Category Archives: Air Quality

UK’s Clean Air Strategy 2019 Addresses Product VOCs

The UK has released their Clean Air Strategy 2019 document and it contains some groundbreaking measures that, if implemented, will have very positive impacts on the environment and our health.

It encompasses many areas of air pollution, including indoor air pollutants for the 1st time in any meaningful way, which as NOAA recently pointed out, have as large an impact on outdoor air pollution as vehicle exhaust!

The few news reports I saw did mention air “fresheners” and perfumes, with some building materials, but didn’t get into details. I had to dig through the document and what follows is most of what pertains to our interests here, being seriously sensitive to indoor pollutants.

I’m sure that other sources will focus on the regular types of outdoor pollutants quite well, while mostly ignoring the indoor products and materials, so I will not touch upon them, except for a few illustration screenshots  from the report.

I’ve added  very little of my own commentary. It’s almost entirely copied and pasted (and reformatted) from their document, so you can see for yourself what their plans are regarding NMVOCs (non-methane volatile organic compounds) from consumer products and materials that leave so many of us disabled and housebound, and unfortunately, far too rarely in a home that protects us from exposures and contributes to our well-being.

 

Among other types of pollutants, the executive summary of the report includes:

Chapter 6: Action to reduce emissions at home

Many people are unaware that emissions in the home increase personal exposure to pollutants and contribute significantly to our overall national emissions.

Burning wood and coal in open fires and stoves makes up 38% of the UK’s primary emissions of fine particulate matter1 (PM2.5). Harmful sulphur dioxide (SO2) is emitted by coal burned in open fires.

Non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) from a wide variety of chemicals that are found in carpets, upholstery, paint, cleaning, fragrance, and personal care products are another significant source of pollution.

We will:

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What’s it Like to Have MCS/ES? Part 2: Curbs

MCS/ES (multiple chemical sensitivities / environmental sensitivities)  is a disability recognized by the Canadian and Ontario Human Rights Codes. There are over a million people with doctor diagnosed MCS in Canada, and so many more all around the world.

In the US, the latest prevalence study found that “among the population, 12.8% report medically diagnosed MCS and 25.9% report chemical sensitivity.”

The term ‘sensitivities’ seems to trivialize the condition in many people’s minds.

You may wonder what’s it really like then, if it’s not trivial?

 

 

From Amy RW Marsh:

I just wrote this analogy for a person who needed one in order to understand EI/MCS:

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Return to Vendor

Get something stinky
as a gift?
Don’t toss it
on the street
or in the trash.
Don’t regift it
to a friend
or enemy.
Don’t donate it
to a charity.
Do send a message
loud and clear!

Now’s the time Continue reading

How NOT to Do a Scent (or fragrance) Policy

This is why so many people with MCS/ES, MCAD/MCAS, asthma, migraines,  and fragrance allergies and sensitivities lose their jobs and end up  housebound.

When policies are mere wallpaper, they become dangerous.
Real people’s lives and well-being are threatened.

Please, do not put up a sign if you are not going to respect or enforce it.

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Choices… We Always Have Some

When Toxics Drift

we end up with choices.

Sit outside for a little while to get some Vitamin D

or

Be able to think, wash dishes, and/or make something to eat

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When Toxics Drift

Toxics Drift
smoke, asphalt, refineries, pesticides, gases, laundry fumes, etc

When pollutants drift, then people (and other living beings) get hurt, especially the many millions who are more ‘sensitive’ to pollution.

Smoke is one form of pollution that is visible, but other types may not be.

Here are a few images that show how different types of visible pollutants move through the air we all depend on to breathe, and how far they can travel:

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Fragrance-Free Initiative From UC Boulder’s OIT

 

The Fragrance-Free Initiative from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) has created a video I really like,  and they have also put together some other resources that can be useful to learn from when creating fragrance-free policies.

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