“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.”
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.
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Disability, Environmental Health, Health Care, Housing, Human Rights, Policy, Pollution, Public Health
Tagged allergies, ARCH, asthma, autism, barriers, cancer, CELA, chemical sensitivity, education, employment, environmental sensitivities, federal, fragrance-free, IAQ, jobs, marginalization, MCS, MCS/ES, multiple chemical sensitivities, municipal, non-toxic, poverty, provincial, scent free, shopping, stigma, toxic chemicals, transportation, universal design, VOCs
The Canadian Human Rights Commission’s
Policy on Environmental Sensitivities
has been updated to add more on scent-free policies.
Image description: “Environmental sensitivity and scent-free policies” text on a blue background to the left, with a photo of a dark haired woman resting her chin on her hand, while looking wistfully (towards the title text) out a window with rain drops on it, on the right side.
The new policy includes this:
“A scent-free policy is similar to other workplace policies such as
anti-harassment policies. It applies to all employees and is intended to guide
their conduct. If an employee does not comply with the policy, disciplinary
action can be taken.”
“If an employee with environmental sensitivities needs to leave because of a trigger, this person should not suffer negative impacts because of their disability
or their need for accommodation.”
Visit the CHRC website to download the PDF:
Full text of the policy
(as copied from their PDF for people who have difficulties with PDFs):
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Disability, Environmental Sensitivities, Fragrance, Government, Human Rights, Policy
Tagged accommodation, allergies, anti-harassment, chemical sensitivity, CHRC, employment, fragrance-free, health and safety, IAQ, invisible disabilities, less toxic, MCS, multiple chemical sensitivities, scent free, service providers
Please take a moment to feel your heart beating.
Not everyone can do this anymore.
While some progress has been made, it’s still too little,
too late for far too many people.
This will not change until more people who have MCS/ES come forward with their stories, and more healthy people start advocating and helping us in daily life, as well as pushing governments and medical institutions to pull their heads out of the sand (and industry pockets) and get into (at least) the 20th century as far as the very serious environmental and related health issues are concerned.
“Business as usual is a disaster”
“Unfortunately, many physicians, employers, family, and friends
are in effect assisting in suicide through their disbelief.”
“The Consequences of Disbelief”
“Twelve years as an advocate for the chemically sensitive has led me to the sad realization that a large number of chemically sensitive people have taken their own lives and many others are inching ever closer to that decision because they find it such a daunting task to locate a safe place to live or work and are rapidly running out of money. And at the same time that they are engaged in this herculean struggle, far too many of them are facing a discouraging skepticism from those about them.”
“Amputated Lives: Coping with Chemical Sensitivity”
By Alison Johnson
With a Foreword by L. Christine Oliver, M.D., Harvard Medical School
Links to several chapters of the book, where stories about people’s lives are featured are available here:
Posted in Accessibility, Chemicals, Community, Disability, Ecocide, Environment, Environmental Health, Human Rights, Mental Health, Policy
Tagged accessible housing, barriers, chemical sensitivity, discrimination., employment, environmental sensitivities, health care, Human Rights, invisible disabilities, MCS, multiple chemical sensitivities, systemic, toxic trespass
This article appears in The Job Accommodation Network’s
ENews: Volume 17, Issue 2, Second Quarter, 2019
JAN provides free, confidential technical assistance about job accommodations and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Can’t Ban Fragrances?
Consider a Fragrance Free Zone
Dig into developing a fragrance free zone
From the desk of Linda Carter Batiste, J.D., Principal Consultant/Legislative Specialist
Employees with fragrance sensitivity often need a fragrance free work environment to avoid triggering symptoms. However, it can be difficult to completely eliminate fragrances in some workplaces. Fragrance sensitivity can be triggered by not only perfumes and colognes, but also in some cases by personal products such as deodorant, shampoo, laundry detergent, and lotion. In workplaces with a lot of employees or in which the public has access, trying to control what products people use and enforcing a total fragrance ban can be virtually impossible. So what else can be done? Continue reading
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Disability, Environmental Health, Fragrance, Human Rights, Policy
Tagged accommodation, allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivity, employment, environmental sensitivities, Fragrance, fragrance sensitivity, fragrance-free, fragrance-free policy, IAQ, invisible disabilities, job accommodation, MCS, work
When we develop MCS/ES, one of the first concerns we have is how to keep our job when other people keep using products and materials that disable us.
Some people are able to negotiate a legally required accommodation policy, but sadly, too many people find these policies are rarely or effectively enforced as they should be.
Recent research from Dr Anne Steinemann shows there are serious adverse impacts due to fragrance use:
“Significantly, 15.1 % of the general population reported that exposure to fragranced products in their work environment has caused them to become sick, lose workdays, or lose a job. Also, 20.2 % of the population reported that if they enter a business, and smell air fresheners or some fragranced product, they want to leave as quickly as possible.
Here are some Human Rights resources on various laws, regulations, and solutions that, when enforced, can help people remain employed without losing their health and abilities:
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Disability, Environmental Sensitivities, Human Rights
Tagged EHS, employment, enforcement, fragrance-free policy, indoor air quality, jobs, MCS, MCS/ES, policies