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NEWS

June 2010:
Through dedicated and exhaustive legal efforts, the attorneys for Dr. William J. Rea of the Dallas Environmental Health Clinic succeeds in getting the first case dismissed. The legal efforts are made possible by a legal defense fund set up to protect Dr Rae and his innovative environmental illness practice of over 30 years.

A new non-profit organization called Re|shelter forms to address the urgent need for housing alternatives for people with environmental intolerances. For more info see: http://www.reshelter.org/

The mysterious illness hitting gulf workers after the massive BP oil spill is now being identified as 'TILT' or Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance. TILT, also known as MCS, has been diagnosed in workers who had inadequate protection from the oil and the toxic dispersant used. So far, about a hundred workers have been affected and workers are now being supplied with protective gear.

May 2010:
In 2006 Craig Bowes, a Pennsylvania man, erected a “bubble” room on his property for his wife without permits. After ignoring a court order to remove the structure he is slapped with more than $32,000 in fines and court costs. Judge Carol K. McGinley also scolds Bowes for not complying with her October 2008 order to remove the structure. ''He continues to play games with the court and the legal system and we're not going to have it,'' the judge said.

Bowes' attorney, Benjamin Lichtman, said his client is now ''stuck between a rock and a hard place.'' Bowes is trying to find a new place to live with his wife, Elizabeth, but says the fines may prohibit him from buying a new home. Bowes says he won't remove the structure because his wife has MCS and must spend most of her time in the 11-by-14-foot steel and porcelain structure, which has a bedroom and bathroom.

April 2010:
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services, issues a policy on indoor air quality that will affect all CDC offices (owned, leased and rented) and more than 15,000 employees nationwide. Among a host of indoor air quality standards, the policy includes specific guidelines restricting the use of fragrance in cleaning and personal care products. This is arguably the strongest and most important chemical-free and fragrance-free policy in existence for the workplace.   Here is a link to the policy:

http://www.thecanaryreport.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/CDC-2009-Indoor-Environmental-Quality.-internal-policy542.pdf

March 2010:
The city of Detroit restricts fragrance use at all of their facilities after a $100,000 settlement in a lawsuit filed by an employee who complained that a co-workers' perfume made it difficult for her to do her job.

February 2010:
Saskatoon Transit bans a Canadian woman from riding on a bus because her perfume bothers the driver. The driver who has asthma claims this is health hazard for him and the passengers.

Florida’s Boward County Sheriff's Internal Affairs office implements a fragrance-free policy after an employee complains of health issues due to strong fragrances.

December 2009:
Reversing a decade-old decision the EPA announces plans to require pesticide manufacturers to disclose the inert ingredients in their products, since many of these can be toxic as well.

November 2009:
In South Carolina a 19 month old boy dies and his 2 year old brother is critically injured after their mother repeatedly fogs their trailer for bugs.

September 2009:
The EPA announces plans to review 6 controversial chemicals. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson announces a plan to change how the US regulates toxic chemicals. Jackson says that the 1975 law is “cumbersome and time-consuming” and the current administration will promote a new law geared to place the onus on industry to prove that the chemicals they sell are safe.

July 2009:
An office building in Ft Worth, TX is evacuated after 150 people become ill. Fire officials on the scene suspect carbon monoxide or other toxic fumes, but an investigation shows that the incident started with two people complaining about dizziness after a co-worker sprayed perfume. It is not known what type of perfume is to blame.

June 2009:
The department of Health of the Austrian government recognizes MCS as a physical disease and adds a code under their registrar of diseases. MCS is already formally recognized by the governments of Germany, Canada, Denmark and Japan.

The Oregon house votes to ban a fire retardant suspected of harming the environment, despite concerted lobbying efforts by the chemical industry. If signed into law, Oregon would be the third state after WA and ME to ban a type of decabrominated diphenyl ether used for decades in furniture to prevent fires.


ADVOCACY

Petition: Reform Standards for Toxic Chemicals:

The Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 is a landmark bill that will strengthen the way the government protects Americans from dangerous toxic chemicals.  Click Here to read and sign this petition.

Petition: Stop Universal Wireless Broadband:

A recent review of the scientific literature on cell phone radiation points out that 68% of studies have found one or more biological effects from exposure levels previously deemed “safe.” This radiation is now being associated with attention deficit disorder, autism, sleep disorders, multiple sclerosis, cancer and other illnesses. Current FCC regulations controlling human exposure to radio frequency radiation are based on research conducted before 1986. The national wireless infrastructure has expanded enormously since then.

Many governments and official organizations around the world have already issued warnings or restrictions on the use of cell phones and/or wireless computers by children. The stakes are high. Universal wireless, broadband over power lines, and “Smart Grid” technology mean that exposure to radiation is involuntary, and that the more vulnerable members of society have nowhere to go to escape it.

Click Here to read and sign this petition.

Action: Stop Atlanta Airport from Using Scented Air Fresheners:

They’re planning on piping a ‘signature scent’ into the Atlanta airport. As if traveling by plane isn’t difficult enough! As part of that, the airport recently launched the initial phases of a program that uses a scent called "Breeze" to help enhance visitors' mood. The scent is so popular that a custom scent exclusive to Hartsfield-Jackson is being developed.

All HEAL members are encouraged to contact the Atlanta Airport and voice their concerns. Here are 3 ways to do this:

1. By email: www.atlanta-airport.com/contactus.aspx?to=executive or

prwebmaster@atlanta-airport.com

2. By phone: Call Customer Service at 404-209-2920 and ask for the following people: Benjamin R, DeCosta, General Manager, or Mario Diaz, Deputy General manager, or Doug Strachen, Creative Innovations Manager.

