Earth Day Human Canary Starter Pack

Human Canaries are what’s left after the signs from wildlife and nature weren’t respected, but we’re not long for this earth either, unless there are some significant changes in people’s daily habits – yes, things everyone can start to do RIGHT NOW!

Let’s start with some hashtags:

#HumanCanaries #EnvironmentalSensitivities #EarthDay #EarthDay2021 #MotherEarth #ChemicalSensitivity #MCS #EHS #IAQ #EnvironmentalHealth #air #water #disabilities #ScentFree #FragranceFree #BeFragranceFree #NonToxic #StopTheKill
Then move on to some science and other research (with apologies for the formatting, I really hate wordpress now):

… “Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from products such as shampoo, perfume and cleaning solutions eventually escape outside and contribute to ozone and fine particle formation, making up an even greater source of global atmospheric air pollution than cars and trucks do.”
… “VOC emission controls would stop the spread of the ozone season and have major benefits on public health, crop production, and particulate pollution,” said Hong Liao, Professor at NUIST and co-corresponding author of this work.” …
… “People who have allergies or sensitivity to certain products may have a bad reaction to a much lower level of chemicals, perfumes or environmental triggers than the average person.
Their reaction is a medical condition. It is a recognized disability.
People with allergies or environmental sensitivity are entitled to protection from its cause.”
… “We must find creative ways of ensuring public understanding, respect and adherence to providing the least toxic environment for all Ontarians. It may be trite to say everyone will benefit from living in the least toxic environment, but that is the task going forward.”
from ARCH Disability Law Centre and the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), “The Legal Rights and Challenges Faced by Persons with Chronic Disability Triggered by Environmental Factors” September 2019
… “Deodorant, shampoo, and other personal care products often contain siloxanes—chemicals that contaminate the environment as soon as they wash down the drain, migrate into fish, and wind up back on your plate.
Siloxanes are a group of silicon-based compounds that are used as carriers in personal care products and as intermediates in the production of silicone polymers.
This group of chemicals has recently come under scrutiny by environmental chemists, toxicologists, and regulators (such as the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA) because siloxanes easily bind to organic carbon particles and thus easily travel from our homes into the environment, where they become very persistent.”
NOTE: It’s not just water, they become airborne too:
“Emissions from products such as shampoo and perfume are comparable to the emissions from auto exhaust: When people are out and about, they leave plumes of chemicals behind them — from both car tailpipes and the products they put on their skin and hair.
In fact, emissions of siloxane, a common ingredient in shampoos, lotions, and deodorants, are comparable in magnitude to the emissions of major components of vehicle exhaust, such as benzene, from rush-hour traffic.”
…””Out of 419 chemicals found in hard, soft and foam plastic materials used in children toys, we identified 126 substances that can potentially harm children’s health either via cancer or non-cancer effects, including 31 plasticizers, 18 flame retardants, and 8 fragrances.”
Overall, soft plastics cause higher exposure to certain harmful chemicals, and inhalation exposure dominates overall children exposure, because children potentially inhale chemicals diffusing out of all toys in the room, while usually only touching one toy at the time,” Peter Fantke explains.” …
The full study includes long list of chemicals
Download the PDF here:

