Category Archives: Health

MCS Survey for May 2019

Survey for People with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) and/or Environmental Illness and Injury (EII)

Guest post from Mordecai Cohen Ettinger,
The Health Justice Commons

I’ve had MCS for nearly 20 years. I’m a survivor of of the Three Mile Island partial nuclear meltdown, excessive x-ray radiation from medical treatment as a child from a teaching hospital that has since been ongoingly investigated for bioethics violations, and successive exposures to lead and mold from reckless landlords.

I’ve been a community activist for many years, along with a scholar and teacher of Critical Science, Technology and Medicine Studies.

In late 2016, I founded the Health Justice Commons, a non-profit. Our mission is to re-imagine and remake healthcare for our times.

To support efforts for MCS Awareness Month, we want to address the gap of basic research of our experiences.

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Are Natural Fragrances Really Any Better?

Awareness is growing about the harmful effects of synthetic, artificial fragrances. This is with good reason, but now, many people have jumped onto the natural fragrance and essential oil (EO) bandwagons, believing them to be safe alternatives.

Is this a good thing?

Some believe so, after all, what could be wrong with something that’s natural?

It’s time to have a closer look.

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Product Safety Gaps are Actually Canyons

Many people believe that for a product to be sold, it has to first be proven safe.
Unfortunately this is far from the truth.

I ran across a great in depth article in Fast Company about product safety,
and how:

“There are no laws in place to ensure a company’s
product development process results in safe products,

because product safety is entirely voluntary.”

and to echo what I’ve been saying:

“Today, public outcry is doing much of the work
that government agencies cannot.”

More snippets from the very informative and long article follow:

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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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So You Think We’re Being Difficult When We ask You to Change Products?

Seriously though:

We are not trying to make your life difficult.

We’re just asking you to choose products that don’t disable us.

“Really? Products we can buy in every store disable you?”

Yes! Everyday products and materials can disable us.

There’s actually a lot of info out there that the things that disable us are harming many other people too, just in different ways.

An info dump of links are included below. Take your time and read through them, as you will learn things that will help you protect yourself and your family in the absence of product and material regulations that should exist to protect us.

In many places, it’s also the law to accommodate us
to the point of undue hardship.

“inconvenience, morale, and preferences are not valid considerations in assessing whether an accommodation would cause undue hardship”

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11 Reasons To Stop Using Fragrances and Implement Fragrance-free Policies

Here are 11 excellent  reasons to stop using and allowing fragrances in your home, at work,  in healthcare, in housing, at school, in transportation, in retail, and in other public places:

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60 MiNueTs: Short Video Series on Environmental Health

 It’s hard to get anyone to take the time to read (let alone  understand) scientific research, but it’s so important that we educate ourselves when the opportunity arises. People have short attention spans these days, probably from all the neurotoxins and wireless radiation we’re all being exposed to on a daily basis, so it’s great when we find information that is short and to the point.

Here is a great short video series from

the UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment.

Please watch and share!

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