WHO Says We Need Fresh Air?!
Guest Post from Marie LeBlanc
Bringing awareness to chemical sensitivity
Marie LeBlanc at the Centennial Concert Hall in Winnipeg. May 12th 2017.
I am an artist in Winnipeg who lives with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) and environmental illness caused by mold exposure. My art has been in relation to multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS)/Environmental Illness (EI) and toxic environments.
“WHO says we need fresh air?!” is a series of quotes from sufferers of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Environmental Illness, Mold Exposure, Electrohypersensitivity Syndrome, Lyme Disease and other conditions related to Chronic/Complex Immunological Neurological Diseases.
The art installation was on display during the evening of Fri. May 12, on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)/Environmental Sensitivities Awareness Day, outside the Centennial Concert Hall (with a few quotes displayed on the indoor screens), and is dedicated to my friend Eliana from Mexico.
Posted in Accessibility, Disability, Environment, Environmental Health, Health, Housing, Human Rights
Tagged allergies, anaphylaxis, asthma, chemical sensitivity, chemicals in clothing, CIND, creativity, EHS, environmental illness, environmental sensitivities, Fragrance, hazardous air pollutants, homeless, Housing, invisible disabilities, Lyme Disease, MCS, MCS/ES, Mold, multiple chemical sensitivities, suicide, toxic chemicals
“Exposure to these chemicals increases the risk of allergic dermatitis, but more severe health effect for humans as well as the environment could possibly be related to these chemicals. Some of them are suspected or proved carcinogens and some have aquatic toxicity,”
Giovanna Luongo found that there are harmful chemical residues left in clothing even after 10 washes and presents the information in her Doctoral Thesis, Chemicals in textiles A potential source for human exposure and environmental pollution.
This scientifically validates what some of us have been saying for years, that some harmful chemical residues can be extremely difficult if not impossible to remove, (as the rigmarole we have to go through in an attempt to have safe to wear clothing to wear attests), and that normally undetectable trace levels can cause disabling effects.
Many chemicals present in clothing (and bedding) enter the human body via dermal absorption, and can be detected in urine hours later!
This poster shows how chemicals enter our bodies:
Posted in Accessibility, chemicals in clothing, Environmental Health, Fashion, Laundry, Toxic Trespass
Tagged allergies, cancer, chemicals in clothing, detox, environmental sensitivities, fibromyalgia, health, MCS, MCS/ES, multiple chemical sensitivity, petrochemicals, Pollution, sensitive to pollution, toxic chemicals, Water
When air is polluted both indoors and out, when people use fragrances and other products with toxic chemicals, when we are made ill and disabled by the pollutants, then we can’t wait for better regulations to take effect, we need to do something to protect our health now.
Sometimes we can buy masks that work for us, especially if we tolerate synthetic materials, but sometimes making our own is the only way. When we make our own, we can use safe-for-us fabrics and even coordinate them to our outfits (if we’re lucky enough to have safe-to-wear outfits).
Some people use scarves as masks. You can sew a pouch on the inside to hold filtering Continue reading
Posted in Air Quality, Environmental Health, Fashion, Health, Pollution, Precaution
Tagged allergies, asthma, chemicals in clothing, DIY, face mask, filter, fragrance chemicals, fragrance-free, hazardous air pollutants, indoor air pollution, MCS, MCS/ES, multiple chemical sensitivities, petrochemicals, sensitive to pollution, sew, toxic chemicals, toxic trespass
Most of us wear underwear all the time. We don’t think much about it.
I remember when I used to be able to find decent 100% cottom undies with enclosed elastic waistbands at the dollar stores! I could throw them in the wash once, and they were good to go. Those were the days!
More recently, I’ve been disabled from a serious fibro flare caused by trace (?) levels of chemical residues from wearing organic undies that cost me $20 a pair. Even after soaking and washing them at least a dozen times, and then boiling them several times after.
My alternate title for this post was Disabled by Underwear… Here’s what happened:
Posted in Chemicals, chemicals in clothing, Disability, Environmental Health, Fashion, Fibromyalgia, Laundry, Products
Tagged #May12, allergies, chemical free, chemicals in clothing, chronic health problems, chronic pain, Clothing, environmental sensitivities, fibromyalgia, furnishings, furniture, MCS, MCS/ES, pesticides, petrochemicals, sensitive to pollution, toxic textiles
People all over the industrialized world have been developing Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and Environmental Sensitivities, or Environmental Illnesses. We are exposed to so many petrochemical pollutants, in our air, water, foods, clothes, furnishings, homes, and elsewhere in daily life, substances which are now known to cause many kinds of adverse health effects, and some of us just have the epigenetic disposition to feel the effects faster and more extremely than others who may develop cancer or some other condition many years later.
