Category Archives: Human Rights

Van Living with MCS/ES

 
 
Marie’s an artist with severe mold sensitivity and MCS/ES, and has created an amazing slide show and photo  exhibits to raise awareness about the plight of people with environmental sensitivities and environmental illnesses, despite living in a dilapitated van, having to travel to the US for our winters because it’s too cold in a van here in Canada.

We really don’t have accessible housing for people with severe MCS/ES. I have several good online friends living in vehicles now because there’s no accessible housing. Marie is one of them, and she needs a reliable new (to her) van really soon, so that she can continue to live and create the beautiful, challenging, and awareness-raising art she lives for.

 
Life in a specialized van is hard enough, but it’s not at all safe in the old one she’s been trying to maintain the last few years. The old van has come to the end of it’s life. She has been harassed by unscrupulous men a number of times when the van broke down, and she deserves better than this from our society.
 
Let’s make sure she receives what she needs. No contribution is too small. Likewise, no donation is too big if you have more than you need.
 
Can you please donate, share, and ask the people you know to donate and share too? The world needs Marie!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hunger Strike for Access to Safe Health Care

Ginette lives in Quebec and has been trying to access health care safely for years, without success. The fragrance exposures cause severe symptoms and her health is deteriorating as a result of not being able to have her basic needs met, because… fragrance.

She posted this video to her fb profile:

Here’s a  rough English transcript:

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2021 – Welcome to MCS/ES Action and Accommodation Month

Traditionally May is MCS and MCS/ES Awareness Month.

After decades of awareness raising, it’s time to move on to welcoming action and accommodation, don’t you think?

Are people with MCS/ES, often referred to as Human Canaries, actually welcome in this world?

If you are a person with MCS/ES, please share in the comments if and how you are being accommodated and welcomed (or not) in this world.

If you are a person who doesn’t have MCS/ES, please share in the comments how you are accommodating and welcoming people with MCS/ES into the world.

image description: a faded beach ball mother earth... there's a large faded canary bird (representing human canaries) wearing a full face respirator, on the middle of the globe text reads: Are people with MCS/ES welcome in this world? seriously 'sensitive' to pollution May 2021 MCS/ES Action and Accommodation Month multiple chemical sensitivities MCS/ES environmental sensitivities

Earth Day Human Canary Starter Pack

Human Canaries are what’s left after the signs from wildlife and nature weren’t respected, but we’re not long for this earth either, unless there are some significant changes in people’s daily habits – yes, things everyone can start to do RIGHT NOW!

Let’s start with some hashtags:

#HumanCanaries #EnvironmentalSensitivities #EarthDay #EarthDay2021 #MotherEarth #ChemicalSensitivity #MCS #EHS #IAQ #EnvironmentalHealth #air #water #disabilities #ScentFree #FragranceFree #BeFragranceFree #NonToxic #StopTheKill
Then move on to some science and other research (with apologies for the formatting, I really hate wordpress now):

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What Now?

 

A brief account of a seriously “sensitive” to pollution person living in a society where fragranced and toxic products are more important than lives, where disabled lives are disposeable, where it’s now easy to be euthanized (even for for externally imposed and inflicted) suffering, but not to receive support to remove the causes of suffering, causes and conditions that have been made systemic for many people with disabilities.

I’m not a poet and I know it and I wrote it anyway…

What Now? Continue reading

Canadian Petition for People with Chemical and Environmental Sensitivities

 

Dear everyone, if you are Canadian, please sign this petition, and no matter where you are, please share this with all the Canadians you know!

e-2729  Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:

We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:

1. Create an international classification of disease designation code in Canada for environmental sensitivities so that those affected may have access to medical care;

2. Include environmental sensitivities as a disability that must be accommodated on all relevant documents and forms in governmental departments and organizations that minister social assistance, housing, medical, and other public services; and

3. Ensure all indoor public spaces are declared scent and fragrance-free.

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Proclamation, Video, and Other News for May 12th Awareness Day

Toronto’s Mayor John Tory has lent (not given) his support with a Proclamation for  for Awareness Day:

“Proud to proclaim today as Myalgia Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities Awareness Day. It is important that we lend our support and understanding to those living with chronic illness, especially as we deal with #COVID19.

 

(I’m sorry there’s no written transcript for the image)
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The Power of This Pause

Guest post by Judy Freed

The Power of This Pause

For just a moment, there is a pause.

A pause from the years of well-intended, ill-informed inquiries:

“So, what have you been up to lately?  What do you do for fun? See any good movies?  Go anywhere exciting? Get together with any friends?”

For this moment, nobody is asking me these questions.  Instead, there is an awareness that “normal” day to day life has been interrupted.  The questions now are almost always something like: “How are you doing?”  “How are you holding up?” “Are you ok?”

Finally – questions that make sense to me; questions I can answer without Continue reading

Homeless Canaries Need Access to Fragrance-Free Showers

 

I saw an announcement on fb from a city agency that was opening up an arena to allow homeless people a place to shower, and they were also providing soap, shampoo, and other necessities.

“People who are homeless or precariously housed in (the city) relied upon bathrooms and showers in public facilities. But, they have closed their doors during the pandemic. There are now free showers and washrooms open daily at (the)  Arena.”

Homelessness is something far too many human canaries are intimately  familiar with, since there are so few accessible, medically safe housing options available when our ‘sensitivities’ become disabling.  Many  human canaries are  precariously housed too.


Graphic image text description:

Everyone welcome.
Toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, and more provided.
Free showers & washrooms
———————————————————————-
ACCESSIBILITY QUESTION:
Is the soap and shampoo fragrance-free so that people with environmental ‘sensitivities’ could also access the space?
MAY is MCS/ES Awareness Month

I was (due to MCS/ES related accessibility barriers) homeless myself for a year, and the need to shower did not go away. I know several homeless canaries now, one who just a few days ago was discussing her attempts to create a shower outside the van she is living in, so I asked the fb page a question about accessibility for homeless canaries.

Here’s what happened:

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MCS Awareness Month fb Page

May is MCS Awareness Month, and there’s a new fb page just for this!

If you are on fb, please go “like” the new page, and then click on ‘following’ to choose “see first” so that you can see all the curated material that will get shared over the course of the month, making it easy for you to ‘like’ and share the posts with your fb (and other social media) circles.

As many have noted,  much of the world has had to adopt a ‘lifestyle’ much like we human canaries and other people with disabilities have been living for years, albeit without so many of the additional challenges that disabilities and chronic illnesses bring to surviving daily life.

It would be nice to think that this small taste of what we have been living for a long time will bring about more compassion, empathy, and changes of heart that will inspire people to remove accessibility barriers and welcome us in the world when everyone else is released from isolation.

To that end, we need people to know we exist, as more often than not, there is little to no understanding, or it is trivialized. Sharing info on social media is known to create change, so let’s all be a part of making a better, healthier, and accessible world for everyone.

p.s.

Please leave a comment here if you know of any other groups or people who have organized events or material for MCS (and related) Awareness Month 2020, so that we can all support each other.