Category Archives: Government

Sandra Steingraber and Toxic Trespass on Bill Moyers: Video

For anyone interested in environmental health and the health of children, Sandra Steingraber is an inspiration and wealth of information. She has written several books and many articles. Her first book, Living Downstream, was turned into a feature film.

Biologist, mother and activist Sandra Steingraber discusses her fight against fracking and toxins contaminating our air, water and food.

Steingraber returns often to the concept of “toxic trespass” — which “means that chemicals without our consent enter our body sometimes because we inhale them”

Here she is in an interview with Bill Moyers, (you can watch it here or go to his website) and the link to her website is below, where you can access many of those articles and order her books.

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UN and WHO say hormone-disrupting chemicals are a ‘global threat’

“Frankly, for BPA, the science is done. Flame retardants, phthalates … the science is done,” Zoeller said. “We have more than enough information on these chemicals to make the reasonable decision to ban, or at least take steps to    limit exposure.”

Phthalates are found in fragrances, laundry and other personal care and cleaning products, soft plastics, (PVC) and even in time released medications!!!

Exposures to these chemicals are currently very difficult to avoid, and require diligent personal effort and significant financial investments. But even that is not enough to avoid exposure.

edc_cover

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Wireless Warnings: BioInitiative Report on Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF)

Wireless Warnings From the BioInitiative Report:

THE BIOINITIATIVE REPORT 2012

A Rationale for Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF)

The updated report is now available for download and I’ve skimmed through some of it. What is clear is that there is enough evidence to be concerned, very concerned, about the exposures we are being subjected to. Current global wireless (and other) safety standards are not adequate to protect us from some pretty serious harm to our health. The report calls for immediate action in order to reduce threats to public health.

If you think there’s more than enough evidence to call for immediate precaution, then please share the link to the report with your lawmakers and legislators, and pay attention to tips you see on ways to protect yourself and your family until regulatory changes are made. And don’t be afraid to discuss this with others.

What follows are snippets I copied from parts of the report, things that stood out the most for me. They are not my words, they are copied from the report. If you want to see the actual research, download the report, it’s all in there.

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Cosmetics and Fragrance Industry claims government regulations are sufficient

Dear Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association,

How about not hiding behind lax government regulations?

Sincerely,

Me

In  the letter I received from them (included below) they claim that: “it is illegal to sell cosmetics or other personal care products that would cause harm when used as intended”

Really?

Then why are so many people getting asthma, headaches, chemical sensitivities, and some other serious and disabling effects from their products?

CCTFA hides behind lax regulations

CCTFA hides behind lax regulations

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Canadian Recognition of MCS/ES (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities/Environmental Sensitivities)

The Canadian Human Rights Commission

Policy on Environmental Sensitivities

Individuals with environmental sensitivities experience a variety of adverse reactions to environmental agents at concentrations well below those that might affect the “average person”. This medical condition is a disability and those living with environmental sensitivities  are entitled to the protection of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. …

UPDATE 2013: see Canadian Human Rights Documents Archived

Ontario’s Human Rights Code

What is disability?

“Disability” covers a broad range and degree of conditions, some visible and some not visible. A disability may have been present from birth, caused by an accident, or developed over time. There are physical, mental and learning disabilities, mental disorders, hearing or vision disabilities, epilepsy, drug and alcohol dependencies, environmental sensitivities, and other conditions.

The Code protects people from discrimination because of past, present and perceived disabilities. For example, the Code protects a person who faces discrimination because she is a recovered alcoholic. So is a person whose condition does not limit their workplace abilities, but who is believed to be at greater risk of being able to do less in the future.

http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/disability-and-human-rights

CERA the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation

…While environmental sensitivities are not well understood by the general public, they are recognized by Health Canada, the Canadian Health Network, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Canadian and Ontario Human Rights Commissions, the Ontario Medical Association and the Environmental Health Committee of the Ontario College of Family Physicians – among others….

http://www.equalityrights.org/cera/?page_id=674

Environmental Health Clinic

The Environmental Health Clinic is a unique multidisciplinary clinic, and the only one of its kind in Ontario. It was established in 1996 by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to be a provincial resource in promoting environmental health, and to improve health care for people with environment-linked conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivities.

The Environmental Health Clinic is the clinical part of a joint clinical and research program of Women’s College Hospital and the University of Toronto.

http://www.womenscollegehospital.ca/programs-and-services/environmental-health-clinic469/

This post is in response to a request.

If anyone can provide other links, including the sources mentioned by CERA, I will add them.  Thanks in advance.

1844 Bloor St. West

1844 Bloor Street West

(1991-2010)

From fixing up the run down house in 1991, to raising my two wonderful children, planting and tending a garden, living and celebrating life with friends and family, to getting sick, to almost dying…

Memories of life at 1844 Bloor St W 1991-2010.

My father, daughter and son on the porch… 91 or 92.

After cleaning and painting inside, I think it took almost 20 bags to remove the weeds and garbage and unearth the garden. Only the hollyhock, a red rose, and some alyssum in the rock garden were there when I moved in.

It took a few years to get the perennial garden going. My father’s old porch railing was re-purposed as a fence for a few years. People used to smile when they went by. More people who lived on Bloor St W started planting flowers in front. People often asked me if it was my garden when I was out shoveling snow, and told me how much they enjoyed seeing the seasonal changes.

When I got too sick to care for it because of the vehicle exhaust and laundry fumes from the apartment buildings, I watched from the windows as people stole plants, rocks and other items I’d placed there.