…”pharmaceutical chemicals… and other chemicals such as industrial, agricultural, cosmetics and pollutants.
The study confirmed the molecular mechanisms that were previously recognized as being sensitive to chemical exposure, such as oxidative stress. The study’s new findings that the pathways involving aging, lipid metabolism and autoimmune disease are also highly sensitive suggest that chemical exposures may have a role in such conditions as diabetes, fatty liver disease, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, among others.”
The interactions analyzed encompassed 17,338 unique genes and 1,239 unique chemicals. The researchers split their database of chemicals into two parts – pharmaceutical chemicals, which are designed to target known molecular cascades; and other chemicals such as industrial, agricultural, cosmetics and pollutants.
When the sensitivity of genes to pharmaceutical chemicals was compared to the sensitivity of genes to the other chemicals, the results were the same.
“That proves that when analysis is done on really big numbers of chemicals, their composition does not matter,” Suvorov says.
The study confirmed the molecular mechanisms that were previously recognized as being sensitive to chemical exposure, such as oxidative stress.
The study’s new findings that the pathways involving aging, lipid metabolism and autoimmune disease are also highly sensitive suggest that chemical exposures may have a role in such conditions as diabetes, fatty liver disease, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, among others.”
…”Consequently, the use of essential-oil-based cleaning products might generate a long-term increase in the indoor formaldehyde concentration, and the maximum levels might be sustained for several hours after cleaning. Thus, essential-oil-based cleaners should be seriously considered as versatile and significant sources of fragrance molecules and formaldehyde.”
… Our study provided a strong evidence to suggest that high levels of fine particle and formaldehyde might be produced when coexisting with emission of essential oils emissions and low concentration oxidants in the air, and consequently result in adverse health concerns for those using essential oils in general indoor environments.
Does the ubiquitous use of essential oil-based products promote indoor air quality? A critical literature review
Essential oils are frequently used as natural fragrances in housecleaning products and air fresheners marketed as green and healthy. However, these substances are volatile and reactive chemical species.
This review focuses on the impact of essential oil-based household products on indoor air quality.
First, housecleaning products containing essential oils are explored in terms of composition and existing regulations. Specific insight is provided regarding terpenes in fragranced housecleaning products, air fresheners, and pure essential oils.
Second, experimental methodologies for terpene monitoring, from sampling to experimental chambers and analytical methods, are addressed, emphasizing the experimental issues in monitoring terpenes in indoor air.
Third, the temporal dynamics of terpene emissions reported in the literature are discussed. Despite experimental discrepancies, essential oil-based products are significant sources of terpenes in indoor air, inducing a high exposure of occupants to terpenes.
Finally, the fate of terpenes is explored from sorptive and reactive points of view. In addition to terpene deposition on surfaces, indoor oxidants may induce homogeneous and heterogeneous reactions, resulting in secondary pollutants, such as formaldehyde and secondary organic aerosols.
Overall, essential oil-based products can negatively impact indoor air quality; therefore, standard protocols and real-scale approaches are needed to explore the indoor physics and chemistry of terpenes, from emissions to reactivity.
The Task Force on Environmental Health’s final report, Care Now,
proposes a system of care for people living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM) and Environmental Sensitivities/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (ES/MCS),
including ten recommendations to improve care, integrate care, and evaluate care.
144 pages | PDF format
“Time for Leadership: Recognizing and Improving Care” is a report from the Minister’s Task Force on Environmental Health, which recommends improving the understanding and recognition of environmental health conditions such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and environmental sensitivities/multiple chemical sensitivity.”
The full report is available for download in PDF format below:
And a report about the Government’s handling of the needed clinic and research:
Déjà vu all over again? Good but too little: The Interim Report of Ontario’s Task Force on Environmental Health
By Varda Burstyn October 3, 2017
Varda is “an independent writer and scholar, over the years Varda Burstyn’s extensive body of work in print, radio, documentary film and fiction, and in scholarly journals and books has tackled hard issues in politics, popular culture, science, technology, health and the environment.”
From 2008 to 2017, with several other senior colleagues, she was the initiator, then eventually the lead overall project consultant of what turned into a multi-year, multi-stakeholder study process to establish an Ontario Centre of Exellence in Environmental Health (OCEEH).
This process eventually resulted in the establishment of the () Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Task Force on Environmental Health in June 2016. She was a member of the task force until February 2017, when she resigned.
2021: Ontario gov gives access barrier manufacturer $850,000 to create more access barriers:
“Dimachem has entered a multi-year toll manufacturing contract with The Clorox Company, a leading multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer and professional products, to manufacture 12 million bottles of Pine-Sol per year.
“With the investment from the Ontario Together Fund for our new production line and blow molding equipment to produce PET bottles and packaging, Dimachem will be able to produce 12 million bottles of Clorox’s Pine-Sol per year,” said Andrew Conway, Vice President, Dimachem Inc.
“We are proud to be part of the province’s effort to increase domestic capacity in the fight against COVID-19.” “At Clorox, our purpose is to champion people to be well and thrive every single day. With the localized production of Pine-Sol, we are able to further enhance our domestic production capabilities, while keeping up with the growing Canadian demand for effective disinfection solutions,” said Dave Iacobelli, President & GM, Clorox Canada.
“As we battle through this pandemic together, we are proud to provide Canadians assurance around safety and wellness through our products.”
Read about Pinesol on page 7 Clorox on pg 5 & 13 of this new (April 2021) report:
Beyond the Label: Health Impacts of Harmful Ingredients in Cleaning Products
All products in the report are access barriers for people with #EnvironmentalSensitivities .
Other toxic hazards exist too.
AODA Review by David Onley:
“Ensure that accessibility standards respond to the needs of people with environmental sensitivities.”
The Medical Perspective on Environmental Sensitivities
Are you an employer or service provider?
Do you understand, from a medical perspective, why you need to accommodate individuals with environmental sensitivities?
Do you know what policies or guidelines you should implement to ensure your environment is safe for all?
This report summarizes scientific information about environmental sensitivities and addresses issues such as recognition by medical authorities, education and training, impact of environmental sensitivities in the workplace, and guidelines for accommodation.
Overall, 34.7 % of the population reported health problems when exposed to fragranced products.
72.6 % were not aware that even so-called natural, green, and organic fragranced products typically emit hazardous air pollutants.
Further, 15.1 % have lost workdays or a job due to fragranced product exposure in the workplace.
“Back in 2012, Frank Clegg (previous President/CSO of Microsoft Canada) and I went to speak to Industry Canada together. There was a hamlet over on Lake Huron that wanted to be Canada’s first white zone, or Radio-Free Zone. It was a perfect place to set up in a radio-free area in Canada.
Industry Canada told us they would legally block all attempts to do this anywhere in Canada, that there would be no areas in Canada without cellservice.
Canada is a very large country, and there are a lot of people with electrosensitivity who need a place to live and try to recover. It seems pretty inhumane to deprive people of this chance to live a normal life or even attempt to help themselves”
~ Melissa Chalmers (page 131)
“Proceedings froma Symposium on the Impacts of Wireless Technology on Health”
Published by the Environmental Health Clinic,Women’s College Hospital, University of Toronto, Canada, 2021
People with MCS/ES experience adverse effects that range from mild to disabling to life threatening from exposures to products and materials made by the oil, gas, and chemical industry and/or the tech industry.
Ever wonder why we’ve been made invisible?


