So many accessibility guidelines completely skip the fact that these necessary and super easy to implement accessibility measures make it possible for perhaps 1/3 of the population to use (or use without harm) a public (or other) washroom, and especially help provide access for those who have disabling chemical and or environmental “sensitivities” (a term that trivializes the condition and effects).
Fragranced products not only create accessibility barriers for people with chemical and environmental “sensitivities”, fragrance sensitivity, autism, sensory sensitivities, migraines, asthma, MCAS/MCAD, and others, but fragrance ingredients have been linked to a number of other short and serious long term health effects in the general population.
It has come to our attention that too many places that hang up a scent or fragrance-free sign in the front office, have air effers and scented soaps in the washrooms. That’s not how this is done.
How to Basics:
Accessible washrooms for people with environmental sensitivities
Image is of a public washroom with sinks on the left side, a cleaning cart in the middle, and garbage cans holding open the stall doors on the right. There are purple bars across the image with the following lines of accessibility tips text:
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Disability, Environmental Health, Policy
Tagged allergies, asthma, autism, chemical sensitivity, environmental sensitivities, event planning, fragrance sensitivity, fragrance-free, how to, Human Rights, IAQ, invisible disabilities, MCAD, MCAS, MCS, multiple chemical sensitivities, pesticides, scent free, tips
I ran across a sign that the lung association had created, and while I am glad they are doing something , I found the message and visual required some tweaking.
Of course, the lung association didn’t come up with the term “sensitive”, it’s what is used in human rights laws, but it seems to have created an impression in the public’s mind that chemical and environmental sensitivities are trivial, and not disabling or even life threatening like they can be.
It also needs to be said that signs without enforcement are endangering lives and perpetuating harm, systemic accessibility barriers, discrimination, and forced isolated segregation for those who are disabled by any or repeated exposures.
To download printable posters, see below.
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Human Rights, Images, Policy
Tagged accessibility, allergies, asthma, autism, chemical sensitivity, Fragrance, fragrance-free, fragrance-free policy, health, IAQ, invisible disabilities, MCS, migraines, multiple chemical sensitivities, scent free, signs
EHAQ (Environmental Health Association of Québec) is presenting three new videos for
Environmental Sensitivity Awareness Day – May 12, 2019
Presentations are from:
John Molot MD.
“Numerous papers have been published supporting a biological explanation for MCS. These will be reviewed as well as the evolving medical and political perspective.”
David Fancy Ph.D.
…”Drawing from insights from the ‘social model of disability’ this presentation identifies how the current cultural moment presents systematic barriers, negative attitudes and ongoing electromagnetic wounding that puts the responsibility on society for being the main contributing factor in disabling EHS persons.”
Meg Sears Ph.D.
…” Sears notes the urgency of curbing harmful products and thus chronic disease because as people are getting sicker, families and society also suffer and the healthcare budget balloons faster than the Gross Domestic Product – clearly an unsustainable situation.”
The videos are available in both English and French.
There’s no need to register this year, just visit the website:
Posted in Accessibility, Education, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Human Rights, Policy, Research
Tagged allergies, birth defects, cancer, chemical sensitivity, Chemicals, chronic illness, EHS, indoor air quality, invisible disabilities, MCS, multiple chemical sensitivities, prevalence, systemic barriers, toxic chemicals, wireless
People have asked for simple printable signs that can be posted at home or elsewhere. There are 2 versions of each sign, one being mostly black and white.
Click on the images below to save and print
Posted in Accessibility, Healthy Environment, Images, Policy
Tagged allergies, asthma, autism, chemical sensitivity, door signs, environmental sensitivities, fibromyalgia, fragrance-free, fragrance-free signs, IAQ, invisible disabilities, MCS, migraines, multiple chemical sensitivities, resources, signs
Please take a moment to feel your heart beating.
Not everyone can do this anymore.
While some progress has been made, it’s still too little,
too late for far too many people.
This will not change until more people who have MCS/ES come forward with their stories, and more healthy people start advocating and helping us in daily life, as well as pushing governments and medical institutions to pull their heads out of the sand (and industry pockets) and get into (at least) the 20th century as far as the very serious environmental and related health issues are concerned.
“Business as usual is a disaster”
“Unfortunately, many physicians, employers, family, and friends
are in effect assisting in suicide through their disbelief.”
“The Consequences of Disbelief”
“Twelve years as an advocate for the chemically sensitive has led me to the sad realization that a large number of chemically sensitive people have taken their own lives and many others are inching ever closer to that decision because they find it such a daunting task to locate a safe place to live or work and are rapidly running out of money. And at the same time that they are engaged in this herculean struggle, far too many of them are facing a discouraging skepticism from those about them.”
“Amputated Lives: Coping with Chemical Sensitivity”
By Alison Johnson
With a Foreword by L. Christine Oliver, M.D., Harvard Medical School
Links to several chapters of the book, where stories about people’s lives are featured are available here:
Posted in Accessibility, Chemicals, Community, Disability, Ecocide, Environment, Environmental Health, Human Rights, Mental Health, Policy
Tagged accessible housing, barriers, chemical sensitivity, discrimination., employment, environmental sensitivities, health care, Human Rights, invisible disabilities, MCS, multiple chemical sensitivities, systemic, toxic trespass
This article appears in The Job Accommodation Network’s
ENews: Volume 17, Issue 2, Second Quarter, 2019
JAN provides free, confidential technical assistance about job accommodations and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Can’t Ban Fragrances?
Consider a Fragrance Free Zone
Dig into developing a fragrance free zone
From the desk of Linda Carter Batiste, J.D., Principal Consultant/Legislative Specialist
Employees with fragrance sensitivity often need a fragrance free work environment to avoid triggering symptoms. However, it can be difficult to completely eliminate fragrances in some workplaces. Fragrance sensitivity can be triggered by not only perfumes and colognes, but also in some cases by personal products such as deodorant, shampoo, laundry detergent, and lotion. In workplaces with a lot of employees or in which the public has access, trying to control what products people use and enforcing a total fragrance ban can be virtually impossible. So what else can be done? Continue reading
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Disability, Environmental Health, Fragrance, Human Rights, Policy
Tagged accommodation, allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivity, employment, environmental sensitivities, Fragrance, fragrance sensitivity, fragrance-free, fragrance-free policy, IAQ, invisible disabilities, job accommodation, MCS, work
The Honourable David C. Onley, the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (2007-2014) was appointed to lead the Third Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
The report has now been released.
LISTENING TO ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES
REPORT OF THE THIRD REVIEW OF THE ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 2005
“For most disabled persons, Ontario is not a place of opportunity but one of countless, dispiriting, soul-crushing barriers”
Thanks to everyone who wrote in, those of us with environmental sensitivities have been recognized, and thanks to David C. Onley, we’ve been included in the report and the final recommendations:
In the SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS (on pg 80):
7. Ensure that accessibility standards respond to the needs of people with environmental sensitivities.
Other mentions of environmental sensitivities and details:
Posted in Accessibility, Disability, Environmental Sensitivities, Human Rights, Policy
Tagged AODA, chemical sensitivity, discrimination., EHS, fragrance-free, IAQ, MCS, multiple chemical sensitivities, review, scent free, systemic