Tag Archives: Fragrance

What’s it Like to Have MCS/ES? Part 1: Arms, Brains, and Legs

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.

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?

‘have legs or brain some days but not others’

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What Are Your Wishes for 2019?

Dream big! What would you wish for? Continue reading

CBC News Hi-lights Accessibility Barriers to Housing for People With MCS/ES

Severe sensitivity to household chemicals leaves GTA man
homeless for the holidays

Environmental sensitivities have forced Oliver Zhang to move 70 times in 3 years


I hope that someone can offer or help create a safe place for Oliver Zhang to live.

I also hope that something is done soon to ensure safe, affordable, accessible,  non-toxic, mold-free, housing is available for all  the other people who have  MCS/ES (a condition, not disorder) who need safe and accessible housing.

Since finding a safe place to rest one’s head and body is so challenging, even in the best of current circumstances, Oliver Zhang should not be forced to leave the shelter where he is currently residing if it is physically safe enough for him to be there.  He is in crisis.

Forcing people onto the streets creates preventable trauma and mental health problems in addition to the serious challenges that already exist when trying to survive with MCS/ES in a society full of systemic accessibility barriers.

I know of many people who have had to move numerous (even countless) times  in their quest to find housing that doesn’t hurt and disable them. I hear from too many who are in crisis,  seeking accessible housing. I know people who no longer have the energy to keep looking for a needle in a haystack, because each toxic haystack leaves them more and more incapacitated. I know people with MCS/ES who are sleeping in cars and tents, and I have also known more than a few people who weren’t able to find safe housing and are no longer with us.

This is a preventable crisis.

Oliver Zhang and all the other people who are homeless due to the lack of accessible housing for people with MCS/ES, have been put into this position due to systemic neglect (if not deliberate discrimination) and bad policies, not through any fault of their own.

The City of Toronto has known about the critical need for accessible housing for people with MCS/ES since at least 2007, and most likely long before.

In 2008:

“The City of Toronto has launched a consultation process on the development of the City’s ten-year affordable housing plan, known as Housing Opportunities Toronto (“HOT”); and

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When There’s No Accessible Potty

 

This washroom isn’t accessible:

 

neither is this one:

 

nor are the Ontario highway and other washrooms that have these installed:

Pesticides and fragrance! What could go wrong?

 

Many of us cannot go into a washroom that has an air effer or scented soap.

“In addition to the possibly life threatening immediate and delayed adverse health effects, “our clothes are contaminated and need to be aired out for days before we can even wash them or they contaminate more of our clothes.”
(from a  fb comment on the last post
)

So what to do?

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Choices… We Always Have Some

When Toxics Drift

we end up with choices.

Sit outside for a little while to get some Vitamin D

or

Be able to think, wash dishes, and/or make something to eat

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When Toxics Drift

Toxics Drift
smoke, asphalt, refineries, pesticides, gases, laundry fumes, etc

When pollutants drift, then people (and other living beings) get hurt, especially the many millions who are more ‘sensitive’ to pollution.

Smoke is one form of pollution that is visible, but other types may not be.

Here are a few images that show how different types of visible pollutants move through the air we all depend on to breathe, and how far they can travel:

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Canary Separates and Onesies aka Hazmat Gear

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.

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