Susan Molloy’s Presentation to Access Board 5/23/18

Susan Molloy’s Presentation to U.S. Access Board at Phoenix Meeting on 5/23/18

U.S. Access Board

1331 “F” Street NW

Washington, DC 20004

Dear President Robertson, Board Members, and Executive Director Mr. Capozzi:

First of all, we are honored by your visit to ABILITY360, our Phoenix Disability Empowerment Center. Thank you, and ABILITY360 Executive Director Phil Pangrazzio, for all your efforts organizing this meeting and for hearing our presentations. Please extend our appreciation to your staff members as well for their hard work.

We trust that you are as encouraged as we, by which I mean people facing environmental barriers to public spaces and facilities, by the Indoor Environmental Quality (“IEQ”) Report of 2005. It was published by the National Institute of Building Sciences, sponsored by the U.S. Access Board, and coordinated by the Access Board’s then Chief Counsel Jim Raggio.

Through this project, we developed concepts and language through which to make the Access Board’s work more comprehensive.

While implementation of the measures we suggest in that document, and in subsequent communications, may not all be immediately achievable, it is our responsibility to see that inadvertent barriers to our access do not go unnoticed and that we assist the Board in drawing up applicable specifications and policies in accordance with the IEQ Final Report.

We are at your service to make this happen.

Toward that end, I endorse the presentations of Mary Lamielle, Director of the National Center for Environmental Strategies, of Ann McCampbell, M.D., from whom you have just heard, from Libby Kelley regarding electrical hypersensitivities and related issues, and from our other colleagues who have participated in preparation for this meeting.

Now, I would like to familiarize you with a few bare-bones features that can enormously and immediately improve our access to public places, with little or no expense, while more extensive measures are developed for future implementation.

SHORTLIST of Free, Readily Achievable Structural and Design Considerations

Windows that open (consider air-to-air heat exchanger technology)

Daylight, skylights, and the option of incandescent lightbulbs (no fluorescents or LEDS) in at least some specified areas of the facility

Landscaping using plants, trees, ground covers that require no chemical maintenance, and no extensive watering (to minimize mold growth)

Non-chemical IPM inside facility, paths of travel, and outdoors (sidewalks, parking area, bus stop)

No Fragrance Emission Devices (“FEDS”) in at least designated restrooms, and no fragrance distribution systems in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (“HVAC”) systems

No smart meters for electricity, gas, or water installed in public areas of a facility unless thoroughly and effectively shielded

Separate electrical wiring and/or fiber optics, and kill switches, for at least some areas of the facility so that non-essential computers, printers, fluorescents, others can be shut down without impacting other areas of the facility

No carpet in designated areas

Maintain existing landline phones, and re-install the old ones

Independent variable fresh air ventilation system (aka “fan”), for at least certain areas of the facility, that can be operated by the room occupant without assistance

Signage on and around the facility, in pertinent formats, indicating where accessible (for our purposes) sidewalks, ramps, doors, restrooms, phones, conference rooms, parking are located, along with a posted, readily available schedule of recent maintenance and materials

Signage, in pertinent formats, to designate areas where wi-fi is present, to prevent inadvertent exposure to the degree possible

Designation of areas for re-charging wheelchair batteries, cell phones, computers, vehicles, others using wired electrical outlets

Essential: buzzer or intercom outside the facility to summon building occupants such as the clerk, doctor, child, police, social services employee, grocer, shopkeeper

Study the “Cleaner Air Room” concept and language as per the Indoor Environmental Quality (“IEQ”) Report, pages 47-55, 2005, which is posted on the Access Board’s website (www.access-board.gov/research/completed-research/indoor-environmental-quality)

 

Susan Molloy, M.A.

Hansa Trail, Snowflake, AZ 85937

928.536.4625

molloy@frontiernet.net

My Presentation to Federal Access Board 5/23/18

On May 23, 2018, the federal Access Board held a town hall meeting in Phoenix to hear from members of the public about their access needs.  I was honored to be on a panel, along with Susan Molloy, to make a presentation on the access needs of people with multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) and electromagnetic hypersensitivities (EHS).

