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
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)
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.