3. By Letter: City of Atlanta, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, 6000 North Terminal Pkwy, P.O. Box 20509 Atlanta, Georgia 30320. Tel: 404-530-6600.

 

Petition: Save Natural Medicine:

 

Petition to preventing unfair regulation of Natural Medicine.  Click Here to read and sign this petition.

Petition: Chemical Security Legislation:

This  would require facilities using large amounts of highly hazardous materials to use safer chemicals or processes where available, and mandate security standards.  Click Here to read and sign this petition.

Email to Senator Zell Miller to Recognize MCS:

February 18,2002  

Honorable Zell Miller
257 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington
, DC  20510 

Dear Senator Miller, 

In late October, 2002 I originated a letter campaign asking your help in initiating a letter to the CDC,NIEHS and ATSDR asking that these federal agencies sponsor a series of meetings proposed by the Chemical Injury Information Network (CIIN) to develop a research case definition for multiple chemical sensitivity(MCS).  These government agencies oversee public health and have insisted that a case definition must  be issued for MCS before any serious research can be undertaken.

I know for a fact that over 50 letters were sent to your assistant, Lane Church  but no one has ever received a response from your office even acknowledging a single letter.  I recognize that you are a very busy person and cannot answer every piece of mail personally. But surely a response to your constituents is not too much to ask for.

Cynthia Wilson of CIIN met with your legislative aid, Lane Church on September 4, 2002 and left a packet of information on the seriousness  of this growing health issue.  As my letter pointed out, a scientific sample of North Georgia population groups surveyed by Dr. Stanley Caress of the University of West Georgia, has documented that 4% of Georgians reported sensitivities severe enough to require major lifestyle changes.  I am one of those individuals.

I can no longer go to stores, or homes where there is any fragrance used. There is fragrance used everywhere and in every product you purchase. I can no longer tolerate the exposure from others in the work force who wear fragrance of any kind.

It is almost impossible to find a public bathroom without heavy exposure to fragrance.

Those of us who are afflicted have nowhere to turn  since these federal agencies have turned their backs on us.  We basically have no hope other than through local support groups as Atlanta H.E.A.L. or  CIIN.  The members of this group are composed of every profession and background with one common enemy--our environment which is slowly but surely poisoning us.  We are the "canaries" that were used in the coal mines at the turn of the century. They dropped dead from exposure to methane gas long before the miners were aware of its existence and provided the early warning to leave the mine.

Unfortunately no one is listening to us.

This health crisis is growing yearly because theses agencies have done nothing to even establish a case definition for MCS. When will this health crisis reach the attention of these health agencies?  Will it take another 8% or perhaps 25%  of our population sickened  with chemical sensitivities in  the next 10 years to gain their attention?

The quantity of chemicals that are untested and unleashed into our environment is in the millions of tons just in Georgia alone.  Most of these are in consumer products that are untested by the FDA since they are "proprietary" and the manufacturers  do not have to divulge the ingredients to anyone even the FDA.

I am simply asking you to do one thing and that is to direct a letter to these agencies and direct  them to do what they have refused to do for over 12 years and that is set out a case definition for MCS. I was like most people two years ago, oblivious to the poisoning of our environment and ourselves.  Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is just the tip of the iceberg. However unless significant research can establish

a cause and effect with toxicity in the environment,  the percentage of those individuals affected will only continue to grow yearly in Georgia and the rest of the country.

I sincerely hope you will aid us in this effort.

Sincerely

Joyce Taylor

 

Bill H.R. 1947 - Safe Notification and Identification For Fragrances:

Adapted from” A Letter from the Board of Directors,” “A Personal Note from Lynn Lawson,  CanaryNews November/December 2002 , Also reprinted from Our Toxic Times Feb. 2003 issue.

In her  “Personal Note…” in the last regular issue of CanaryNews, Lawson says she will use her remaining health to continue the battle against synthetic fragrances.  On September 17, 1999, Lawson and her husband, Court, met with Representative Jan Schakowsky  and a year later Rep. Schakowsky introduced and then reintroduced a bill, currently H.R. 1947, the Safe Notification and Identification For Fragrances (SNIFF) bill. The bill, if passed, will require all fragranced products containing known allergens or toxins to be labeled accordingly. Rep. Schakowsky will be reintroducing the bill yet again in the 2003 Congressional session.  

All MCS victims and their families and friends should  write their  Representatives to get behind this legislation.  To find a Congressional Representative  who would introduce this type of legislation is very rare and we can all thank Lynn Lawson for using her considerable ability as an advocate for MCS sufferers around the country for this achievement.


CONSUMER ALERTS

EPA warnings about plug-in air fresheners.  Warnings about cancer and brain damage risks removed:

The EPA website has a house showing the dangers of chemical products in each room.  In the bathroom is an air freshener (stand-alone type) with a link to a general warning.  In the bedroom is a plug-in air freshener with a link to a warning containing additional wording about cancer risk and brain damage:  This bedroom link was removed last year.  Here are the two warnings.  Notice the difference in the wording:

   Bedroom plug-in air freshener warning.  Removed  from EPA website
   Bathroom stand-alone air freshener warning.  Still on EPA website 

Dangers of Perfumes & Other Fragrances

How sick is your home?

Mercury content in seafood - Safe fish to eat

Can electrical fields impact your health? The dangers of electromagnetic fields (EMFs)

Aspartame Disease: An FDA-Approved Epidemic 1/7/04

Dangers of Ozone Air Cleaners

Home Construction Materials that Pose the Highest Health Risk