May is Awareness Month for Environmental Illness, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Toxic Encephalopathy and Chemical Injury Awareness.
Adverse health reactions to low or moderate levels of chemicals is not a rare disorder some people have and the rest are immune to developing it. A Chemical Injury can happen to anyone! It can occur through a large, sudden exposure or more commonly, from the use of from the use of regular, everyday products (such as air fresheners, cleaners, perfumes, chemically fragranced personal care products, pesticides, paints, stains and new cars or furniture).
In 1996, the California Health Services Dept found that 15.9% reported being unusually sensitive to everyday chemical. In 2010, University of Washington discovered that 30.5% reported they find scented products on other people irritating.
Adverse health effects include, but are not limited to: difficulty breathing, burning eyes, burning skin, blurred vision, headaches, migraines, vertigo, nausea, organ pain, memory loss, cognitive dysfunctions, paralysis, seizures and more.
In addition, I am sure there are many more who have headaches and other symptoms, but have yet to make the correlation. What’s more, these chemicals attack the immune system, nervous system, organs and cells, as well as block and modulate hormone production. As a result, we are all affected, whether we notice it right this moment or not.
It is not the “smell” that is the issue. The term “fragrance” is considered a trade secret, therefore companies can use any conglomeration of dozens of chemicals they desire to create their fragrance.
“A study led by the University of Washington discovered that 25 commonly used scented products emit an average of 17 chemicals each. Of the 133 different chemicals detected, nearly a quarter are classified as toxic or hazardous under at least one federal law” (Steinemann, UW 2010).
As you can imagine, millions like me end up extremely isolated in their homes, missing out on time with friends and family, church, parties, weddings, graduations and holidays, because they wear chemically fragranced products.
This disorder is preventable! I only wish I had known BEFORE and it is my passion to get the word out for others, before they end up where I have been.
Here is my plea: Please stop using toxic chemicals in your home, on your lawn and on your body! There are many wonderful alternatives for cleaning and personal care products. Please do it for those who react to these products and are isolated from you if you use them. Please do this your family and for those around you. Please do this for you!
For more information go to the Invisible Disabilities Association’s website, Cleaner Indoor Air.
MCS Can Be Lonely
Choose Friendships Over Fragrances
Visiting with a Loved One with Chemical Injury
Chemical Sensitivities with Pluto and Minnie
Toxins in Everyday Household Products with Anne Steinemann PhD