Click here to listen to my presentation (7.5 mins).

Susan Molloy and I, as well as several other people with MCS and/or EHS who made public comments, stressed the profound lack of access that people with these disabilities have to housing, health care, employment, and almost the entire built environment.  We urged the Board to take action to increase this access.

For specific next steps, Susan and I endorsed the National Center for Environmental Health Strategies (NCEHS) recommendations for action shown below:

NCEHS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION
US Access Board, January 8, 2018
 
Unfinished business from the IEQ (Indoor Environmental Quality) Project
(www.access-board.gov/research/completed-research/indoor-environmental-quality):
 
Work with our community to develop a plan to address IEQ and the disability access needs of people with chemical and electrical sensitivities or intolerances.
 
Fulfill the promises of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Recreational Activities, September 3, 2002:
 
Develop an action plan that can be used to reduce the level of chemicals and electromagnetic fields in the built environment;
 
Develop technical assistance materials on best practices to accommodate individuals with chemical and electrical sensitivities or intolerances;
      
Address recommendations in the IEQ Report including the need for research on cleaning products and practices that are effective and protective of occupant health.
 
New Initiatives:
 
Create a partnership or working group with the National Council on Disability (NCD) and other agencies as appropriate to address our issues.
 
Appoint a liaison from our community to work with the partnership or working group.
 
Appoint at least one staff member and one board member as a contact on these issues.
 
Support the appointment of an individual with knowledge of these issues to the U.S. Access Board and/or the National Council on Disability (NCD).
 
Facilitate efforts to educate members of the U.S. Access Board and staff, the NCD, and other agencies and organizations, as the opportunity presents.
 
Invite knowledgeable experts and advocates to work with the U.S. Access Board and the National Council on Disability to advance these issues.
 
Convene a meeting with the experts to formalize a plan of action to address the proposed initiatives. This plan should in part include joint hearings or stakeholder meetings sponsored by the U.S. Access Board, the NCD, and other agencies as appropriate, to get input from the community. Invite those with environmental sensitivities or intolerances to “SPEAK for themselves” about their health, access, and disability needs. 
 
 
National Center for Environmental Health Strategies, Inc. (NCEHS), Mary Lamielle, Executive Director, 1100 Rural Avenue, Voorhees, New Jersey 08043 (856)429-5358; (856)816-8820
 
 
 

MCS Booklet Now Available as a Kindle E-Book!

I am happy to report that my Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) booklet is now available as a Kindle E-book. It can be purchased through Amazon. On that site you can “look inside” and preview the first 4 pages.  Feel free to leave me a customer review and tell me what you think of the booklet. 

NM Public Regulation Commission Denies Approval of Electricity Smart Meters

This is terrific news!  PNM is the largest provider of electricity in NM.  At last, those with electromagnetic hypersensitivity are acknowledged and their needs taken into account.

Arthur Firstenberg

Cellular Phone Task Force

April 11, 2018

Today we won a victory in the fight against radiation. The Public Regulation Commission has denied PNM’s application for Smart Meters. “The plan presented in the Application does not provide a net public benefit and it does not promote the public interest,” wrote the Commission.

The Commission accepted the Hearing Examiner’s recommended decision without alteration. It ruled that:

• PNM did not demonstrate that smart meters will save money.

• PNM did not demonstrate that smart meters will produce energy efficiency.

• PNM did not show that customers want smart meters.

• PNM did not evaluate alternatives.

• PNM did not say how it would protect customer data privacy.

• Cybersecurity issues need to be addressed.

• 125 good, high-paying jobs would be lost.

• Proposed opt-out fees were unreasonable.

• There was insufficient public input.

• There was insufficient response by PNM to public objections.

EVIDENCE ABOUT HEALTH EFFECTS was discussed at length. “Customers who have strong feelings about the health effects of the meters should be allowed to protect their stated health concerns without a prohibitively high cost.

