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?
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, chemicals in clothing, Environmental Health, Fashion, Laundry, Pollution, Public Health
Tagged accessibility barriers, allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivity, Chemicals, dryer vents, environmental sensitivities, fragrance-free, fragrance-free policy, hazardous air pollutants, IAQ, invisible disabilities, MCS, petrochemicals, phthalates, toxic trespass, VOCs
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Posted in Accessibility, Action, Environmental Health, Health Care, Human Rights, Policy
Tagged allergies, chemical sensitivity, Chemicals, environmental sensitivities, fibromyalgia, fragrance-free, hazardous air pollutants, IAQ, MCS, MCS/ES, ME/CFS, multiple chemical sensitivities, Ontario, Task Force on Environmental Health
Here are 11 excellent reasons to stop using and allowing fragrances in your home, at work, in healthcare, in housing, at school, in transportation, in retail, and in other public places:
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Environmental Health, Fragrance, Health, Human Rights, Pollution, Public Health
Tagged allergies, asthma, cancer, chemical sensitivity, environmental sensitivities, essential oils, fragrance-free, hazardous air pollutants, health care access for people with MCS/ES, MCS, mental health, petrochemicals, VOCs
A few of us were talking about the steps some of us canaries have to take to be able to go places: masks, respirators, scarves to cover hair, lab coats, long skirts, outdoor only clothes that are removed before entering our safe homes, and clothes that are never worn inside due to picking up so much 2nd and 3rd hand fragrance contamination.
And the removal and bagging for later washing of everything we did wear or have with us, and the showers we have to take as soon as we get home.
Then there’s the lunch kits and other accessories we need to pack, but that’s another blog post or three.
I’ve posted before about using tyvek suits, both to wear in order to protect us from exposures when we go out, or to have others wear to protect us from exposures to their products off-gassing when we need them to enter our space.
This time though, someone mentioned that they wanted to go to an event that lasted long enough that they would need to use the washroom while out, so a one piece tyvek suit wasn’t going to cut it.
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, chemicals in clothing, Fashion, Pollution
Tagged allergies, asthma, canaries, chemical sensitivity, environmental sensitivities, Fragrance, haz mat, hazardous air pollutants, health, Human Rights, IAQ, MCS, MCS/ES, petrochemicals
♥ Christmas, Birthdays, and Other Holidays with MCS/ES ♥
For most people, these special occasions are times of joy and celebration in the company of friends and loved ones, but for people with invisible disabilities and chronic illnesses like MCS/ES, they can be sad reminders of the lives that we no longer have access to.
We are still seldom included in the festivities and are usually left alone to fend for ourselves. Unfortunately, since human beings are social beings, not everyone is well equipped to self occupy, and some people become seriously depressed and even suicidal because of this.
To realize it’s because some friends, family, neighbours, and co-workers prefer to keep using certain products instead of using other products so we can safely be around them and enjoy their company, makes it even harder for us, knowing they care more about the products they buy than they care about us. It’s a heart breaking thing to have to live with.
♥ Thankfully, not everyone chooses products over people ♥
Before I became too chemically injured to socialize in crowds, I had a wonderful friend who happily made the effort to make her place and parties safe for me!
In 2005 her invites were all sent out with these words:
Posted in Accessibility, Community, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Fragrance, Friendship, Gifts, Support
Tagged allergies, chemical sensitivity, chronic illness, coping, environmental sensitivities, fragrance-free, Gifts, holidays, invisible disabilities, MCS, MCS/ES, toxic chemicals, visiting
Part Four of Four
(Part One, Part Two, Part Three)
Guest post by Che Ray
If you are hosting the family in your own home, it is true, you must take every precaution. Otherwise their stink will be there long after they leave. If they come in with stuff and it gets on your furniture, it will be bad.
Here is a suggestion: let them know in advance that before they enter the house they will have to be willing to have you test whether they are wearing anything that is triggering for you. Then when they arrive, if you have a good friend who gets what you are dealing with, have them first go to the cars of the people who are coming. He or she can do a preliminary test. If she senses something she can be the one to tell them what the problem is.
If you have sent them detailed emails in advance of everything they need to eliminate (she can even bring the check list to the car) then this will come as no surprise. They won’t be mad at you, they will feel bad. And that’s OK. That is the part of the learning process on their end.
If they make it to the front porch, you go outside and test again. When you first greet them, I suggest having your mask on. It will let them know right away what the situation is. Take it off briefly to assess the situation. If you feel comfortable taking it off at some point later in the evening, you can simply say, I am going to do a test to see how I do.
Posted in Accessibility, Community, Fragrance, Support
Tagged allergies, barriers, chemical sensitivity, environmental illness, environmental sensitivities, family, fragrance-free, holidays, invisible disabilities, MCS, MCS/ES, TILT
Part Three of Four
(Part One and Part Two)
Guest post by Che Ray
Here are some things I would recommend: even when it’s a stuck in bed day…
I: Don’t try to do too much physically. Definitely let your body rest, but also do something active to restore your mind like listen to a meditation talk or guided meditation. Tarabrach.com or jonathanfoust.com are great! I recommend them highly. This will help you get restorative rest, which is a much deeper, more relaxing experience.
II: I only recently discovered an online language tutorial called Mango. It’s free if you have a public library card. It is an awesome interactive language learning app. It has everything from Spanish to Swahili, to Pirate (really, it’s super fun and funny!) to Yiddish; dozens of languages.
I have a brain injury from the toxic exposures but have not been able to get the kind of occupational therapy I need which has been depressing. One day I thought, what can I do to keep my mind stimulated? And I came across this. Even if you don’t want to dedicate yourself to learning a new language, 10 minutes of mimicking Pirate language is going to make you laugh and feel better. And it’s good for your brain.
III. You are a superhero.
Recruit other people in your life to join your fight.
Posted in Accessibility, Community, Fragrance, Support
Tagged allergies, barriers, chemical sensitivity, environmental illness, environmental sensitivities, fragrance-free, invisible disabilities, MCS, MCS/ES, TILT