Tag Archives: accessibility barriers

CBC News Hi-lights Accessibility Barriers to Housing for People With MCS/ES

Severe sensitivity to household chemicals leaves GTA man
homeless for the holidays

Environmental sensitivities have forced Oliver Zhang to move 70 times in 3 years


I hope that someone can offer or help create a safe place for Oliver Zhang to live.

I also hope that something is done soon to ensure safe, affordable, accessible,  non-toxic, mold-free, housing is available for all  the other people who have  MCS/ES (a condition, not disorder) who need safe and accessible housing.

Since finding a safe place to rest one’s head and body is so challenging, even in the best of current circumstances, Oliver Zhang should not be forced to leave the shelter where he is currently residing if it is physically safe enough for him to be there.  He is in crisis.

Forcing people onto the streets creates preventable trauma and mental health problems in addition to the serious challenges that already exist when trying to survive with MCS/ES in a society full of systemic accessibility barriers.

I know of many people who have had to move numerous (even countless) times  in their quest to find housing that doesn’t hurt and disable them. I hear from too many who are in crisis,  seeking accessible housing. I know people who no longer have the energy to keep looking for a needle in a haystack, because each toxic haystack leaves them more and more incapacitated. I know people with MCS/ES who are sleeping in cars and tents, and I have also known more than a few people who weren’t able to find safe housing and are no longer with us.

This is a preventable crisis.

Oliver Zhang and all the other people who are homeless due to the lack of accessible housing for people with MCS/ES, have been put into this position due to systemic neglect (if not deliberate discrimination) and bad policies, not through any fault of their own.

The City of Toronto has known about the critical need for accessible housing for people with MCS/ES since at least 2007, and most likely long before.

In 2008:

“The City of Toronto has launched a consultation process on the development of the City’s ten-year affordable housing plan, known as Housing Opportunities Toronto (“HOT”); and

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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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Laundry Products Harm Humans!

 

We often hear from people who think they aren’t wearing any fragrance while their fume trail is noticeable (and headache inducing or worse) from 100 feet away.  Not only that, but the scent residues are left everywhere these people have touched anything, including pretty much permanently in the furniture they’ve used.

How can this be?

Laundry products!

 

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Corporate Gaslighting and Conflicts of Interest at the Women’s College Hospital

I saw something that shocked me, and I don’t know how anyone involved with this could have thought it was a good idea.

This is what I saw

If you are a Canadian, you will probably understand.

.

It’s pretty much the same thing as this (slightly revised) image:

(pretend it’s done all the way)

What would you think if you saw that?

Shoppers Drug Mart is the antithesis of scent or fragrance free!

 

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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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Are Essential Oils Too Popular For Our Own Good?

Did you know that essential oils are not harmless?

Essential Oils can be a good thing. Many of them have useful healing properties. But as with anything, too much of a good thing is not in our best interests.

They can be sensitizers and allergens, and can cause other health problems too.
They can emit and create hazardous air pollutants. Some are made with synthetic ingredients, or from pesticided plants, and using toxic solvents.

They are WAY over-used and over-promoted, and any beneficial uses the organic oils may have, risk being lost due to this careless over-use.

They should not be used as a popular way to make money the way they are now.

They should be kept for medicinal use under the guidance of qualified, trained professionals, and  not the MLM (multi-level-marketing) folks who are inventing new ways to use them so that they can sell more product.

Some people have severe adverse reactions to them, and their proliferation is causing new barriers to access, meaning people can’t access food from health food stores,  other essentials, or even alternative health care, because the oils are so prevalent and contaminating everything (1st, 2nd, and 3rd hand) in what should be healthy places with clean, fragrance-free air.

Fore more information, here are a few links to check out: Continue reading