The decision goes on to state: “The conditions of the portion of the population who believe they are electromagnetically sensitive deserve acknowledgment and consideration as decisions are made regarding the implementation of an AMI Project. Accommodations could include reasonable opt-out provisions and fees and perhaps the selection of technologies that minimize the impacts on such people. Such accommodations may be desirable to minimize health risks to customers and address the needs and preferences of PNM’s customers. These are issues that can and should be addressed in a public input process of the sort PNM stated in its 2012 Report that it would conduct before bringing a smart meter proposal to the Commission for approval.

The decision means there will not be smart meters [to measure electricity] in the near future in New Mexico’s metropolitan areas: Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Clayton, Ruidoso, Tularosa, Alamogordo, Silver City, Lordsburg and Deming. 

My Interview with Lloyd Burrell is Airing Tomorrow 4/5/18

The interview I did with Lloyd Burrell of ElectricSense is being aired tomorrow, Thursday, 4/5/18. If you sign up for his newsletter, he will send you a link where you can hear the interview.  It will be available for replay for 24 hours. 

Listen to an excerpt from the interview>>

Podcast courtesy Lloyd Burrell. Learn more about Lloyd’s work at www.electricsense.com/

 

HOW TO OVERCOME CHEMICAL AND EMF SENSITIVITY

Posted by Lloyd Burrell on April 3, 2018 under Podcasts & Teleseminars

You don’t get it until you get it”, explains Ann.

It’s hard to understand multiple chemical sensitivity unless you’ve lived it.

Here’s Ann’s potted explanation: “multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is a medical condition where people have a heightened sensitivity to chemicals, many of which are found in everyday life like perfume and car exhaust and cigarette smoke, pesticide and things like that”.

Ann was the healthy, athletic child and young person. A gifted student too. She trained to be a medical doctor in internal medicine specializing in women’s health.

It was after she was out of medical school and training that Ann just started feeling more tired than usual. Then certain foods started to bother her. She changed her diet. And then over a two week period things took a turn for the worse. “I dramatically developed a very severe case of MCS over about two weeks”.

She’d been taking a supposedly hypoallergenic protein powder which, inexplicably, she had a violent reaction to.

It just felt like I’d stuck my finger in an electric socket”.

From then on it was as if Ann reacted to everything around her. She felt as though her nervous system was fried. She would pull out her pen, the same pen that last week she could write with and she was okay, she’d get a little whiff of the ink and start feeling dizzy, woozy, even nauseated.

It was very dramatic. Food was a big part of it. She could only eat a few foods. And the foods she could eat were just kind of going through her without really getting digested.

She also had a serious back problem, like a protruding disk in her lower back that no matter what she did, stayed inflamed. The pain was so great that for about 5 years she was forced to lie down most of the time.

She say’s, “some people, they get ill after they remodel their house or they move into a new house, or remodel the office. Or there was a significant pesticide exposure or crop duster or something like that. But I would say I’m kind of the scary story for everybody because there wasn’t anything obvious.”

Ann slowly started winding down and then had these dramatic drop-downs. The icing on the cake was when she went for an MRI scan. “When I had an MRI scan – and this is of interest for people with EMF issues – I got very ill after that.“ From that point on Ann couldn’t even breathe in fumes from certain foods without getting ill.

Today she still admits to being careful but thankfully her condition has radically improved.

INTERVIEW

Thursday, 5th April at 1:00 p.m. EST (10 AM PST or 6 PM GMT) I’m interviewing environmental illness consultant and leading MCS advocate Dr. Ann McCampbell.

Dr. Ann McCampbell overcome mcs and emf sensitivity is author of the booklet: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.

Dr. McCampbell is a medical doctor who trained in internal medicine and worked in women’s health until she became severely ill with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) in 1989. She’s been a leading MCS advocate for over 25 years.

She’s co-chair of the Multiple Chemical Sensitivity’s Task Force, New Mexico and was a founding member of the Chemical Sensitivity Foundation. In 2005, Dr. McCampbell worked with other MCS advocates to help create an Indoor Environmental Quality report for the U.S. Access Board which included recommendations for increasing accessibility in public buildings for people with chemical and electromagnetic sensitivity.

