May is MCS/Chemical Injury Awareness month. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a chronic condition where a person develops severe, debilitating symptoms from damaging exposure to toxic chemicals in everyday products. It is increasingly prevalent in today’s society because products are manufactured using incredibly hazardous chemicals which are often unapproved or have not been tested, many of which are in synthetic fragrances.
MCS is designated as an official disability under the Human Rights Act and must be accorded all such rights wherever possible.
However, this is rarely done or understood, and most with MCS do not have the energy or wellness to fight for their own rights.
They are chronically ill and socially isolated from friends, family, normal everyday living or working that most people take for granted. There is homelessness through inability to live in buildings made of toxic materials, and suicide is not uncommon amongst sufferers.
MCS is a societal disease, and if we created it, we also have the power to put an end to it. Every person who stops using fragranced products, every organization that makes an effort to detoxify their workplace or public space is making a difference.
This is what is needed — one by one, people have to start caring enough to make changes in their own lives, demand that companies make changes in their products, demand that governments pass stricter regulations, because the fragrance industry is unregulated.
If someone tells you they cannot be near you because of fragrance on your person or clothing, this is someone with this isolating illness.
Consider making changes in what you put on your body and your hair, clean your house with, wash your clothes in. Throw away highly toxic dryer sheets and softeners which vent to the outdoors for everyone to breathe.
Make the world a safer place for yourself and your pets, as well as those living with MCS.
Valerie Pusey, Gibsons