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
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 report from the Auditor General of Canada came out in 2016. Nothing has changed as far as I have seen, and I keep my eyes open for these kinds of things.
“The Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) conducts independent audits and studies that provide objective information, advice, and assurance to Parliament, territorial legislatures, boards of crown corporations, government, and Canadians.”
Here’s a short video, followed by the transcript, more from the report, and some relevant bits from a follow up by Health Canada:
Chemicals in Consumer Products and Cosmetics
Posted in Chemicals, Environmental Health, Fragrance, Fragrance and Cosmetics, Policy, Public Health
Tagged accessibility barriers, allergies, asthma, cancer, environmental sensitivities, essential oils, fragrance chemicals, Health Canada, Human Rights, MCS, MCS/ES, OAG, petrochemicals, phthalates, toxic trespass
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.
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, chemicals in clothing, Fashion, Pollution
Tagged allergies, asthma, canaries, chemical sensitivity, environmental sensitivities, Fragrance, haz mat, hazardous air pollutants, health, Human Rights, IAQ, MCS, MCS/ES, petrochemicals
We need an easily recognizable accessibility symbol for non-toxic, wireless, VOC, scent, and fragrance-free places that show they are accessible to people with MCS/ES, asthma, COPD, migraines, and others who need healthy environments in order to remain functional and not become physically or cognitively impaired.
These signs would be used only in places that actually enforce the policies.
The standard accessibility signs have white symbols on blue backgrounds like these:
I’ve never seen anything like this to signify healthy wireless, scent, and fragrance-free indoor air, but these are some others I have found or assembled that might give a designer ideas to run with:
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Fragrance, Health Promotion, Healthy Environment, Images, Policy, Public Health
Tagged accessibility barriers, allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivity, fragrance-free, hazardous air pollutants, Human Rights, IAQ, MCS, MCS/ES, petrochemicals, toxic trespass, wireless
Many of you are familiar with Amelia Hill, either via my blog, her blog, from her facebook group, or from the several articles she has written or appeared in, where you can read about her most challenging circumstances and how she has worked so hard to not only survive them, but to overcome them and to help others who are hidden away going through similar challenges.
Amelia’s awesome mom Danija has contacted me to say that Amelia’s health has taken a real turn for the worse, and that she and her family have run out of funds to get her the very limited, specific foods and medical care Amelia urgently needs now.
A friend has started up a fundraiser where there are more details about what has happened and what is needed.
Please contribute if you can. ♥ Every little bit will help.
Amelia Hill’s Medical Fund
If you can’t donate, then please keep Amelia in your hearts and prayers.
We LOVE you Amelia!
♥ ♥ ♥
P.S. I will keep you updated in the comments when I have more news to share.
Posted in Community, Disability, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Friendship, Gifts, Health, ME/CFS, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Pesticides
Tagged allergies, chemical sensitivity, health care access for people with MCS/ES, Human Rights, MCS
Why do people who lose their health from being polluted and poisoned for profit end up being forced into isolation and invisibility in order to try to remain alive?
Posted in Accessibility, Air Quality, Disability, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Pollution
Tagged allergies, asthma, cancer, chemical sensitivity, Chemicals, fibromyalgia, Fragrance, hazardous air pollutants, Human Rights, invisible disabilities, MCS, MCS/ES, petrochemicals, toxic trespass, VOCs