“Prevalence of diagnosed MCS has increased over 300%, and self-reported chemical sensitivity over 200%, in the past decade. Reducing exposure to fragranced products could help reduce adverse health and societal effects.”
4.2 Recommendations
1. Accepting the leadership offered by the Task Force on Environmental Health to address the health care system, proactive change can begin immediately at all levels of society including federal, provincial, and municipal governments and public departments and agencies.
These would include, but are not limited to, public transportation providers, school boards, and the private sector.
For example:
a. All provincial ministries should consult on and revise their Statements of Environmental Values (as required under Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights) to achieve procurement policies, workplace scent-free policies, and other means to reduce environmental triggers in their workplaces, with particular focus on addressing front-line/public-facing departments and services.
b. Likewise, all municipal governments should consult on and finalize comparable policies to address procurement, workplace scent-free policies, and other means to reduce environmental triggers in municipal workplaces, and particularly in front-line/public-facing services and departments.
c. Similarly, both public and private transit and transportation services (buses, trains, taxis, etc.) should also develop scent or fragrance free policies.
2. A corporate challenge is needed to address environmental triggers in the private sector in three major respects: workplaces, consumer product pricing and housing:
~ ARCH Disability Law Centre and the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), “The Legal Rights and Challenges Faced by Persons with Chronic Disability Triggered by Environmental Factors”
Painting of a pregnant Mother Earth surrounded by pollutants and fire
Description: Pregnant Mother Earth surrounded by pollutants and fire.

