Category Archives: Environmental Sensitivities

Acts of Festive Kindness

Christmas, Birthdays, and Other Holidays with MCS/ES

For most people, these special occasions are times of joy and celebration in the company of friends and loved ones, but for people with invisible disabilities and chronic illnesses like MCS/ES, they can be sad reminders of the lives that we no longer have  access to.

We are still seldom  included in the festivities and are usually left alone to fend for ourselves. Unfortunately, since human beings are social beings, not everyone is well equipped to self occupy, and  some people become seriously depressed and even suicidal because of this.

To realize it’s because some friends, family, neighbours, and co-workers prefer to keep using certain products instead of using other products so we can safely be around them and enjoy their company,  makes it even harder for us, knowing they care more about the products they buy than they care about us. It’s a heart breaking thing to have to live with.

 

  Thankfully, not everyone chooses products over people 

 

Before I became too chemically injured to socialize in crowds, I had a wonderful friend who happily made the effort to make her place and parties safe for me!

In 2005  her invites were all sent out with these words:

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Françoise Gourd 1950 – 2017

Shared by Doug Atwood

In June 2017, we lost a friend and active member of our community.


Françoise Gourd

 

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A Universally Recognized Accessibility Symbol for Environmental Sensitivities?

 

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:

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Song: “I’m a prisoner because of fabric softener”

A song by Jonathan Richman

I had never heard of Jonathan Richman before this song about not being able to walk outside at night because of dryer sheets, fabric softener, air “fresheners”,   and having to close doors and windows because of them,  so I looked him up and found he had done a song about cell phones too. Here they are:
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Published: “Invisible Barriers, Invisible Disabilities, Invisible People”

My article “Invisible Barriers, Invisible Disabilities, Invisible People”   is now available to read in the

Special Issue on Ecopsychology and Environmental Sensitivities:
Chemical, Electrical, and Beyond

All the articles in the entire special issue will be available for free until Sept. 5  2017, which is unprecedented access!

Please check them out and share as widely as possible!

 

Table of Contents:

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Words Images Life Art Dance

While following the events at Standing Rock, I ran across something that impressed me that was shared from the “Dancing Earth” fb page,  and so I began following them  (please do check them out if you like powerful dance images).

At the end of April, just before MCS/ES Awareness Month was to begin, Dancing Earth posted the image below, and it made me stop in my tracks (as I scrolled through my fb newsfeed). I returned to it over and over again, and I finally asked for permission to share it here, and for the  back story about how it came to be.

This image!


Songs From The Extraction Zones
Rulan Tangen at Santa Fe Arts Institute

I kept hoping to find the words to describe why I find it to be such a powerful image, and why I feel such a personal connection to it, but I’ve been struggling from the effects of too much pollution on my brain. Pesticides, laundry products, and who knows what else have been taking their toll on my ability to string words together to do this the justice I feel it deserves, so this will not be as eloquent as I had hoped it would be, but I still want to share this with you, and maybe you will find some of your own words, or just sit with the feelings.

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MCS/ES 2017 Continued: The Canaries Are Still Waiting!

The canaries are still waiting!

“We issued a report (in 1985) that identified existing, publicly funded means of diagnosis, and accepted various methods of patient management, including avoidance of offending agents.

We did not feel that more research was needed before these and other measures were introduced to protect patients from being caused harm through inappropriate labelling or the denial of reasonable accommodation.”

Excerpted from this letter by Judge George M. Thomson, B.A., LL.B., LL.M., who chaired the extensive report by the Ad Hoc Committee on Environmental Hypersensitivity Disorders for the Province of Ontario in 1985:

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