Category Archives: Education

Videos: What’s Making us Sick? The Chemical Erosion of Public Health

If you prefer getting your research information by watching and listening  instead of reading, here are a couple of video presentations by the esteemed Dr Stephen J. Genuis, who is one of the leading experts on  environmental health.

In these presentations he discusses the increases in chronic illness and mental health problems, chemical and other causes and effects,  shortcomings in our health care systems, as well as some treatment options to improve health.

I’ve also linked to related research for those of you who like to read.

videos 4 Genuis

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Lynn Lawson Received NCEHS EI Pioneer Award Weeks Before Her Death

1-2 Lawson - Lynn Lawson Holding NCEHS Award December 14, 2015 Lynn Lawson with award, December 14, 2015

Ninety year old Lynn Lawson of Evanston, IL passed away on January 30, 2016

In September, 2015, Mary Lamielle, Executive Director  of the National Center for Environmental Health Strategies,  named Lynn Lawson the first recipient of the NCEHS EI Pioneer Award:

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What We All Need Now: Personal Exposure Detection Devices!

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MyExposome has designed silicone wristbands (such as the ones worn in support of various causes) that are specially prepared to act as a sponge to absorb hundreds of different chemicals in our environment—the air, water, and even personal care products.

silicone-wristband-measures-1400-chemicals

The possibilities!

With all the toxic VOCs in everyday products,  the carcinogenic activity of the chemical cocktails we are exposed to on a daily basis, this is a great idea that can show people just how prevalent toxic chemicals have become, and how difficult it is to avoid them.

It would be really interesting to have a group of people with MCS/ES participate in some exposure measuring research, as those of us who have to practice extreme chemical avoidance for our health and well-being have some experiences that researchers will eventually find quite interesting.

Now, they would be able to see how difficult it is to avoid  these chemicals, even when making great efforts due to necessity (of course, different levels of MCS/ES dictate different levels of avoidance requirements and efforts too).

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Fragrance Facts Brochure

I’ve been looking through some of my old files and ran across this printable brochure about fragrances. Made by Betty Bridges in 2002, it has very useful information that is still relevant.

What has changed since then is that fragrance industry members voluntarily disclosed over 3000 ingredients that they commonly use (only they know how many were not disclosed, as the fragrance industry is still not regulated), and more research has come out on how harmful many of the fragrance ingredients are.

Additionally,  many  more people have become permanently disabled with MCS/ES, often originally triggered from fragrance chemical exposures (in Canada, there was a 31% increase in people diagnosed with MCS between 2005 and 2010, with many more undiagnosed due to a lack of doctors trained in environmental health matters), and  now it has become impossible to avoid 1st, 2nd and 3rd hand fragrance chemical exposures in the “developed” world, so everyone is constantly being exposed to these chemicals.

Fragrance Brochure 1- horz screenshots

Screenshot of brochure. Download the document at link below.

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Have Your Say For May by Amy

tilted momAmy from Florida shares this with us:

Q ~ If you could tell the world ONE thing about your life with MCS/ES (or any other invisible disability that has MCS/ES as a symptom), what would it be?

A ~ What I’d really like to tell the world about my life is a full explanation of MCS, such that everyone would understand it enough to prevent, treat and accommodate me and everyone with this illness. That seems like more than I could do even if I had a whole book rather than a blog post. So I will focus my answer on something a bit more manageable.

I would tell the world that the invisible nature of this illness affects me on many levels. Some of the substances I react to are invisible, though they are obviously detected by my body. Some of my symptoms are invisible to others, but are still felt by me and still limit my abilities. Most importantly, the primary survival mechanism of chemical sensitivity is avoidance, which means that I have to avoid public places. Thus, the sicker I am, the more invisible I am to my community. That invisible nature of this illness is the most devastating part for me.


Q ~ How has this one thing affected your life?

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MCS is International

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 01

Amelia’s story has been featured as the cover story in what may be South Australia’s most popular newspaper weekend magazine: Continue reading

Have Your Say for May by Mimi

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.

Mimi