The theme of my interview with Dr. McCampbell is how to overcome MCS and EMF sensitivity. Listen to my revealing interview with Dr. Ann McCampbell and learn:

• the link between MCS and EMF sensitivity – a recent study has found a common pathological mechanism for both sensitivities

• how Dr. Martin Palls work is relevant to MCS – and how this can be tweaked to get better results and be less of a burden on the body

• how Annie Hopper’s brain re-training protocol may be used to complement an environmental medicine approach

• the mechanisms that come into play in the body which create chemical hypersensitivity – and how this can be detected by blood tests

• who you should try and consult if you think you are MCS – most doctors have no training or experience with MCS

• Ann’s top 3 tips (borne out of 25 years of experience) for dealing with MCS

• hidden infections can be a root cause or contributor – Ann recommends 3 other types of analysis work that can help get to the bottom of MCS

• an inexpensive heat and light treatment that can be used to improve blood flow and circulation and increase oxygenation of the tissue so waste products are able to move away

• a little known rescue remedy – just 30 minutes a day can leave you feeling much better

• Ann’s top 4 tips for EMF protection – she discusses EMFs with almost everyone who consults with her

• why she believes EMFs are such a big issue – in the 25 years that she’s been dealing with these issues the chemical world has been quite stable

• the book she now recommends for MCS sufferers – it’s the book she wishes somebody had handed her when she got sick and there seemed to be no answers

I’ve chosen the teleseminar format so that you can follow via your computer or using your telephone. If you’re not sure what time it’s on where you live you can check your local time here https://www.worldtimebuddy.com/

The interview will last approximately one hour and it’s FREE to listen to. *****To access this interview make sure you are signed up to my newsletter.***** (If you received notification of this interview by email you don’t need to sign up again.) If you’re signed up to my newsletter I’ll send you an email on the day of the interview with a link to the interview. The replay is also FREE for 24 hours after the event for everyone that’s signed up to my newsletter.

www.electricsense.com/13766/overcome-chemical-emf-sensitivity/

Winnipeg Considering Ban on Perfume by City Workers

CTV News, Winnipeg, Canada

March 28, 2018

A new resolution could see City of Winnipeg workers soon barred from wearing perfumes and colognes. The resolution has been put before a city council committee for consideration, and would need to be adopted by council to be implemented. It says some scented products, such as perfumes, lotions and body sprays, can trigger sensitivities and aggravate asthma allergies in some people.

The hope is to create an overall workplace policy banning the use of scented products, in all City of Winnipeg workplaces. The committee meets next Wednesday. If passed, administration will report back in 3 months with a policy.

https://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/committee-to-consider-banning-perfumes-colognes-in-city-workplaces-1.3863613#_gus&_gucid=&_gup=Facebook&_gsc=uRzeMcM

Increasing Prevalence of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS)

Here is more great work by my colleague Anne Steinemann, PhD. Important documentation that, as suspected, the prevalence of MCS is increasing significantly.

National Prevalence and Effects of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
Steinemann, Anne PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2018 – Volume 60 – Issue 3 – p e152–e156

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), its co-occurrence with asthma and fragrance sensitivity, and effects from exposure to fragranced consumer products.

Methods: A nationally representative cross-sectional population-based sample of adult Americans (n = 1137) was surveyed in June 2016.

Results: Among the population, 12.8% report medically diagnosed MCS and 25.9% report chemical sensitivity. Of those with MCS, 86.2% experience health problems, such as migraine headaches, when exposed to fragranced consumer products; 71.0% are asthmatic; 70.3% cannot access places that use fragranced products such as air fresheners; and 60.7% lost workdays or a job in the past year due to fragranced products in the workplace.

Conclusion: Prevalence of diagnosed MCS has increased over 300%, and self-reported chemical sensitivity over 200%, in the past decade. Reducing exposure to fragranced products could help reduce adverse health and societal effects.

Full article available at https://journals.lww.com/joem/pages/results.aspx?txtkeywords=steinemann.

