Tag Archives: VOCs

The Pinktober Special You Don’t Want to Miss!

At long last, here’s your chance to see STINK for FREE!

Please don’t miss this!
What you see could literally save your life!

If you want to learn more about pink ribbons and pinktober, you can get Breast Cancer Action’s  “Think Before You Pink Toolkit” here.

And for everyone’s sake:

Be fragrance (and toxic chemical stink) free. It’s good for you! It’s good for me!

http://StinkMovie.com/

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Why?

Why do people who lose their health from being polluted and poisoned for profit end up being forced into isolation and invisibility in order to try to remain alive?

mcs prison visit crying-game 2

Why?

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The Courageous Canaries of MCS/ES (and mask) Awareness Month 2016

2016 MCS-ES Awareness Month Compilation

Many thanks to the Courageous Canaries of MCS/ES (and mask)
Awareness Month 2016!

Your courage, kindness, and willingness to share your photos and stories in the “What I Wear in Bad Air” series generated a lot of discussion in various support groups, and will benefit so many others who can see some of the options that are available, as worn by their peers, and that it’s more than ok to be visible. Continue reading

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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Fume Enclosure Boxes for Reading, Computers, and Appliances

Since papers, inks, and computers can release fumes that are too toxic for some of us to breathe, adversely affecting our ability to remain functional, and since there’s no getting away from papers and technology in modern society, an assistive device was invented some decades ago that could be useful to bring back as a more popular accessory: the reading box!

I recently ran across an ad on Craigslist for one that was for sale in the US, and then someone found an old catalogue (2002 PDF) with a few other pics, so I thought I’d share the info and images here in case they can help anyone else.

A reading box is basically a box made of wood, glass, or metal, with an opening in the front, and glass on top to read through. A vented box will also have a dryer hose out the back, and a fan of some sort to push the air through the hose and out of a window. A barrier with a vent sized exhaust hole would also be needed to cover the window opening being used.

reading box for computer 1This computer box is from the catalogue.

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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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