Tag Archives: environmental illness

Canadian Petition for People with Chemical and Environmental Sensitivities

 

Dear everyone, if you are Canadian, please sign this petition, and no matter where you are, please share this with all the Canadians you know!

e-2729  Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:

We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:

1. Create an international classification of disease designation code in Canada for environmental sensitivities so that those affected may have access to medical care;

2. Include environmental sensitivities as a disability that must be accommodated on all relevant documents and forms in governmental departments and organizations that minister social assistance, housing, medical, and other public services; and

3. Ensure all indoor public spaces are declared scent and fragrance-free.

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MCS Awareness Month fb Page

May is MCS Awareness Month, and there’s a new fb page just for this!

If you are on fb, please go “like” the new page, and then click on ‘following’ to choose “see first” so that you can see all the curated material that will get shared over the course of the month, making it easy for you to ‘like’ and share the posts with your fb (and other social media) circles.

As many have noted,  much of the world has had to adopt a ‘lifestyle’ much like we human canaries and other people with disabilities have been living for years, albeit without so many of the additional challenges that disabilities and chronic illnesses bring to surviving daily life.

It would be nice to think that this small taste of what we have been living for a long time will bring about more compassion, empathy, and changes of heart that will inspire people to remove accessibility barriers and welcome us in the world when everyone else is released from isolation.

To that end, we need people to know we exist, as more often than not, there is little to no understanding, or it is trivialized. Sharing info on social media is known to create change, so let’s all be a part of making a better, healthier, and accessible world for everyone.

p.s.

Please leave a comment here if you know of any other groups or people who have organized events or material for MCS (and related) Awareness Month 2020, so that we can all support each other.

New Photography Exhibit in May with a Special Video on May 12th

“Air on the Side of Caution”

From Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba:

On May 1st, 2020 Marie LeBlanc’s Exhibition, “Air on the Side of Caution” will be available to view in full on AANM’s website (aanm.ca) and we will be posting one image from the show everyday on this event page.

 

Guest Post from Marie LeBlanc:

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Endangered Human in Jasper

If you are in or near Jasper, Alberta  anytime between February 29 and March 7, please check out Marie LeBlanc’s Endangered Human presentation at  Jasper Community Habitat for the Arts. I have seen some of it, and it’s very powerful.

 

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Safe Housing Survey

Do you (or will you) need safe housing?

Until the end of November 2019, Health Risk Navigation Inc. (HRNI) is conducting a much needed (yet simple) survey of the housing needs of the chemically injured in order to have quantitative data to show housing providers, communities, policy, and decision makers, funders, and other relevant parties.

This kind of data doesn’t exist currently, so even though safe housing is our core need, there are no official documents that anyone can easily point to.

More details are available on their FAQ page:
https://www.hrni.ca/Housing-Survey-FAQ.php

Some of you may have already done the 1st edition of this survey in June of 2019, when it originally came out. Thank you! Even though the survey now has a different format, those responses are not lost.

You don’t have to do the revised one, but it would be helpful if you could spend the 10-15 minutes to do so… just mention that you completed the original on the last page where people are asked to share any additional comments.

The questions of the initial survey and the current survey are identical, except that the current survey now has four new questions at the beginning  that seek  consent of the respondents to save and share info (largely due to EU privacy laws).

Every question also gives an explanation as to why the data is requested. Additionally, every question (except the consent questions) now gives us the choice to answer “Prefer Not To Say”.

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MCS Survey for May 2019

Survey for People with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) and/or Environmental Illness and Injury (EII)

Guest post from Mordecai Cohen Ettinger,
The Health Justice Commons

I’ve had MCS for nearly 20 years. I’m a survivor of of the Three Mile Island partial nuclear meltdown, excessive x-ray radiation from medical treatment as a child from a teaching hospital that has since been ongoingly investigated for bioethics violations, and successive exposures to lead and mold from reckless landlords.

I’ve been a community activist for many years, along with a scholar and teacher of Critical Science, Technology and Medicine Studies.

In late 2016, I founded the Health Justice Commons, a non-profit. Our mission is to re-imagine and remake healthcare for our times.

To support efforts for MCS Awareness Month, we want to address the gap of basic research of our experiences.

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What’s it Like to Have MCS/ES? Part 3: Toast Chaos

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?

Here’s how Laura J Mac describes it:

Having MCS means never knowing when you can manage something as simple as making toast.

• Can’t stand up due to pain.

• Can’t figure out all the steps involved to make toast. #execfun

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How to Survive the Holidays with EI and (Possibly) Not End Up Alone or Wanting to Give Your Family the Boot (Part Four)

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.

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How to Survive the Holidays with EI and (Possibly) Not End Up Alone or Wanting to Give Your Family the Boot (Part Three)

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.

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How to Survive the Holidays with EI and (Possibly) Not End Up Alone or Wanting to Give Your Family the Boot (Part Two)

Part Two of Four

(link to Part One)

Guest post by Che Ray

 

Overarching rule of thumb:

Talk about MCS/EI/TE/TILT like you are talking about cigarette smoking or HIV exposure.  What I mean by this is:

A: It is a given fact that second hand cigarette smoking causes disease.

We didn’t know this for a long time because the tobacco industry didn’t want us to know. So people had to put up with cigarette smoke in their face. Now it is not only not tolerated, it’s illegal to smoke in many places.

Explain to people that the elements in cigarettes that really kill people are often the exact same chemicals used in fragranced products.

I also say this condition is like smoking and HIV in that these diseases, more than others, DEPEND on other people caring about the health of people (like us) as much as they care about themselves.

 

B:  We have NOTHING to apologize for, so DON’T DO IT.

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