Amelia Hill (aka the Amazing Amelia Hill) lives in Australia and developed very severe, or extreme MCS after not being properly diagnosed for too many years. A lack of proper diagnosis and precautionary measures usually results in a debilitating worsening of the condition, which is best addressed with avoidance of the triggering substances, and building up health in very targeted ways. This is much more difficult to do the longer one isn’t able to take the steps to avoid exposures and rebuild life with safe alternatives.
Amelia’s life is probably unlike any you have ever heard of (even mine) although there are many similarities between the experiences those of us who have severe MCS/ES share. Amelia is known as “amazing” because of the ways she handles her life.
You will see why here.
Amelia’s story has been featured as the cover story in what may be South Australia’s most popular newspaper weekend magazine: Continue reading
Posted in Chemicals, Disability, Education, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Food, Health, Healthy Environment, Human Rights, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Public Health
Tagged allergies, Amelia, asthma, Australia, Chemicals, chemicals in clothing, EHS, elecrtosensitive, Food, fragrance-free, health care access for people with MCS/ES, indoor air quality, MCS, MCS housing, pesticides, petrochemicals, sensitive to pollution, wireless
For your information, here are scans of the MCS brochure from the Environmental Health Clinic at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, Ontario. Note that they see mostly patients with milder to middling MCS/ES (and there’s usually a 6-12 month wait list), as those with more severe MCS/ES are unable to access the clinic, it being in a regular hospital with hand sanitizers, hundreds of toxic people and plenty of unsafe materials everywhere.
The brochure is an introduction, and reducing exposures is always a good thing, but sometimes people with MCS/ES need to eliminate exposures to remain at all functional, and that’s where things become a lot more complicated, and why we need the OCEEH.
Even when people try to be fragrance (and other chemical) free, they can have 2nd and 3rd hand residues from personal care, cleaning, and laundry products all over them. Air “fresheners” and scented candles are other items that leave residues on everything. It can take weeks to get it out of skin and pores, and longer to get it out of clothing and bedding, all the while re-contaminating the body and anything else that has contact with the fragranced surfaces or air.
Fragrance (and other toxic) chemicals are just all-pervasive now. Unless people are completely fragrance-free and stay out of fragrance filled places, they will have some degree of fragrance saturation in their clothes, skin, and hair. Some of the residues are also impossible to remove no matter how hard one tries, because of chemicals that are designed to penetrate and remain active for long periods of time (think of the laundry commercials where they boast you can smell the fresh scent days later – except some of us can be affected years later, because that’s how permanent those chemicals are).
If people who use those products come to visit, not only can they leave us gasping for air (or worse) during their visit, they can leave chemical residues that will keep off-gassing from the couch and anyplace else they touched for days or weeks to come.
Depending on how severe one’s MCS/ES is,there are different things that can be done.
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Chemicals, Fashion, Fragrance
Tagged allergies, asthma, chemical residues, chemicals in clothing, environmental sensitivities, Fragrance, fragrance chemicals, hazardous air pollutants, indoor air quality, MCS, MCS/ES, multiple chemical sensitivities, rigmarole, sensitive to pollution, visitors, wireless
What it can be like having a friend with MCS… from a real friend <3
“I would go through all those steps, put on my safe clothes and Colleen would still say “Nope. Still contaminated.” I wanted to punch something. Here I would do just about anything for a friend, and it still didn’t work. It didn’t dampen her spirits, though. After that happened, she would just smile and say how I had worked harder than anyone else to solve this problem, and it was too bad that it hadn’t worked. That really didn’t help me much. I still felt frustrated.”
Stepping Out with an Agoraphobic
This week is National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. It runs through September 14th. It was suggested to me that I write about my experiences in dealing with my illnesses, and I will – perhaps at a later date. Instead of looking within myself, I thought I would broaden the scope of my focus and talk about an invisible illness that has hit close to home, and changed how I live my life.
To have a loved one succumb to an illness is one of the most painful things imaginable – and that pain applies to friends, as well as to family. What is even worse is when that illness is new, uncommon, or even invisible. This is what has been happening to my friend, Colleen, who has Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, a crippling disease that has rendered her disabled.
I must admit that sometimes I don’t feel like…
View original post 1,156 more words
Posted in Disability, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Fragrance, Friendship, Inspiration, MCS/ES, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Support
Tagged chemicals in clothing, community, fragrance-free, invisible disabilities, MCS