EWG Guide to Safer Cell Phone Use

 

I just discovered this handy 1-page Guide to Safer Cell Phone Use by EWG (Environmental Working Group)

Go to end of this article and click on Guide to Safer Cell Phone Use, then click on Download Our Guide.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 27, 2013 – EWG’S GUIDE TO SAFER CELL PHONE USE

Back in 1996, when the Federal Communications Commission set a legal maximum on cell phone radiation, Motorola was touting its tiny $2,000 StarTac, the first clamshell phone and an early adopter of — texting! Sixteen years later, cell phones — with 6 billion subscriptions worldwide and counting — have revolutionized how we communicate. The technology that powers them has changed just as dramatically. Today’s smartphones vibrate, rock out, show high-def movies, make photos and videos, issue voice commands, check email, go underwater, navigate with global positioning systems and surf the web in 3-D. They sport dual core processors and batteries that let you – or your kid — talk for close to 20 hours. (The StarTac maxed out at just 3 hours.)

Yet those 16-year-old FCC rules still stand. Are they up to the job of protecting the public from radiation coming out of those multi-tasking marvels and the networks that enable them?

We doubt it.

Studies conducted by numerous scientific teams in several nations have raised troubling questions about possible associations between heavy cell phone use and serious health dangers. The World Health Organization has declared that cell phone radiation may be linked to brain cancer. Ten studies connect cell phone radiation to diminished sperm count and sperm damage. Others raise health concerns such as altered brain metabolism, sleep disturbance and behavioral changes in children.

These studies are not definitive. Much more research is needed. But they raise serious questions that cast doubt on the adequacy of the FCC rules to safeguard public health. The FCC emissions cap allows 20 times more radiation to reach the head than the body as a whole, does not account for risks to children’s developing brains and smaller bodies and considers only short-term cell phone use, not frequent calling patterns over decades.

The FCC’s safety standards for cell phone radiation were based on studies conducted in the 1980s, These studies have long since been rendered obsolete by newer research. Yet for years the FCC refused to update or even review its standards. Instead, the federal agency simply sat on its hands while cell phones became ever more powerful and ubiquitous.

The agency is finally moving to meet the realities of the 21st century and the Information Age. On June 15, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski circulated a proposal to his four fellow commissioners calling for formal review of the 1996 regulations. To advance, his plan must be approved by a majority of the commissioners. If they agree, the FCC could take the long overdue step of modernizing its safety standards. But the pace is likely to be glacial.

Americans need new, more protective cell phone standards that reflect the current science and society’s heavy dependence on mobile communications.

Consumers need — now more than ever — real-world, relevant data on how much radiation their phones emit under various circumstances. The FCC does not require the cell phone industry to disclose these data. One important study showing that certain networks could expose consumers to 30 to 300 times more radiation than other networks was hidden from the public until the information was dated to the point of irrelevancy.

Given this appalling lack of information in the face of a cell phone market where just about anything goes,

the Environmental Working Group is suspending publication of the EWG guide to cell phones until the FCC makes the responsible decision to require cell phone makers to generate and disclose data about device and network emissions under real-world conditions. We strongly believe that as cell phones become more powerful and ubiquitous, it is critical that people have a right to know how much radiation they can expect their cell phones to generate. As things now stand, the FCC’s cell phone safety rules are as obsolete as the StarTac.

In the meantime, EWG recommends that consumers take steps to reduce their exposures to cell phone radiation by holding phones away from their bodies, using earpieces and following and other simple tips in EWG’s updated Guide to Safer Cell Phone Use.

https://www.ewg.org/research/cellphone-radiation#.WrAYlsgh3jA

Scientists Warn of Potential Serious Health Effects of 5G

Scientists Warn of Potential Serious Health Effects of 5G

September 13, 2017

We the undersigned, more than 180 scientists and doctors from 35 countries, recommend a moratorium on the roll-out of the fifth generation, 5G, for telecommunication until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry. 5G will substantially increase exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) on top of the 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, etc. for telecommunications already in place. RF-EMF has been proven to be harmful for humans and the environment.

5G leads to massive increase of mandatory exposure to wireless radiation.

5G technology is effective only over short distance. It is poorly transmitted through solid material. Many new antennas will be required and full-scale implementation will result in antennas every 10 to 12 houses in urban areas, thus massively increasing mandatory exposure.

