Monday, December 29, 2008

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or Why I Had to Flee McDonald's

Once again, today, I was overpowered by a fragrance so harsh I had to escape the area. While waiting for my order at McDonald's, a man and a woman came and stood beside me. At the first whiff, I assumed the young woman wore the smelly spray, perfume, lotion or whatever caused the fumes that began closing my throat and burning my nasal passages.

I left the counter with my hand over my nose and mouth and rushed as far as I could get from the couple without leaving the restaurant. As I watched for my food to be brought out, the woman took her latte and left.

Good, I thought, she won't be sitting near me. I waited by the side door and took my tray when it was ready.

As soon as I sat down, the smell hit me again. I looked up and saw the guy who had been standing in line near me. He had plopped down fifteen feet away from my table. The odor emanating from him smelled worse to me than a skunk's spray, the chemicals in that fragrance he wore poisoned me. By the time I got out of there, hoarse and coughing, I gasped, sucked in the fresh outside air like it was my final breath.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. More and more of my friends are experiencing the same symptoms -- spending tons of money on doctors who run tests and tell them they have asthma and to stay away from chemicals. Duh!! The asthma is caused by the chemicals we breathe every day, the chemicals all around us, the chemicals we can't escape.

In this world we live in there is no place free of VOCs, parabens and pthalates , not even our own homes. Unless we educate ourselves about these chemical dangers we continue to bring them into our safe places. One friend had her carpets cleaned before Christmas, became ill with shortness of breath, and saw her doctor.

What did the doctor do? With this scenerio, doctors only know to give more chemicals (drugs) to counteract the poisoning by the chemicals in the carpet cleaner.

Where will it all end?

Human exposure and VOCs in fragranced consumer products

Human exposure studies, over the past two decades, have revealed widespread U.S. population exposure to VOCs and the largest contributors of VOCs to humans (nearly 90%) are rather small sources, largely unregulated, yet often within our control. In particular, fragrance compounds, used in a wide variety of consumer products, can be primary sources of human exposure toVOCs. (EPA, 1989; Sack et al., 1992; Wallace et al., 1991a; Cooper et al.,1992, 1995).

Visit The Canary Report to learn more about MCS.


Susie Collins said...

Thanks for the shout out, Glenda. I'm sorry your lunch got ruined by some stinky people! Hey, I find that there are less stinkies at the little cafe at our local health food store! It's one of the very few places in Hilo where I feel safe to eat. Maybe you can find a safer place for you, too. Today I am battling smoke from firecrackers in our neighborhood. It seems everywhere you turn, there are toxic chemicals! Be well and I hope you have a Happy New Year!

Glenda said...

Isn't Hawaii the land of clean air and ocean breezes?
Suzie, I feel like a grump always complaining about pollution of our air, but someone has to say it, right?
Thanks for your comment.

Susie Collins said...

You bet! I don't think it's complaining when you are just pointing out that other people are polluting your air. They do not have a right to do that, in my opinion. And companies do not have a right to make the toxic products in the first place.

Hawaii has the image of having clean air, and it does in comparison to a lot of other places, but we also have stinky people wearing toxic perfume! There also is a lot pesticide use and a lot of mold. I guess every place has its own dangers for those of us who are sensitive.

Anna's Spot said...

Hi Glenda,
I found your blogspot from Susie's Canary Report. Our family knows what you mean. The worse for us is going to the movies and getting a great spot away from everybody and then as the movie is starting the stinky family moves in front of us. Hope you are feeling better. Glad Susie told us about this spot.

Glenda said...

Hi Anna and welcome to my eclectic blog.
Tonight I'm fighting asthma caused by my new housekeeper who knows I can't have chemicals in the house and no fragrance. I still don't know what she wore or used, but it was strong! I think unless we fall out on the floor with our eyes rolled back, people just don't understand the difficulty chemicals cause us.
I understand about the movies and also restaurants, airplanes, and any place where people gather.
We really are canarys aren't we?