if we can imagine it, we can work together to make it happen!
Posted in Action, Change, Environment, Environmental Health, Health, Healthy Environment, Imagination, Inspiration
Tagged environmental sensitivities, petrochemicals, precaution, sensitive to pollution
Guest Post by Leah Spitzer
I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) – a “multi-system illnesses as a result of contact with, or proximity to, a variety of airborne agents and other substances. (Environmental Protection Agency).” In other words, I react to fragrances, building products and more. It is not a histamine reaction, but rather, a systemic reaction to the chemicals in fragrance and other products.
As someone with MCS, I’m also known as a “canary” with deference to the Canaries in the Coal Mine. As a canary, I often encounter looks of disbelief when I mention I can smell someone’s laundry detergent, or fragrance. I can smell it on them, their dog, their cat, their clothes, or even the package they are bringing me. I smell it in their home and in their car.
Often times, if it’s just a passing moment, I try to step back, or just tough it out, but sometimes I have to speak out. When I do, the most common response, after the surprised look, are:
“I didn’t put any perfume on this morning”
“I don’t smell anything”
Why the disparity in perception? There are several reasons that I have observed:
Posted in Air Quality, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Fragrance, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
Tagged canary, fragrance chemicals, fresh, laundry products, MCS, MCS/ES, perfume, petrochemicals
For people with MCS/ES, assistive devices can allow us to remain functional, independent, and able when we can’t control everything in our environments.
Slide with a few options from New MCS/ES Accommodation Resource
In addition to fragrance, chemical, and wireless free policies, these and other devices can help reduce or eliminate exposures to the pollutants that can otherwise completely disable people with MCS/ES. They can make the difference for people to remain employed when provided early enough, effectively minimizing the effects of MCS/ES.
Posted in Accessibility, Disability, Environmental Health, Health, Human Rights
Tagged air cleaners, air quality, assistive devices, assistive technology, disability tax credits, EHS, environmental sensitivities, Human Rights, insurance, MCS, MCS/ES, multiple chemical sensitivities, oxygen, petrochemicals, sensitive to pollution, systemic discrimination, wireless
For your information, here are scans of the MCS brochure from the Environmental Health Clinic at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, Ontario. Note that they see mostly patients with milder to middling MCS/ES (and there’s usually a 6-12 month wait list), as those with more severe MCS/ES are unable to access the clinic, it being in a regular hospital with hand sanitizers, hundreds of toxic people and plenty of unsafe materials everywhere.
The brochure is an introduction, and reducing exposures is always a good thing, but sometimes people with MCS/ES need to eliminate exposures to remain at all functional, and that’s where things become a lot more complicated, and why we need the OCEEH.