Category Archives: Pollution

Accessibility Recommendations from ARCH and CELA

Accepting the leadership offered by the Task Force on Environmental Health to address the health care system, proactive change can begin immediately at all levels of society including federal, provincial, and municipal governments and public departments and agencies.

These would include, but are not limited to, public transportation providers, school boards, and the private sector.”


screenshots
of  the report recommendations
with source added

 

The Legal Rights and Challenges Faced by Persons with Chronic Disability Triggered by Environmental Factors

From ARCH Disability Law Centre and the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA),  September 2019

“3. Conclusion While there has been significant research and study into barriers to include persons with EH disabilities, critical obstacles remain.

Seeking help in the health system, trying to find and/or retain adequate housing or employment, entering public spaces, shopping, or using public transportation, limit the inclusion of persons with EH disabilities in our communities.

Much more needs to be done to acknowledge the significant hurdles faced by persons with EH disabilities.

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Diffusing Health Harm on Unsuspecting Shoppers and Outrageously False Product Claims

Here’s yet another example of a systemic issue regarding health harming accessibility barriers, happening in a province (and country) where we have Human Rights laws that recognize people with environmental ‘sensitivities’ as having a disability, and where everyone is encouraged to remove accessibility barriers instead of creating new ones.

Unsuspecting Oshawa Costco Canada shoppers are being subjected to this fragrance assault and/or accessibility barrier between November 26, 2019 and December 8, 2019.

Info which was found buried on Costco Canada’s website in the Special Events page, there may be other locations as well.
How many members see these announcements?

In December, it appears that those who shop at  Costco’s Ste Foy location will also be sprayed, without alternative accommodations made for member shoppers whose lives are harmed by this kind of thing (unless there’s a public outcry before it happens).

Not only is the store air thoroughly polluted by this kind of diffusion (as experienced by someone who reported it to their mother who has environmental sensitivities and is severely allergic to fragranced products) for the 2 week duration of this “special event”, but everything in their store(s), *including food*, will also have absorbed substantial residues of undisclosed (and not food-safe) fragrance substances, that may be difficult if not impossible to remove.

This ‘special event’ can cause significant harm to people with asthma, autism, chemical and environmental sensitivities, fragrance allergies, migraines, and mast cell activation syndrome (to name a few). Even 2nd and 3rd hand residues of this type can cause serious (and life-threatening) health problems and long lasting disabling effects, so a suggestion of having someone else do the shopping is not a reasonable or feasible accommodation.

See below for the product details and the store manager’s and assistant manager’s responses when called.

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Video Discussions about Environmental Illnesses, “Sensitivities”, and Disability

It’s not often that we hear people discussing chemical and environmental “sensitivities” and other environmentally linked chronic health problems and disabling  conditions, or how they relate in the bigger picture.

Two such discussions have taken place in August of 2019, and you can watch the videos below.

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Mask Challenge Revisited

Back in 2017, there was an effort by Memes for Inconvenient Disabilities to get people to wear a mask to see what it was like to be a human canary.

Only one person we know of took the challenge, but she did not give permission to share her incredible insights from her experience.

I’ve discovered that Fast Company did their own version of the Mask Challenge and here’s their video: Continue reading

Gain – Sinking Your Disabled Boat

Have you seen the new  “the more the better” Gain detergent ad?

When the delivery woman tries her best not to puke from the Gain fumes,
the Gain user shrugs and the voice-over says:

“Hey, you can’t float everyone’s boat. Love it or hate it, it’s intense.”

!!!

In other words, Gain implies they’re fine with sinking us

(More on what we all think about that later)

The ad starts off with a scene that already promotes an IAQ nightmare:

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Your Very Own Neighbourhood Chemical Distribution Device

Did you know?

If you use conventional laundry products, you might not knowingly be feeling the effects now, but you more than likely have some neighbours who do!

Dryer vents are undisclosed, unregulated chemical distribution devices.

When you choose your laundry products,
you choose what your neighbours have to breathe!

Please think about your neighbours and choose non-toxic & fragrance-free products, so that your neighbours do not become ill or disabled
and can enjoy their homes and properties too!

A growing number of people (millions, not handfuls) cannot enjoy walking about their neighbourhoods, sitting or working in their own outdoor spaces, or even open the windows of their homes due to the harmful pollutants released from dryer vents that were designed to emit moisture, not drifting toxic chemicals.

Laundry products should not be disabling people or cause short term adverse health effects like asthma, headaches, migraines, confusion, vomiting, dizziness, etc., or longer term effects like reproductive and neurodevelopmental problems!

EWG has a website where you can check the ratings for the products you use. It’s a great place to start learning which products to avoid, and which are safer options.

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When Someone Says They’re Fragrance-Free, But

When someone says they’re fragrance-free, but

they smell like

essential oils, febreze, scented candles, plug-in air effers, &/or air effing sprays…

When someone says they’re fragrance-free, but

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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?”

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What’s it Like to Have MCS/ES? Part 2: Curbs

MCS/ES (multiple chemical sensitivities / environmental sensitivities)  is a disability recognized by the Canadian and Ontario Human Rights Codes. There are over a million people with doctor diagnosed MCS in Canada, and so many more all around the world.

In the US, the latest prevalence study found that “among the population, 12.8% report medically diagnosed MCS and 25.9% report chemical sensitivity.”

The term ‘sensitivities’ seems to trivialize the condition in many people’s minds.

You may wonder what’s it really like then, if it’s not trivial?

 

 

From Amy RW Marsh:

I just wrote this analogy for a person who needed one in order to understand EI/MCS:

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