Category Archives: Policy

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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Ontario’s Task Force Releases its Phase 1 Recommendations to help people suffering from chemical sensitivity but health ministry abdicates again. Here’s a new take on that report.

An important update on the situation in Ontario, from Varda Burstyn, one of the original members of the Task Force on Environmental Health.

Please read and share, and find a way to put pressure on the elected reps, and if possible, get much needed media attention on this travesty of justice!

Note too that it’s not just for us, it’s a public health issue when over 50% of children have chronic health problems (including preschool kids with disabling anxiety), and something like 2/3 of the population on at least one pharmaceutical drug. We know that removing the cause of the problem results in better health than ineffectively trying to manage some symptoms!

When the canaries are ignored, public health suffers!

Dispatches from The Chemical Edge

Hundreds of thousands are sick – and after 33 years, Ontario government again declines to implement basic measures of care

 Extracted pages from task_force_on_environmental_health_report

“These three environmental health conditions typically have a devastating impact on the individuals affected. Unfortunately, our health care system too often has not helped them to the extent they need. The report of the Task Force sets out a course that will begin to remedy this. I look forward to seeing the Minister’s response to our report, and urge him to respond quickly and decisively. There is a need for strong leadership.“ Neil Stuart, Vice-Chair of the Task Force.

Few people have any idea of the number of people in Ontario afflicted with the debilitating, painful, often co-occurring and even life-threatening conditions of Environmental Sensitivity/Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (about 310,000), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (about 215,000) and Fibromyalgia (about 196,800). But it turns out that, in total, there are a…

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Statement From ARCH and CELA re MCS, ES, and the Ontario Task Force on Environmental Health

The ARCH Disability Law Centre and the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) announced in September of 2016 that they were working on a report about the challenges faced by people with multiple chemical and/or environmental sensitivities.

ARCH Alert September 2016

“ARCH, in collaboration with the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), has been working on a report about the challenges faced by people with multiple chemical and/or environmental sensitivities.  Our report was informed by consultations with persons who experience these disabilities. 

One of our major findings is the significant extent of attitudinal barriers faced by this group of people.  Often, they find that they are not believed when they ask that scents, fragrances or other products not be worn in the workplace, educational settings, health care settings or places where services are received.  We believe that a large awareness campaign is needed to educate the public about the impact of these disabilities on all aspects of a person’s life.”

 

The release of their report has been delayed because they want to respond to the Ontario Task Force on Environmental Health’s Interim Report, which came out just when their own report was intended for release.

In the November 2017 issue of Arch Alert, both ARCH and CELA  urge the Task Force to do more consultations with those of us who are living the experience:

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Help for How to Be Fragrance-Free

All it takes is a decision to go fragrance-free!

It should be easier than quitting smoking since there aren’t supposed to be addictive chemicals in fragrances, right?

Due to the fact that so many people are now experiencing adverse effects from fragranced products (34.7% in 2016), we are well on the way to having fragrance-free policies everywhere for the sake of protecting public health just as was done with smoking bans. It’s not just those of us who suffer immediate and disabling adverse effects from the products (1st, 2nd, and 3rd hand), but for everyone.

Here are some great resources (in no particular order) to help you go fragrance-free:

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Province of Ontario Interim Report on ME/CFS, FM, and MCS/ES

The Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s long awaited Environmental Health Task Force Interim Report has finally been released!

“We found that, throughout the 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.

For those living with ME/CFS, FM and ES/MCS, the lack of recognition of these serious and debilitating conditions is as harmful as the lack of treatments. …

We urge the Minister to act now to raise awareness of these conditions and address the barriers that keep people with ME/CFS, FM and ES/MCS from getting the care and services they need.”

From the press release:

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A Universally Recognized Accessibility Symbol for Environmental Sensitivities?

 

We need an easily recognizable accessibility symbol for non-toxic, wireless, VOC, scent, and fragrance-free places that show they are accessible to people with MCS/ES, asthma, COPD, migraines, and others who need healthy environments in order to remain functional and not become physically or cognitively impaired.

These signs would be used only in places that actually enforce the policies.

The standard accessibility signs have white symbols on blue backgrounds like these:


I’ve never seen anything like this to signify healthy wireless, scent, and fragrance-free indoor air, but these are some others I have found or assembled that might give a designer ideas to run with:

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