With ”the ever more extensive use of wireless technologies,” nobody can avoid being exposed. Because on top of the increased number of 5G-transmitters (even within housing, shops and in hospitals) according to estimates, ”10 to 20 billion connections” (to refrigerators, washing machines, surveillance cameras, self-driving cars and buses, etc.) will be parts of the Internet of Things. All these together can cause a substantial increase in the total, long term RF-EMF exposure to all EU citizens.

Harmful effects of RF-EMF exposure are already proven.

More than 230 scientists from 41 countries have expressed their “serious concerns” regarding the ubiquitous and increasing exposure to EMF generated by electric and wireless devices already before the additional 5G roll-out. They refer to the fact that ”numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines”. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plants and animals.

After the scientists’ appeal was written in 2015, additional research has convincingly confirmed serious health risks from RF-EMF fields from wireless technology. The world’s largest study (25 million US dollar) National Toxicology Program (NTP), shows statistically significant increase in the incidence of brain and heart cancer in animals exposed to EMF below the ICNIRP guidelines followed by most countries. These results support results in human epidemiological studies on RF radiation and brain tumour risk. A large number of peer-reviewed scientific reports demonstrate harm to human health from EMFs.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2011 concluded that EMFs of frequencies 30 KHz – 300 GHz are possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B). However, new studies like the NTP study mentioned above and several epidemiological investigations including the latest studies on mobile phone use and brain cancer risks confirm that RF-EMF radiation is carcinogenic to humans.

The EUROPA EM-EMF Guideline 2016 states that ”there is strong evidence that long-term exposure to certain EMFs is a risk factor for diseases such as certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and male infertility…Common EHS (electromagnetic hypersensitivity) symptoms include headaches, concentration difficulties, sleep problems, depression, lack of energy, fatigue, and flu-like symptoms.

An increasing part of the European population is affected by ill health symptoms that have for many years been linked to exposure to EMF and wireless radiation in the scientific literature. The International Scientific Declaration on EHS & multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), Brussels 2015, declares that: “In view of our present scientific knowledge, we thereby stress all national and international bodies and institutions…to recognize EHS and MCS as true medical conditions which acting as sentinel diseases may create a major public health concern in years to come worldwide i.e. in all the countries implementing unrestricted use of electromagnetic field-based wireless technologies and marketed chemical substances… Inaction is a cost to society and is not an option anymore… we unanimously acknowledge this serious hazard to public health…that major primary prevention measures are adopted and prioritized, to face this worldwide pan-epidemic in perspective.”

The Precautionary Principle (UNESCO) was adopted by EU 2005:  “When human activities may lead to morally unacceptable harm that is scientifically plausible but uncertain, actions shall be taken to avoid or diminish that harm.

Resolution 1815 (Council of Europe, 2011): ”Take all reasonable measures to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields, especially to radio frequencies from mobile phones, and particularly the exposure to children and young people who seem to be most at risk from head tumours…Assembly strongly recommends that the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) principle is applied, covering both the so-called thermal effects and the athermic [non-thermal] or biological effects of electromagnetic emissions or radiation” and to ”improve risk-assessment standards and quality”.

The Nuremberg code (1949) applies to all experiments on humans, thus including the roll-out of 5G with new, higher RF-EMF exposure. All such experiments: “should be based on previous knowledge (e.g., an expectation derived from animal experiments) that justifies the experiment.  No experiment should be conducted, where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps, in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as subjects.” (Nuremberg code pts 3-5).  Already published scientific studies show that there is “a priori reason to believe” in real health hazards.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) is warning for ”Radiation risk from everyday devices” in spite of the radiation being below the WHO/ICNIRP standards. EEA also concludes: ”There are many examples of the failure to use the precautionary principle in the past, which have resulted in serious and often irreversible damage to health and environments…harmful exposures can be widespread before there is both ‘convincing’ evidence of harm from long-term exposures, and biological understanding of how that harm is caused.”

https://ehtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/scientist-5G-appeal-2017

 

All Hospitals Should Ban Perfumes

All Hospitals Should Ban Perfumes and Other Scented Products, says Canada’s leading medical journal

Evidence suggests as many as half of all asthma cases are mostly aggravated by artificial scents, and not classic allergens such as dust mites and pollens

Sharon Kirkby, October 5, 2015 

Every hospital in Canada should be required to enact “scent-free policies” discouraging staff, visitors and patients from applying artificially fragranced products to their bodies, Canada’s top medical journal says.

