It’s not often that we hear people discussing chemical and environmental “sensitivities” and other environmentally linked chronic health problems and disabling conditions, or how they relate in the bigger picture.
Two such discussions have taken place in August of 2019, and you can watch the videos below.
Posted in Accessibility, Community, Disability, Environment, Environmental Health, Human Rights, Pollution, Products
Tagged allergies, art, chemical sensitivity, creativity, EHS, environmental sensitivities, fragrance-free, health, Housing, IAQ, invisible disabilities, medical, Mold, multiple chemical sensitivities, pesticides, petrochemicals, toxic chemicals, video
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:
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”.
Posted in Accessibility, Community, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Housing, Medically Required Housing, Research
Tagged accessibility, allergies, Chemical Injury, chemical sensitivity, environmental illness, fragrance-free, health, IAQ, invisible disabilities, MCS, multiple chemical sensitivities, pesticide poisoning, safe housing, survey, TILT, toxic trespass
So many accessibility guidelines completely skip the fact that these necessary and super easy to implement accessibility measures make it possible for perhaps 1/3 of the population to use (or use without harm) a public (or other) washroom, and especially help provide access for those who have disabling chemical and or environmental “sensitivities” (a term that trivializes the condition and effects).
Fragranced products not only create accessibility barriers for people with chemical and environmental “sensitivities”, fragrance sensitivity, autism, sensory sensitivities, migraines, asthma, MCAS/MCAD, and others, but fragrance ingredients have been linked to a number of other short and serious long term health effects in the general population.
It has come to our attention that too many places that hang up a scent or fragrance-free sign in the front office, have air effers and scented soaps in the washrooms. That’s not how this is done.
How to Basics:
Accessible washrooms for people with environmental sensitivities
Image is of a public washroom with sinks on the left side, a cleaning cart in the middle, and garbage cans holding open the stall doors on the right. There are purple bars across the image with the following lines of accessibility tips text:
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Disability, Environmental Health, Policy
Tagged allergies, asthma, autism, chemical sensitivity, environmental sensitivities, event planning, fragrance sensitivity, fragrance-free, how to, Human Rights, IAQ, invisible disabilities, MCAD, MCAS, MCS, multiple chemical sensitivities, pesticides, scent free, tips
I ran across a sign that the lung association had created, and while I am glad they are doing something , I found the message and visual required some tweaking.
Of course, the lung association didn’t come up with the term “sensitive”, it’s what is used in human rights laws, but it seems to have created an impression in the public’s mind that chemical and environmental sensitivities are trivial, and not disabling or even life threatening like they can be.
It also needs to be said that signs without enforcement are endangering lives and perpetuating harm, systemic accessibility barriers, discrimination, and forced isolated segregation for those who are disabled by any or repeated exposures.
To download printable posters, see below.
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Human Rights, Images, Policy
Tagged accessibility, allergies, asthma, autism, chemical sensitivity, Fragrance, fragrance-free, fragrance-free policy, health, IAQ, invisible disabilities, MCS, migraines, multiple chemical sensitivities, scent free, signs
People have asked for simple printable signs that can be posted at home or elsewhere. There are 2 versions of each sign, one being mostly black and white.
Click on the images below to save and print
Posted in Accessibility, Healthy Environment, Images, Policy
Tagged allergies, asthma, autism, chemical sensitivity, door signs, environmental sensitivities, fibromyalgia, fragrance-free, fragrance-free signs, IAQ, invisible disabilities, MCS, migraines, multiple chemical sensitivities, resources, signs
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
Awareness is growing about the harmful effects of synthetic, artificial fragrances. This is with good reason, but now, many people have jumped onto the natural fragrance and essential oil (EO) bandwagons, believing them to be safe alternatives.
Is this a good thing?
Some believe so, after all, what could be wrong with something that’s natural?
It’s time to have a closer look.
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Environmental Health, Fragrance, Health, Human Rights
Tagged allergies, asthma, autism, cancer, chemical sensitivity, environmental sensitivities, essential oils, fragrance-free, hazardous air pollutants, hospitals, IAQ, invisible disabilities, MCS, perfume, scent, VOCs