“I have to wear my mask to do laundry in the basement because of mustiness and other people’s fragrances.”
~ Marie LeBlanc
Marie also shared an artistically altered image of her wearing her mask while waiting to see a doctor, because people were ignoring the fragrance-free signs on the wall behind her. Continue reading
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Fragrance, Health Care, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
Tagged chemical sensitivity, doctors, environmental sensitivities, Fragrance, fragrance chemicals, fragrance-free, hazardous air pollutants, masks, MCS, MCS/ES, multiple chemical sensitivities, petrochemicals, toxic trespass, VOCs
When breathing the air hurts…
When we have to filter and “purify” the air just to breathe…
What options do we have?
The Courageous Canaries of MCS/ES (and mask) Awareness Month 2016
Having an invisible disability is difficult, especially when many of the adverse effects are delayed and we have to deal with them in isolation. Some people feel self conscious about wearing a mask, especially if we can’t find a “pretty” one that we are able to use, despite how they can reduce adverse effects. If there’s any good that comes from wearing one (in addition to protecting our health a bit) wearing a mask when we have an invisible disability helps make us visible.
The type of mask we benefit most from will depend on our “sensitivities” and circumstances. Masks will filter the air we breathe in various degrees, but unless we have a full face respirator and wear a hazmat suit, our eyes and skin will still absorb chemicals that can have an adverse effect on our health and well-being. For this reason, they should not be thought of as complete protection from pollution, and are therefore best used only when absolutely necessary.
Information and resources about masks that filter out some of the different types of daily pollutants we are subjected to, and what kinds of filter materials are needed to purify what kinds of pollutants follows.
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Disability, Environmental Health, Health Care, Pollution, Products
Tagged allergies, asthma, cancer, Chemicals, environment, environmental sensitivities, fragrance chemicals, hazardous air pollutants, indoor air, invisible disabilities, MCS, MCS/ES, multiple chemical sensitivities, petrochemicals, phthalates, sensitive to pollution, toxic chemicals, toxic trespass, VOCs
Canada’s top medical journal, the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), says
“Artificial scents have no place in our hospitals“
“These patients may be involuntarily exposed to artificial scents from staff, other patients and visitors, resulting in worsening of their clinical condition. As patients,
family members and emergency physicians will attest, the attacks can be quite sudden and serious. There is little justification for continuing to tolerate artificial scents in our
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Disability, Environmental Health, Fragrance, Health, Health Care, Hospital Protocols, Policy, Precaution, Public Health
Tagged allergies, asthma, autism, cancer, environmental sensitivities, Fragrance, fragrance-free policy, hazardous air pollutants, health care access for people with MCS/ES, Human Rights, IAQ, MCS, MCS/ES, multiple chemical sensitivity, petrochemicals, phthalates, toxic chemicals, toxic trespass
That may seem like a dumb question to people who haven’t been in a hospital, but to the rest of us, including those of us who can’t even go into a hospital in life or death situations, it’s a serious one.
Check out this TEDMED video where Robin Guenther* discusses connections between health and environmental design, and what she and others are doing to make things different:
Posted in Accessibility, Environmental Health, Health, Health Care, Healthy Environment, Hospital Protocols, Public Health
Tagged design, health care access for people with MCS/ES, hospitals, sick, video
Guest post and images by Laura J Mac
What always strikes me during conversations about how to persuade service providers to accommodate our disability is how much extra work we have to do just to participate in simple survival stuff. I mean, “simply” tracking down professionals who are willing to accommodate is a chore and a half. The luxury of “having a good relationship” with a service provider falls way down on the list because it’s usually one or the other.
Nobody would think twice about someone who uses a mobility device asking if there are ramps and elevators but it seems that our need for fragrance-free and reduced chemical exposure is perceived as a “preference” rather than a medical necessity. That perception leads to the idea that accommodation of our disability is an “option” (and generally it’s an “option” that service providers aren’t willing to make available.) It’s not that we don’t “like” fragrance, these chemical exposures cause neurological and physiological problems that interfere with our ability to function on a daily basis.
Posted in Accessibility, Disability, Environmental Health, Fragrance, Health Care, Human Rights, Indoor Air Quality, Mental Health, Policy, Public Health
Tagged AODA, Chemicals, environmental sensitivities, fragrance-free policy, hazardous air pollutants, health, IAQ, invisible disabilities, MCS, MCS/ES, mental health, multiple chemical sensitivities, Ontario, petrochemicals
Before I got sick, I was a dog trainer. My life was centered around my dogs,maybe too much, but I was happy. I taught basic classes, worked with serious behavior problems, and competed with my own dogs. It was my culture, and my life.
As MCS started to creep in, it make more difficult and even dangerous, to continue. To have poor reflexes or to miss something because I was brain fogged, could be the difference between success and failure, and sometimes failure meant a bite.
So I had to give it up. But I didn’t give up my personal dogs. While the number of dogs has diminished, I still have 3 beautiful and wonderful dogs left that keep me happy, keep me laughing and keep me sane. They make me get up on the bad days, cuddle with me when I’m sick, and keep my spirits up when I’m sad. And on a really good day, I train.
Posted in Accessibility, Chemicals, Disability, Environmental Health, Fragrance, Health Care
Tagged air quality, barriers, dogs, fragrance-free, health, MCS, pet care, pets, veterinarians, veterinary clinic
Recognition Inclusion and Equity is the name of the new website for the OCEEH. Their comprehensive reports and other information about this much needed project can all be found there now. Please check it out and also “like” their facebook page if you are on facebook.
Why? From their website:
Our overarching goal is to achieve ‘recognition, inclusion and equity’ for people living with the often painful and disabling conditions of ES/MCS (environmental sensitivities/multiple chemical sensitivity), ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/ chronic fatigue syndrome) and FM (fibromyalgia).
At present, more than 568,000 patients with these conditions lack the normal rights, benefits, policies, programs and facilities that Ontario makes available to those with conditions of comparable severity and prevalence. …
CONDITIONS OF COMPARABLE SEVERITY AND PREVALENCE
Posted in Child Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Fibromyalgia, Health Care, MCS/ES, ME/CFS, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Public Health
Tagged chronic environmentally linked conditions, complex chronic illnesses, health care access for people with MCS/ES, OCEEH