ASEQ-EHAQ

L'Association pour la santé environnementale du Québec / Environmental Health Association of Québec

WHAT IS ASEQ-EHAQ

We are a charitable, non-profit group started in 2004, presently with a membership of over 1,800. We help and support people who suffer from environmental sensitivities by providing resources, education, advocacy, and awareness. Our projects are aimed to address isolation and exclusion caused by environmental sensitivities and to create an affordable, healthy, and ecological housing project in the Laurentians. We provide workshops on various different topics, such as workplace accommodation to ensure accessibility and employment. We advocate for the recognition, respect, and understanding of this disability, as well as promote this disability in the health field and in social services. We work with all levels of government, institutions and industry to educate and inform the public on this disability. We also provide ecological solutions for everyday living and actively promote healthy spaces as a means of PREVENTION of environmental sensitivities.


More than 1 million Canadians
aged 12 years and above have a medical diagnosis of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Representing
3.3% of the Canadian population
of which around
75% are women
with a significant number (around 60%) over 50 years of age.
(Statistics Canada 2016)


HUMAN HEALTH AND THE EFFECTS OF EXPOSURES

From conception to death, all humans are continuously exposed to and contaminated with a plethora of synthetic chemicals. This can change genes and how they function, and increases the risks for developing autism, allergies and asthma in children, infertility and poorer pregnancy outcomes, some cancers, and chronic cardiovascular, respiratory and neurodegenerative diseases as we age. Chemical contamination of the indoor environment poses a risk for developing sensitivities to multiple chemicals (MCS), which emanate from common scented products, such as perfumes, soaps, shampoos, cleaning products and fabric softeners. Furthermore, these chemically sensitive people are also more likely than healthy people to develop many other chronic medical conditions (Statistics Canada).

ECO LIVING GUIDE

Guide to healthy and ecological alternatives for daily living

Are you concerned about the environment, your health and that of your family? Would you like to switch the products you use every day to healthier alternatives, but you don’t know where to start? Then this guide will be very useful for you. You will find ingredients to avoid in common products and materials (construction, housekeeping, personal hygiene…) but, more importantly, you will find more suitable options that respect your health. This guide will guide you in your consumption choices and allow you to opt for simpler and more natural solutions. Become eco-responsible and take back control of your daily life! Share this guide with family and friends and post on your social media! Let us become the change we want to see!

www.ecolivingguide.ca


BECOME A MEMBER

People with environmental sensitivities must avoid everyday exposures in the environment and describe themselves as canaries in the coal mine. What are they warning everyone else about?

The World Health Organization now states that pollution exposure is the 5th risk factor for developing chronic diseases including cardiovascular, respiratory, neurodevelopmental diseases (autism) and neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s).
Making the world a safer place by reducing pollutant exposures benefits everyone.

We need safer environments now. We are counting on you to join us and make that happen.

ASEQ-EHAQ welcomes you as a member whether you suffer from environmental sensitivities, or not.
Come help us create healthier environments.
We have a stronger voice with greater numbers.


DO YOU SUFFER FROM ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITIES?

Do exposures to perfumes, chemicals from personal, cleaning, renovation products, newsprint, petrochemicals (gasoline, car exhaust, etc.), new products, mould, electromagnetic fields or certain lighting, etc., make you ill with a variety of symptoms ranging from mild to severe – that make it impossible for you to live the life you had? Do you feel worse at home? Or do you feel worse in the workplace? Can you tell what triggered this problem? When did it start?

Click here to fill a survey

According to Statistics Canada (2016), 1 008 500 persons have a medical diagnosis of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and statistics show that this number is increasing!


HOW TO BEST MANAGE ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITIES

Being struck by environmental sensitivities can be a life-changing experience. All the support systems that are presently in place are unable to help, advise, diagnose or treat the individual. The person is left to themselves feeling very alone, confused, unable to understand why their condition cannot be taken care of – and why they are so strongly stigmatized. Why is that a significant reaction to chemicals or other products can cause such disbelief and antagonism from others? Finding out what is happening o you becomes your mission – and all to often, is the start of a nightmare. When doors start to close all around… if you have landed on this webpage, click here to find out how to manage this disability.

SUPPORT SOMEONE WITH ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITIES

Thank you for visiting our website to learn about environmental sensitivities. If you are here for a family member or a friend: we commend you for wanting to help someone get better or to support them through a very difficult period of their lives.
What happens when you get ill? All you want to do is heal so you can get back to life. You will do everything to get better. That is the same for people who suffer from this health condition.
To best manage environmental sensitivities, one has to avoid all the triggers that cause the person to have symptoms. Very often this translates to having clean air, clean water, organic food and an extremely healthy lifestyle.


WHY A CANARY?

Why is the image of a canary used to represent people with environmental sensitivities/multiple chemical sensitivity (ES/MCS)?

Until the advancement of modern technology, coal miners would work underground accompanied by canaries because they are particularly sensitive to carbon monoxide. Any sign of distress from the canary was a clear signal warning to the otherwise unaware miners that the environmental conditions in the mine were unsafe and that they should be evacuated.

People with ES/MCS are like the canaries in the coal mine. They are sensitive and have reactions to substances or phenomena in our environment at levels that are tolerated by people who do not have ES/MCS.

Their condition may be invisible, but it is real, and they are warning others that common environmental exposures can negatively impact many chronic medical conditions and pregnancy outcomes.

People with ES/MCS can identify the effects of these exposures immediately, but you don’t have to have ES/MCS to still be harmed.

The human canaries are warning that the environment is pushing us along a continuum leading to the emergence of more and more cases of common chronic diseases, starting at birth.

canari

OUR PROJECTS

Workshops

ASEQ-EHAQ, collaborated with UQAM, the Service aux collectivités de l’UQAM and TELUQ to develop a project on environmental sensitivities funded by the Ministry of Education, Québec (Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport). Thirty people were trained from eleven regions of Quebec, and workshops were held on the biological and legal aspects of ES, covering ten regions of Quebec.

Ecoasis

ecoasisLogo

ECOASIS is an affordable, healthy housing project that will be built on 25 acres of land in the Laurentians. It consists of 40 units, a community hall, organic gardens and trails. ASEQ-EHAQ thanks our partners and supporters who have worked diligently alongside us for many years, giving of their time, energy and expertise, for the realization of this much-needed housing, for people who are ‘homeless’ and in dire need of healthy housing.

Online education and support

Environmental sensitivities cause extreme isolation and exclusion to the individual. To counter this, there will be online education and support for members. These meetings will cover the illness in depth and offer good management strategies to manage the condition.

Impacts of COVID-19 Health Measures on People with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

The arrival of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has increased requests for assistance at ASEQ-EHAQ by more than 33% by telephone alone. As a result, we have launched the MCS/COVID-19 project, a collaborative effort between members of our association, community members, the clinicians at the Environmental Health Clinic at Woman’s College Hospital in Toronto, and other doctors and researchers. This project will raise awareness of the difficulties faced by individuals suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) during the pandemic. We are hoping to raise awareness and educate policy makers, associations, unions and employers, including those performing essential services to improve accommodation measures as the main concerns for this population are increased exposure to chemicals, social isolation and reduced accessibility.

Month of May

mai

The month of May is the month for awareness and education on environmental sensitivities and May 12 is environmental sensitivities day.

Visit this page to see the events for the month of May and how you can join to participate.