by Mario Rosales Ramírez
“Ponle un Alto al Calentamiento Global”
(I do not have a translation for this)
PS… Did I mention how much I hate all the changes wordpress has made recently? Everything is a huge pain and the formatting can’t be fixed no matter what I try to do, so thanks wp, for ruining what could have been an easy way for people to learn more and prevent deaths). Sorry everyone…

6 responses to “Earth Day Human Canary Starter Pack

  1. Continued gratitude for your hard work. (Together with me all of us know well how beyond difficult such efforts can be while still attempting to care for yourself and your daily essential needs and survival.). Thank you..

  2. The 2018 Care Now report includes an effort to support research geared to the PREVENTION of (the onset of?) chronic environmental sensitivity. That is something vital, however, the document was rather thin on details. Ummmm. Get rid of the toxicant exposure in the world? Don’t allow new chemicals unless they are reasonably proved to not be toxicants? Allow harmed individuals to more easily sue for damages? The finger-pointing inherent in a Prevention strategy is not going to be popular with indu$try.

    I wish there was more focus to support people living day-to-day in their homes safely, instead of concentrating on medical ‘management’ of their symptoms. The concepts of private ‘home’ or ‘residence’ are barely mentioned. People being safe in their homes is going to involve isolating from external toxicants (by design) and ensuring that the home is, itself, remains safe at all times, from these invisible harms. A tall order.

    The word ‘electromagnetic’ did not show up at all. That is an increasing portion of the sensitivities, both acute and chronic, so should be in scope more clearly.

    I would have liked to have seen ‘tradepersons’ added to the list of priority groups (such as employers and landlords) that need to be made aware of the need to present as unfragranced to their clients (and without their antenna-containing devices). Plumbers, electricians, handypersons and such cannot be worked around so they must be borne by the sensitive person — not just the tradesperson, but their equipment, supplies and practices. These professions are heavy users of plastics and various goops. I don’t know the path forward, but the solution won’t come without very active coordination from the industries involved.

    But, realistically, if the sensitive person cannot even convince their own family about the dire need for their accommodation to be fragrance-free (or RF-free for EHS) when visiting, then we are not going to see tradespersons do it. There is a balance of ‘freedoms’, where the ‘sensitive’ seems to lose more often than not, with negative health consequences.

    And back to the first point. It is perhaps more productive to work on PREVENTION than on ACCOMMODATION after the fact.

    • There was a comment in at least one of the 2 task force reports that EHS was included under ES but that they were focusing on the other 3 conditions as per their mandate. Otherwise, Lyme Disease etc could have also been included…

      I think their mandate was rather narrowly defined, the report from ARCH and CELA (which was mentioned above and posted to SStP too) did say something about how their mandate could have included more than what was released, and I heard on the grapevine that there were change and suppression efforts… as well as an election, and change of government, during which time all task forces implemented by the previous government were halted (and some didn’t even get to resume and finish, from what I was hearing).

      ARCH and CELA made more recommendations from a wider societal perspective, but again, everyone misses key points, some of which you mentioned.

      CERA used to be more involved on the housing front and a couple of legal associations even published news of their latest resource a couple of years ago, but then CERA went and changed their links and removed all previous content and removed ES from their search results, so methinks someone got to them, as is par for the historical course…

      Do you think anyone in any level of government or disability legislation would tell me who the governing bodies are for trades? Who licenses plumbers or who their trades associations are so that info could be sent out from ‘head office’ to all who are registered, asking if any are accessible?

      Of course prevention is in everyone’s best interest, except those who profit from the harm… and unfortunately those special interests control a large portion of our economy and government reps.

