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
“there is no right to wear fragranced products”
Accommodation for Environmental Sensitivities: Legal Perspective
2007 Canadian Human Rights Commission
Posted in Air Quality, Environmental Sensitivities, Human Rights
Tagged accommodation, chemical sensitivity, Fragrance, fragrance-free, IAQ, invisible disabilities, legal rights, MCS, MCS/ES, policy
Wishing you all some Happiness during the Holidays!
May all beings have clean air, clean water, healthy organic food, and safe and healthy shelter! All that and love, lots and lots of love!
Posted in Air Quality, Environment, Environmental Health, Friendship, Gifts, Products
Tagged chemical sensitivity, environmental sensitivities, fragrance-free, hazardous air pollutants, health, holidays, IAQ, invisible disabilities, MCS, MCS/ES, multiple chemical sensitivities, petrochemicals
♥ 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:
Posted in Accessibility, Community, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Fragrance, Friendship, Gifts, Support
Tagged allergies, chemical sensitivity, chronic illness, coping, environmental sensitivities, fragrance-free, Gifts, holidays, invisible disabilities, MCS, MCS/ES, toxic chemicals, visiting
The ARCH Disability Law Centre and the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) announced in September of 2016 that they were working on a report about the challenges faced by people with multiple chemical and/or environmental sensitivities.
ARCH Alert September 2016
“ARCH, in collaboration with the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), has been working on a report about the challenges faced by people with multiple chemical and/or environmental sensitivities. Our report was informed by consultations with persons who experience these disabilities.
One of our major findings is the significant extent of attitudinal barriers faced by this group of people. Often, they find that they are not believed when they ask that scents, fragrances or other products not be worn in the workplace, educational settings, health care settings or places where services are received. We believe that a large awareness campaign is needed to educate the public about the impact of these disabilities on all aspects of a person’s life.”
The release of their report has been delayed because they want to respond to the Ontario Task Force on Environmental Health’s Interim Report, which came out just when their own report was intended for release.
In the November 2017 issue of Arch Alert, both ARCH and CELA urge the Task Force to do more consultations with those of us who are living the experience:
Posted in Accessibility, Environment, Environmental Health, Human Rights, Policy
Tagged ARCH, autism, CELA, CFS, CFS/ME, chemical sensitivity, children, EHS, environmental sensitivities, FM, Housing, invisible disabilities, MCS, MCS/ES, multiple chemical sensitivities, Ontario, Research, wireless
Part Four of Four
(Part One, Part Two, Part Three)
Guest post by Che Ray
If you are hosting the family in your own home, it is true, you must take every precaution. Otherwise their stink will be there long after they leave. If they come in with stuff and it gets on your furniture, it will be bad.
Here is a suggestion: let them know in advance that before they enter the house they will have to be willing to have you test whether they are wearing anything that is triggering for you. Then when they arrive, if you have a good friend who gets what you are dealing with, have them first go to the cars of the people who are coming. He or she can do a preliminary test. If she senses something she can be the one to tell them what the problem is.
If you have sent them detailed emails in advance of everything they need to eliminate (she can even bring the check list to the car) then this will come as no surprise. They won’t be mad at you, they will feel bad. And that’s OK. That is the part of the learning process on their end.
If they make it to the front porch, you go outside and test again. When you first greet them, I suggest having your mask on. It will let them know right away what the situation is. Take it off briefly to assess the situation. If you feel comfortable taking it off at some point later in the evening, you can simply say, I am going to do a test to see how I do.
Posted in Accessibility, Community, Fragrance, Support
Tagged allergies, barriers, chemical sensitivity, environmental illness, environmental sensitivities, family, fragrance-free, holidays, invisible disabilities, MCS, MCS/ES, TILT
Part Three of Four
(Part One and Part Two)
Guest post by Che Ray
Here are some things I would recommend: even when it’s a stuck in bed day…
I: Don’t try to do too much physically. Definitely let your body rest, but also do something active to restore your mind like listen to a meditation talk or guided meditation. Tarabrach.com or jonathanfoust.com are great! I recommend them highly. This will help you get restorative rest, which is a much deeper, more relaxing experience.
II: I only recently discovered an online language tutorial called Mango. It’s free if you have a public library card. It is an awesome interactive language learning app. It has everything from Spanish to Swahili, to Pirate (really, it’s super fun and funny!) to Yiddish; dozens of languages.
I have a brain injury from the toxic exposures but have not been able to get the kind of occupational therapy I need which has been depressing. One day I thought, what can I do to keep my mind stimulated? And I came across this. Even if you don’t want to dedicate yourself to learning a new language, 10 minutes of mimicking Pirate language is going to make you laugh and feel better. And it’s good for your brain.
III. You are a superhero.
Recruit other people in your life to join your fight.
Posted in Accessibility, Community, Fragrance, Support
Tagged allergies, barriers, chemical sensitivity, environmental illness, environmental sensitivities, fragrance-free, invisible disabilities, MCS, MCS/ES, TILT