Category Archives: Health Care

Why I LOVE Having Environmental “Sensitivities”

Guest post

In all of this I don’t have a permanent place to stay and paid rent to a landlord who won’t fix anything, my apartment insurance cut me off and won’t help with my possessions, my medicare health insurance is not covering the health aspect and my one doctor wants me to see a doctor out of province which is not covered, and my social assistance did not pay me my disability this month, and family does not understand any of this….At this point I have nothing to lose and everything to gain….I AM MOVING FORWARD!

~ Marie LeBlanc, Manitoba, Canada

brick-walking-8-abcde

Ontario Announces the Task Force on Environmental Health

The Government of the Province of Ontario, specifically the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) finally announced the establishment of a Task Force on Environmental Health.

Let’s hope this new project creates the long overdue and effective changes and access to basic services that are needed by people with environmentally linked, disabling,  chronic health conditions like MCS/ES, unlike the 1985 project which created a  600+ page report with recommendations that were largely ignored (see links below), which allowed these and other problems to fester and increase in severity and magnitude.

Ontario Task Force 2016

The news release about the new task force follows:

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What I Wear In Bad Air :: Marie

2016 Marie LeBlanc 1

“I have to  wear my mask to do laundry in the basement because of mustiness and other people’s fragrances.”

~ Marie LeBlanc

Marie also shared an artistically altered image of her wearing her mask while waiting to see a doctor, because people were ignoring the fragrance-free signs on the wall behind her. Continue reading

When We HAVE to Wear A Mask to Breathe and Function

When breathing the air hurts…

When we have to filter and “purify” the air just to breathe…

What options do we have?

many masksSome of the many (mostly nuisance level particulate) masks available in Asia, where people aren’t afraid to be creative or silly, despite the seriously sad need.

Having an invisible disability is difficult, especially when many of the adverse effects are delayed and we have to deal with them in isolation.  Some people feel  self conscious about wearing a mask, especially if we can’t find a “pretty” one that we are able to use, despite how they can reduce adverse effects. If there’s any good that comes from wearing one (in addition to protecting our health a bit) wearing a mask when we have an invisible disability helps make us visible.

The type of mask we benefit most from will depend on our “sensitivities” and circumstances. Masks will filter the air we breathe in various degrees, but unless we have a full face respirator and wear a hazmat suit, our eyes and skin will still absorb chemicals that can have an adverse effect on our health and well-being. For this reason, they should not be thought of as complete protection from pollution, and are therefore best used only when absolutely necessary.

Information and resources about masks that filter out some of the different types of daily pollutants we are subjected to, and what kinds of filter materials are needed to purify what kinds of pollutants follows.

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“Artificial scents have no place in our hospitals”

Canada’s top medical journal, the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), says
Artificial scents have no place in our hospitals

Hospital NO Fragrance

“These patients may be involuntarily exposed to artificial scents from staff, other patients and visitors, resulting in worsening of their clinical condition. As patients,
family members and emergency physicians will attest, the attacks can be quite sudden and serious. There is little justification for continuing to tolerate artificial scents in our
hospitals.” …

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Are Healthy Hospitals Possible?

That may seem like a dumb question to people who haven’t been in a hospital, but to the rest of us, including those of us who can’t even go into a hospital in life or death situations, it’s a serious one.

hospitals make us sick

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Check out this TEDMED video where Robin Guenther* discusses connections between health and environmental design, and what she and others are doing to make things  different:

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Optional “Inconvenience”

Guest post and images by Laura J Mac

What always strikes me during conversations about how to persuade service providers to accommodate our disability is how much extra work we have to do just to participate in simple survival stuff. I mean, “simply” tracking down professionals who are willing to accommodate is a chore and a half. The luxury of “having a good relationship” with a service provider falls way down on the list because it’s usually one or the other.

Laura J Mac 1

Nobody would think twice about someone who uses a mobility device asking if there are ramps and elevators but it seems that our need for fragrance-free and reduced chemical exposure is perceived as a “preference” rather than a medical necessity. That perception leads to the idea that accommodation of our disability is an “option” (and generally it’s an “option” that service providers aren’t willing to make available.) It’s not that we don’t “like” fragrance, these chemical exposures cause neurological and physiological problems that interfere with our ability to function on a daily basis.

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