      For those who haven’t witnessed the process, the film STINK, about a recently widowed father, who starts wondering why his kids new pj’s stink, and who starts making calls to find out what is making them stink, takes us on a journey of what he discovered… He shows some of what goes on…

      Also, don’t forget that ableism is rampant, so anyone who isn’t independent, or whose needs aren’t temporary (like recovering from a broken leg or a short encounter with cancer) and can’t be met with a regular recipe casserole or trip to the fragranced supermarket or drug store, is too inconvenient, and must have done something wrong to deserve their misery, plus, they should just get help from the countless social safety nets, despite everyone clamoring for tax cuts (that in reality only benefit the very wealthy) that decimated those safety nets over the last decades… So many myths persist… and those who perpetuate them (including our governments who claim the existing regulations are fine) control the narrative because they have the $$$ to spend on marketing or infiltration of groups (like what Q did).

      Most people have no idea how policies are made, or how much money goes into messaging that can make people hear what they want to hear without actually saying anything truthful…

      The system benefits very few… and the wannabees suck up to their demands… It’s all a game to them, to see how much they can get away with, and how they can prevent others from doing anything about it.


  3. Suppose someone, who visited clients in their homes, wanted to self-identify to what level of ehs- or mcs-suitabiliity (ie, how fragrance- or RF-free) they are willing to be for those clients. How might that work? It is pretty easy to offer a guarantee not to introduce RF signals into a space, since this can be verified with a quality meter. However, for MCS, even if the person does not stink, some of their fancy plastic equipment would.

    I can see the trendlines of EHS and MCS in the population and they are going to continue increasing, percentage-wise, as society is ever more effective at poisoning ourselves. So my inquiry is how do we, without overmuch formalism, craft some kind of ‘score’ or ‘compliance level’ for a tradesperson who visits the home [I will put myself in that category]? Also, how might we do the reverse, to give a ‘score required’ or ‘compliance level required’ for the client?

    I will illustrate by means of an example, so I would be interested to hear about proposals that have already been thought out better that mine.

    Level I
    Not purposely wearing anything on the day that is fragranced, if done imperfectly, since this is not their normal life choice.

    Level ||
    Never use personal care products or practices on the ‘bad’ list as part of a lifestyle choice, at least the vast majority. No known mold exposure. No proximity to animals that may have been shampooed or have flea treatment.

    Plus is willing to exercise reasonable cautions in prep for visit — clothing of natural materials that has been washed simply and do not reek, no toothpaste, no recent fuel fill-ups, no coffee, separate pair of indoor footwear or fresh covers, no public transportation or extended proximity to anyone not at least as MCS-ready, recent shower and handwash with just glycerin soap, use graphite in lieu of ink, loose papers sealed in plastic sleeve, any manufactured materials have been previously aired out for days, wearing face mask if requested.

    Level ||| —

    Tell me about level III.

    Some plastics are unavoidable (ie, an expensive device necessary to the task, electrician’s gloves).

    Some tools are lubricated.

    Must one avoid garlic for days before lest it weep from the skin pores? Other dietary changes?

    Is there any known measurement device (costing $1500 or less) that one can use to determine if a suspect piece of kit is ‘too stinky’, perhaps a meter that quantifies VOCs, TVOCs, SVOCs, Formaldehydes, common aromatics, or perhaps micron-sized particle counters or Raman spectrometers (to identify chemical signatures via their spectra). Even with all of this, I suspect there will be some MCS folks who cannot tolerate some other, ineffable, quality or has unique sensitivities, the negotiation of which will take time (that should be billable time, to be fair).

    • Good thoughts… will try to answer in more detail tomorrow.

      Will say for now that the challenge is more difficult due to the systemic discrimination people with MCS face re policy decisions.

      We’d need a number of people with different levels of MCS/ES discussing to make sure the guidelines are made inclusively and not worded in any way that would leave an impression that something will work for everyone, which would set things up for failure.

      It can be done… some early attempts have been made. I’ve shared a few of them on this site. We just don’t have the comprehensive yet simple to follow guide yet.

      Then we’d need them to be distributed widely once consensus was achieved.

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