While perfumes, scented deodorant, lotions or creams may help people feel more attractive, “they may result in unintended harm to those who are vulnerable,” particularly people with asthma, or other upper airway or skin sensitivities, the Canadian Medical Association Journal says in an editorial published Monday. “There is little justification for continuing to tolerate artificial scents in our hospitals,” the journal says.

While a growing number of workplaces — including some hospitals — discourage people from wearing perfumed products, it is not de rigueur in all Canadian healthcare institutions, the authors say.

“Hospital environments free from artificial scents should become a uniform policy,” argues the CMAJ — the same journal that, four years ago, published a news article stating scent-free policies were “generally unjustified” and based on “fuzzy and inclusive” science.

It is becoming obvious that some people can be made to feel ill, or even seriously harmed. It’s time to call a stop Dr. Ken Flegel, co-author of the new editorial, says more has been learned in the intervening years about fragrance sensitivity to justify taking precautions in hospitals.

Like second-hand cigarette, smoke, perfume and other strong odours can irritate, and trigger inflammation in, the airways of people with asthma.

According to the Canadian Lung Association, 15 to 20 per cent of the population suffers from asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or other breathing problems, and a third of people with asthma say their disease is made worse by exposure to perfumed products. In addition, Statistics Canada states that, in 2104, 2.4 per cent of Canadians 12 and older — 800,562 people — reported having been diagnosed by a health professional with “multiple chemical sensitivities.” Chemicals in perfumes and other fragranced products can cause health problems such as headaches, dizziness, wheezing, nausea, fatigue, confusion and anxiety. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy can also become extremely sensitive to certain scents, according to the University Health Network in Toronto, which has a scent-free policy, posted at the entrances to all four of its hospitals.

Flegel says evidence is emerging that as many as half of all asthma cases are mostly aggravated by artificial scents, and not classic allergens such as dust mites, pollens and pet dander.

“Asthma specialists are becoming aware that they don’t understand the underlying cause of at least half of their asthma cases — they don’t appear to be the classic allergic mechanism,” said Flegel, an internal medicine doctor in Montreal and an associate editor at the CMAJ.

Instead, many may be due to so-called irritant, or toxic asthma, he said. Researchers have identified receptors in the airways that appear to react to “noxious stimuli” such as the chemicals in perfumes and colognes.

The end result, Flegel said, is the same: “You get a big inflammation in your lungs, and it can be much more rapid and instant than it is with the allergic kind” of asthma.

“From a hospital or healthcare perspective, there is no benefit to wearing personal scents — they’re to make one person more attractive to other people, and maybe a specific person, who knows,” Flegel said.

But, “It is becoming obvious that some people can be made to feel ill, or even seriously harmed. It’s time to call a stop.”

He said scent-free or scent-reduction policies should become part of the Canadian hospital accreditation standards. “Like many other things in hospitals, like washing your hands, word gets around and the policy gets adopted with a lot of effort,” Flegel said.

Federal and provincial human rights acts require employers to accommodate workers with scent sensitivities, but not patients in hospitals, Flegel said. “If you walk into a hospital and you meet any old doctor who’s got lots of stuff in his spiky hair and it really smells, there’s nothing you can do about that, and you may need that doctor’s help,” Flegel said.

“Nurses and doctors have to get into patient’s intimate space. We’re the first ones who should be setting the example. You shouldn’t expect a patient with scent asthma who is lying in bed to be nursed by someone who radiates perfume as soon as he or she walks into the room.”

In response to a request from the Post, the Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association referred to its website, which states that several U.S. medical groups “have all rejected MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity) as a legitimate organic disease.”

“It is important to ask whether the majority of Canadians who enjoy scented products should be required to stop using them without credible, medical evidence demonstrating that they post a significant, physical health hazard,” the association says.

All hospitals should ban perfumes and other scented products, says Canada’s leading medical journal

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