An important update on the situation in Ontario, from Varda Burstyn, one of the original members of the Task Force on Environmental Health.
Please read and share, and find a way to put pressure on the elected reps, and if possible, get much needed media attention on this travesty of justice!
Note too that it’s not just for us, it’s a public health issue when over 50% of children have chronic health problems (including preschool kids with disabling anxiety), and something like 2/3 of the population on at least one pharmaceutical drug. We know that removing the cause of the problem results in better health than ineffectively trying to manage some symptoms!
When the canaries are ignored, public health suffers!
Dispatches from The Chemical Edge
Hundreds of thousands are sick – and after 33 years, Ontario government again declines to implement basic measures of care
“These three environmental health conditions typically have a devastating impact on the individuals affected. Unfortunately, our health care system too often has not helped them to the extent they need. The report of the Task Force sets out a course that will begin to remedy this. I look forward to seeing the Minister’s response to our report, and urge him to respond quickly and decisively. There is a need for strong leadership.“ Neil Stuart, Vice-Chair of the Task Force.
Few people have any idea of the number of people in Ontario afflicted with the debilitating, painful, often co-occurring and even life-threatening conditions of Environmental Sensitivity/Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (about 310,000), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (about 215,000) and Fibromyalgia (about 196,800). But it turns out that, in total, there are a…
View original post 2,692 more words
Posted in Accessibility, Community, Environmental Health, Human Rights, Policy, Public Health
Tagged CFS/ME, discrimination., environmental sensitivities, FM, health care, MCS, Ontario, Task Force, Varda Burstyn
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
The Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s long awaited Environmental Health Task Force Interim Report has finally been released!
“We found that, throughout the health care system and in society at large, there is:
•a lack of recognition of the seriousness and severity of these conditions
•a profound shortage of knowledgeable care providers
•a dearth of clinical tools to support and guide care
•a discouraging shortage of services and supports for people living with these conditions
•an absence of support for family caregivers.
The lack of knowledge and appropriate accessible care has devastating effects on Ontarians struggling with ME/CFS, FM and ES/MCS.
For those living with ME/CFS, FM and ES/MCS, the lack of recognition of these serious and debilitating conditions is as harmful as the lack of treatments. …
We urge the Minister to act now to raise awareness of these conditions and address the barriers that keep people with ME/CFS, FM and ES/MCS from getting the care and services they need.”
From the press release:
Posted in Accessibility, Action, Environmental Health, Health Care, Human Rights, Policy
Tagged AODA, environmental sensitivities, ES/MCS, fibromyalgia, FM, hospitals, invisible disabilities, MCS, MCS/ES, ME/CFS, mental health, multiple chemical sensitivities, multiple chemical sensitivity, OHIP, Ontario
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:
Posted in Disability, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Human Rights, Public Health
Tagged chemical sensitivity, ecopsychology, EHS, environment, fibromyalgia, Gibson, health, invisible disabilities, MCS, MCS/ES, multiple chemical sensitivities, Ontario, petrochemicals, Research, systemic discrimination, toxic chemicals, toxic trespass
MCS/ES is not new. Over 30 years ago, the Province of Ontario created the “Committee on Environmental Hypersensitivity” and appointed George Thomson, a former provincial court judge, as chairman, with a mandate to study and “advise the Ministry of Health on the occurrence of environmental hypersensitivity in Ontario and on current methods of diagnosis and treatment. Further, the committee was to make recommendations to the ministry concerning future approaches to treatment and research that should be taken”
From the the Legislative Assembly of Ontario Official Records for 17 December 1985:
Hon. Mr. Elston: Members of this House may also recall a six-member committee which was appointed in November 1984 to study a disorder which is known as environmental hypersensitivity, or 20th-century disease. The condition has been described as multiple sensitivities or allergies to a wide range of foods, chemicals and environmental substances.
Posted in Disability, Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Human Rights, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Policy, Pollution, Public Health
Tagged canaries, genocide, invisible disabilities, MCS, Ontario, petrochemicals, Research, sensitivities
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.
The news release about the new task force follows:
Posted in Environmental Health, Environmental Sensitivities, Government, Health, Health Care, Human Rights, Policy
Tagged chemical sensitivity, fibromyalgia, health care access for people with MCS/ES, health effects, MCS, MCS/ES, multiple chemical sensitivities, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Ontario, petrochemicals, toxic
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.
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.
Posted in Accessibility, Disability, Environmental Health, Fragrance, Health Care, Human Rights, Indoor Air Quality, Mental Health, Policy, Public Health
Tagged AODA, Chemicals, environmental sensitivities, fragrance-free policy, hazardous air pollutants, health, IAQ, invisible disabilities, MCS, MCS/ES, mental health, multiple chemical sensitivities, Ontario, petrochemicals