Category Archives: Policy

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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Health Canada and Chemicals in Fragranced Products

This report from the Auditor General of Canada came out in 2016. Nothing has changed as far as I have seen, and I keep my eyes open for these kinds of things.

“The Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) conducts independent audits and studies that provide objective information, advice, and assurance to Parliament, territorial legislatures, boards of crown corporations, government, and Canadians.”

Here’s a short video, followed by the transcript,  more from the report, and some relevant bits from a follow up by Health Canada:

Chemicals in Consumer Products and Cosmetics

 

Video Transcript

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When There’s No Accessible Potty

 

This washroom isn’t accessible:

 

neither is this one:

 

nor are the Ontario highway and other washrooms that have these installed:

Pesticides and fragrance! What could go wrong?

 

Many of us cannot go into a washroom that has an air effer or scented soap.

“In addition to the possibly life threatening immediate and delayed adverse health effects, “our clothes are contaminated and need to be aired out for days before we can even wash them or they contaminate more of our clothes.”
(from a  fb comment on the last post
)

So what to do?

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How NOT to Do a Scent (or fragrance) Policy

This is why so many people with MCS/ES, MCAD/MCAS, asthma, migraines,  and fragrance allergies and sensitivities lose their jobs and end up  housebound.

When policies are mere wallpaper, they become dangerous.
Real people’s lives and well-being are threatened.

Please, do not put up a sign if you are not going to respect or enforce it.

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Quote

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Father Made a Fortune Representing the Fragrance Industry

This really stinks.
These guys don’t care how much anyone suffers if they can keep profiting.

via Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Father Made a Fortune Representing the Fragrance Industry

“According to an article published by the New York Times on July 14, 2018, Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s father, Edward Kavanaugh, “was paid $13 million, including his retirement package, in 2005, his last year at the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Fragrance Association,” an organization of which he became president in 1972.  His yearly salary at the point of his retirement was $5 million. ” …

no more

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Fragrance-Free Initiative From UC Boulder’s OIT

 

The Fragrance-Free Initiative from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) has created a video I really like,  and they have also put together some other resources that can be useful to learn from when creating fragrance-free policies.

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Open Letter to the Ontario Minister of Health and the MOHLTC

Dear Minister of Health, we’re ready for action!

According to official statistics:

250,000 Ontarians had been diagnosed with MCS in 2014
and the discrimination is still systemic in 2018

SUBJECT: Accommodation for People with Disabilities

Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Health (at hjaczek.mpp@liberal.ola.org )


On September 29, 2017,
Ontario  quietly released the report “Time for Leadership: Recognizing and Improving Care”  for those with myalgic encephalomyelitis /chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and environmental sensitivities /multiple chemical sensitivity  (ME/CFS, FM and ES/MCS). This report  was produced by the Task Force on Environmental Health for the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

The report found that throughout the Ontario health care system and in society at large, there is:

• a lack of recognition of the seriousness and severity of these conditions
• a profound shortage of knowledgeable care providers
• a dearth of clinical tools to support and guide care
• a discouraging shortage of services and supports for people living with these conditions
• an absence of support for family caregivers

The lack of knowledge and appropriate accessible care has devastating effects on Ontarians struggling with ME/CFS, FM and ES/MCS.

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