Tag Archives: Mold

Endangered Human Art Project: Bringing Awareness to Chemical Sensitivity

WHO Says We Need Fresh Air?!

Guest Post from Marie LeBlanc

Bringing awareness to chemical sensitivity
Marie LeBlanc at the Centennial Concert Hall in Winnipeg. May 12th 2017.

I am an artist  in Winnipeg who lives with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) and environmental illness caused by mold exposure. My art has been in relation to multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS)/Environmental Illness (EI) and toxic environments.

“WHO says we need fresh air?!” is a series of quotes from sufferers of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Environmental Illness, Mold Exposure, Electrohypersensitivity Syndrome, Lyme Disease and other conditions related to Chronic/Complex Immunological Neurological Diseases.

The art installation was on display during the evening of Fri. May 12, on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)/Environmental Sensitivities Awareness Day,  outside the Centennial Concert Hall (with a few quotes displayed on the indoor screens), and is dedicated to my friend Eliana from Mexico.

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MCS/ES Awareness Day Projects: Request for Submissions

Marie Leblanc, an artist from Winnipeg who is living with MCS/ES herself, is compiling information and statements to put into an MCS awareness project. There are two  ideas  to contribute to.

The easier one is to share  shorter personal statements about your life with MCS/ES and related environmentally linked health conditions,  which will be projected onto walls in a way similar to the photo below.

 

The other project involves answering 6 questions:

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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

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What I Wear In Bad Air :: D.R.B. and M.C.

2016 D.R.B.

“I never leave home without a scarf to wrap around my face. To give me a hands free quick exit.”

~ D.R.B.

2016 M.C.

“This is me cleaning a mouldy wall in my apartment after a flood in February.  I was wearing all 3 – nasal filters, a disposable R95 (mostly to keep gas mask plastic off skin), plus the P100!  Thankfully, I didn’t have to stay and was able to move into a mold-free unit, as one became available.”

~ M.C.

To learn more about masks see

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MCS/ES and Mental Health

Living with MCS/ES creates challenges that seem unimaginable to most people. Despite some progress (more awareness), due in large part to so many more people being affected, the barriers and obstacles to living in the world as it currently is, can be never-ending when there is industry generated denial that everyday chemicals (or wireless) exposures are hurting and disabling people.

dinner time“Remember, don’t talk or breathe when you take your masks off to eat”

It is exhausting to have to constantly ask for accommodations just to be able to exist in a world where safe solutions are often hard to find, or when they do exist, they are not affordable. It can be like living in a world that wishes we’d just go away and leave them all alone, yet… there is no safe place to go away to…

Is it any wonder then, that people develop mental health problems?

When health problems (mental or otherwise) related to circumstances and experiences arise, one is (usually) only truly helped by people who have an understanding of the issues related to the circumstances that are connected to the problems. When that understanding doesn’t exist, appearances can create erroneous assumptions that perpetuate the kinds of harms that caused the problems in the first place.

For people with MCS/ES, exposures can  trigger temporary or long term brain and behavior issues that look like mental health problems to people who don’t know how toxic chemicals, molds, food sensitivities, or wireless exposures can affect our brains and bodies. And sometimes we are capable of doing some things, yet completely incapable of doing others, as exposures can affect different parts of our bodies and brains, and for varying amounts of time.

What people also don’t understand, is that when we are able to live free of those exposures, we can be free of the brain or behavior problems the exposures cause.

Finding ways to access goods and services without being subjected to disabling levels of exposures can take 10 to 100 times more effort than people normally have to extend for the same goods and services. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we cannot safely access the goods and services everyone else takes for granted. These challenges can mean we may need to turn to others for help with survival and coping , yet not only is it difficult to receive practical support,

new research  also proves that access to knowledgeable mental health care providers is rare for people with MCS/ES!

 

“When asked to evaluate their provider’s knowledge of MCS on a scale of “not knowledgeable”, “somewhat knowledgeable”, or “highly knowledgeable”,

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Can’t You Hear Me? Why Can’t You See I Need Your Help?

Guest post by Kelly N.

The Scream by Edvard Munch

The Scream by Edvard Munch

It’s the most heartbreaking thing when you realize that you have no one…. zilch zero that will help you!  All you are is a stranger in a strange land with no one hearing your plea.  All the faces look around and stare at you like you have no face, no meaning.

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When Women Don’t Relinquish Fragrance

Guest post by By Heidi Utz

Several years ago, I posed to my women’s group a simple question: Can we ask members not to wear fragrances here? A hush fell over the room, then a silence so vast you could have heard a vial of Obsession drop. The same sweet women I’d grown to respect morphed into a pack of rabid wolves. No perfume?! It was as if I’d proposed giving up coffee, sugar, and styling gel in one fell swoop.

Since then, I have spent much time puzzling over their response. Are we so addicted to our scented products that the very notion of relinquishing them strikes terror in our hearts? Or is it more that the perfume industry has done such a stellar job in marketing its wares? Even in Santa Fe, where a comparatively high level of health-consciousness exists, we’re still susceptible to those redolent magazine ads, featuring the young and glossily naked in their evidently perfume-induced attractiveness.

But what if perfumiers, like chemical producers, were forced to include in their ads the manufacturer’s safety data sheets (i.e., the very interesting ways each spritz affects your liver)? Sound far-fetched?

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