When we develop MCS/ES, one of the first concerns we have is how to keep our job when other people keep using products and materials that disable us.
Some people are able to negotiate a legally required accommodation policy, but sadly, too many people find these policies are rarely or effectively enforced as they should be.
Recent research from Dr Anne Steinemann shows there are serious adverse impacts due to fragrance use:
“Significantly, 15.1 % of the general population reported that exposure to fragranced products in their work environment has caused them to become sick, lose workdays, or lose a job. Also, 20.2 % of the population reported that if they enter a business, and smell air fresheners or some fragranced product, they want to leave as quickly as possible.
Here are some Human Rights resources on various laws, regulations, and solutions that, when enforced, can help people remain employed without losing their health and abilities:
The Canadian Human Rights Commission Policy and Papers on Environmental Sensitivities
The first Guides to Accommodating the Needs of People with Environmental Sensitivities in Canada
Disability and human rights from the Ontario Human Rights Commission
Ontario Policy on ableism and discrimination based on disability
Accommodating Persons with Environmental Sensitivities: Challenges and Solutions from the Great Lakes ADA Center
See some examples here:
Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Accommodation Ideas for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or Environmental Illness
Accessible Meetings, Events & Conferences Guide from ADA Hospitality addresses Chemical and Electrical Sensitivities
Fragrance free policies from around the world
No-one should lose their health, abilities, and job because of other people’s product habits, especially products that are optional and not medically required. Finding and implementing the use of safe and healthy products and practices is straightforward and simple, but only when the attitudinal barriers are addressed and removed.
Please remember too, that accommodating people with environmental, chemical, and electro “sensitivities” benefits everyone, as these accommodations make all environments healthier for everyone who uses them.
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