Tag Archives: Research

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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60 MiNueTs: Short Video Series on Environmental Health

 It’s hard to get anyone to take the time to read (let alone  understand) scientific research, but it’s so important that we educate ourselves when the opportunity arises. People have short attention spans these days, probably from all the neurotoxins and wireless radiation we’re all being exposed to on a daily basis, so it’s great when we find information that is short and to the point.

Here is a great short video series from

the UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment.

Please watch and share!

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Dr Molot Urges Everyone to Support the Canaries

Please take a minute and eleven seconds  to watch this video from Dr.  John Molot where he talks about MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities) and how we (the people who developed MCS) have been stigmatized and that we really are canaries. He speaks about some of the other serious health problems the chemicals that disable us are causing in those who do not have MCS.
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If you don’t know who Dr Molot is, you can read a bio  here and check out the SStP blog post here.
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You can register for the video seminars he speaks of here:
It’s free – you will be sent the link to watch the seminar videos and be informed of upcoming workshops and resources too, but you can unsubscribe at any time.
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Please share this and do look into the work that Dr Molot and EHA Quebec are doing on everyone’s behalf!
Thank you all!

Fragranced Products: Risk to People and Profits

From Dr Anne Steinemann’s latest research
“Fragranced consumer products: exposures and effects from emissions”

“Basically, if it contained a fragrance, it posed problems for people” 

 

fragranced-risks

“This is a huge problem; it’s an epidemic”
says Professor Steinemann.

She is especially concerned with involuntary exposure to fragranced products, or what she calls “secondhand scents.

“Over 22% of Americans surveyed can’t go somewhere because exposure to a fragranced product would make them sick.”

“These findings have enormous implications for businesses, workplaces, care facilities, schools, homes, and other private and public places,” said Professor Steinemann. For instance, a growing number of lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act concern involuntary and disabling exposure to fragranced products.”

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Ontario Reported on MCS/ES in 1985, Yet…

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”

1985-ontario-report-cover-with-logo

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.

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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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We Shouldn’t Need a Gas Mask to Use A Computer or Blender!

Ever notice how when you buy a new appliance or electronic device, and take it out of the box, or plug it in, the smell makes you nauseous, dizzy, and gives you a headache? Or worse?

That smell is made up of some really toxic chemical fumes. Benzene, styrene, and toluene, among others… in everyday technology!

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New research from the Exposure, Epidemiology & Risk Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, on how the pollutants in indoor environments affect people’s cognitive functioning (people who are still able to work in polluted offices, not the people who are already too disabled to work in polluted offices) discovered that

Green office environments linked with higher cognitive function scores

…”People who work in well-ventilated offices with below-average levels of indoor pollutants and carbon dioxide (CO2) have significantly higher cognitive functioning scores–in crucial areas such as responding to a crisis or developing strategy–than those who work in offices with typical levels, according to a new study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and Syracuse University.

“We have been ignoring the 90%. We spend 90% of our time indoors and 90% of the cost of a building are the occupants, yet indoor environmental quality and its impact on health and productivity are often an afterthought,” said Joseph Allen, assistant professor of exposure assessment science, director of the Healthy Buildings Program at the Harvard Center for Health and the Global Environment, and lead author of the study.

“These results suggest that even modest improvements to indoor environmental quality may have a profound impact on the decision-making performance of workers.”

Researchers wanted to look at the impact of ventilation, chemicals, and carbon dioxide on workers’ cognitive function because, as buildings have become more energy efficient, they have also become more airtight, increasing the potential for poor indoor environmental quality.

Building-related illnesses and “sick building syndrome” were first reported in the 1980s as ventilation rates decreased. In response, there has been an emphasis on sustainable design–“green” buildings that are energy efficient and are also designed to enhance indoor environmental quality. The researchers designed this study to identify the specific attributes of green building design that influence cognitive function, an objective measure of productivity.

“The major significance of this finding lies in the fact that these are the critical decision making parameters that are linked to optimal and productive functioning. Losing components of these skills impacts how people handle their day to day lives.”

In other words, pollution prevents people from being smart!

appliance gas mask

Here are just some of the harmful emissions from computers:

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