~

Many birthdays were celebrated in 1844…

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Not so Equal Access to Health Care in Ontario or Systemic Barriers to Access for People with MCS/ES

Some places like Ontario, where I live, have disability access laws that state service providers, including those in healthcare, must accommodate people who are disabled.

On a government website, it states:

Barriers to accessibility are obstacles that make it difficult — sometimes impossible — for people with disabilities to do the things most of us take for granted — things like going shopping, working, or taking public transit… 

(or receiving health care services)

When we think of barriers to accessibility, most of us think of physical barriers — like a person who uses a wheelchair not being able to enter a public building because there is no ramp.

The fact is there are many kinds of barriers. Some are visible. Many are invisible:

•    Attitudinal barriers are those that discriminate against people with disabilities.

•    Organizational barriers are an organization’s policies, practices or procedures that discriminate against people with disabilities.

•    Architectural and physical barriers are features of buildings or spaces that cause problems for people with disabilities.
Chemical or “environmental” barriers prevent people like myself who have disabling medical conditions from breathing and functioning properly when exposed to these invisible, toxic and disabling barriers, resulting in both short and long term impacts.

How many of us do not have safe access to healthcare in Ontario?
How many of us do not have safe access to healthcare in Ontario?

In the ” Guide to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07″,  it says that Hospitals and health services provide goods or services  and as  designated public sector organizations should have been in Compliance by January 1, 2010…

It also states:
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Chemical Industry Blocks Attempts to Create Healthier Buildings and Materials

Hot on the heels of several eye-popping reports about how toxic chemicals and industry bought politics are  impacting our health, including the Chicago Tribune’s expose of  how the chemical industry has succeeded in getting toxic flame retardants added to home furnishings in amounts that harm us but do nothing to prevent fires,  indeed making fires more toxic too, from Bill Walsh at the Healthy Building Network comes news of how the chemical industry is blocking efforts to create healthier buildings.

No wonder healthy housing is so hard to find!

Chemical Giants Target the USGBC: Part 1

Bill Walsh
Bill Walsh

By Bill Walsh, Executive Director
Healthy Building Network

May 22, 2012

The credibility of the US chemical industry has taken a beating in the press this month. But instead of apologizing, pledging to reform its ways, or disciplining a “few bad apples,” for being caught lying red handed, the industry has doubled down and launched an all out attack on the US Green Building Council.[1] The focus of the attack – modest amendments to the LEED Rating System, two voluntary credits that address the presence of endocrine-disrupting chemicals and other toxins in LEED-rated buildings.

continue reading at : Healthy Building Network

 

 

Air Quality and Accessibility in Health Care; Why Aren’t All Health Care Providers Fragrance-Free?

Can you smoke in a hospital or doctor’s office? No. Why not? Because smoke adversely impacts air quality and our health (despite what the tobacco industry has tried to claim).


So why then are fragrance chemicals still allowed in these environments?

One would think that with so much information about how harmful most fragranced items are, and how easy it is to find fragrance free substitutes, that the health care profession would be the first to embrace fragrance-free, low to no VOC indoor environments for both themselves and all the sick and vulnerable people they serve. This includes children, people with asthma, autism, heart and respiratory diseases, migraines, chemical and environmental “sensitivities”, and others who are prone to having symptoms greatly exacerbated by fragrance chemicals and poor indoor air quality.

We know some fragrance ingredients cause cancer. We know some are endocrine disruptors. Some are even neuro-toxic.  Fragrance chemicals trigger asthma, allergies, migraines, and mild to life threatening symptoms in people. Some of the chemicals have been linked to early puberty in girls, reduced sperm counts in men, reproductive defects in the developing male fetus (when the mother is exposed during pregnancy),  and hormone disruption which leads to some cancers, thyroid disease, obesity, and diabetes. There is also evidence suggesting that exposure to one of the ingredients that make fragrances last longer and stick to everything may cause liver and kidney failure in young children. What more are we waiting for?

Graphics by Roslyn Rodgers, health effects text by Linda Sepp.

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Toronto: ME/CFS, Fm and MCS Awareness Day‏ May 12, 2012.

City of Toronto Proclamation
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities Awareness Day
May 12, 2012

WHEREAS the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Association of Ontario is a non-profit organization that has served our community since 1991, to support individuals living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.

Over 568,000 Ontarians are afflicted by these three chronic illnesses. Once diagnosed, one is often ill for years and as many as 70 per cent are disabled for life. These illnesses affect men, women and children of all backgrounds and presently the cause is unknown.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), is a neurological and autoimmune disease characterized by overwhelming fatigue, pain, headaches, cardiac symptoms, immune disorders, dizziness and balance problems.

Fibromyalgia (FM) is characterized by severe musculoskeletal pain and tenderness in many areas of the body, along with fatigue and sleep dysfunction, generalized or regional stiffness and in some cases neurological and cognitive symptoms. This pain can become strong enough to prevent people from working or engaging in physical activities for months and even years.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), also called Environmental Sensitivities or Intolerance, is characterized by an unusually severe sensitivity or allergy-like reaction to many different kinds of pollutants such as chemicals, perfumes and other environmental triggers.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Rob Ford, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim May 12, 2012 as “Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities Awareness Day” in the City of Toronto.

Mayor Rob Ford

http://www.toronto.ca/proclamations/2012/chemicalsensitivities2012.htm