Happy Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Week! Okay it finishes tomorrow, but better late than never, hey? (Says the old cliche.) And besides, I’ve been so busy: suburb profiles, attempting at writing for Weekend Notes, working on an interview with an amazing author (coming up soon), Poetry Book reviews, submitting poetry (that was accepted!), and, I’m in the process of attempting my first Vimeo review of… well, you’ll just have to wait and find out; and I’ve been working on a five year plan. But back to MCS week. More from AESSRA on the Better Health Channel:
“People with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) get symptoms when exposed to low levels of chemicals such as pesticides, car exhaust, diesel fumes, perfume, aftershave, air freshener, fragrances, washing powders, chlorine, polyester, formaldehyde, plastics, rubber, mothballs, disinfectants, paints, gas, cigarette smoke and wood smoke. Symptoms can include fatigue, asthma, rhinitis, headache, migraine, memory problems, nausea, diarrhoea, dry or sore eyes, joint pain and rashes.
In NSW Department of Health studies, 2.1% of children and 2.9% of adults had been diagnosed with chemical sensitivity. In a South Australian Department of Health study, about 1% of adults had been told by a doctor that they had MCS and 16% reported some chemical hypersensitivity.
The week aims to increase awareness of allergies and sensitivities, particularly chemical sensitivities and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).”
Here is my contribution, and the contribution of the one and only heroic Professional Writing and Editing (PWE) TAFE Department at Victoria University, St Albans Campus, Australia.
The pinup board in the main office:
A close up of the sign:
And the board, this week, after our Coordinator kindly put up the posters I bought in:
This here, is the poster that I was meant to use. And, this is the one that’s displayed in the Student Engagement foyer, and in the students lounge:
And the icing on the celebration cake that we can all feast our eyes on, are the signs that have been placed on the doors leading to my classrooms (not a part of this week; it’s just a part of what we do at VU to support students who are sensitive to chemicals!):
This time as Chemical Sensitivity (oops, I mean Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) Week rolled around, unlike last year, where my head was hidden deep in the scented kitty litter tray of the fragrance embroilment, this time I’m holding my head up as I feel like a valued member of VU. Because I am. I feel the same as any other student; and I feel like most of the other students (and staff) understand, and if they don’t, well, these signs and the ‘fragrance free culture’ surrounding them, support me and the staff who are supporting me, in every way, everyday. You know? It’s like, this is just what we do. It’s normal. And you know what, I keep meeting people, around VU, who tell me that they too have sensitivities to chemicals. A few of these people report that it’s fragrance that they have problems with but they don’t want to complain about it because they don’t want to offend people. They don’t want to complain. I guess that’s what I’m for; to do it for them! (I have a series of posts coming up about this experience in the next week or so. It’s quite long, as are most posts that run deep with emotion, so it will be in seven parts. It’s a continuation of the post, When is is Time to Retreat? Part 1.)
The Official Website of the Governor of Massachusetts: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Week
“Whereas With the necessary support, understanding, accommodations, and information, individuals with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity can enjoy access to work, schooling, public facilities, and other surroundings where they can continue to contribute their skills, knowledge, and creativity,
Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim May 6th – 12th, 2012, to be
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Week
And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this fourth day of April, in the year two thousand and twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-fifth.
By His Excellency
Deval L. Patrick
Governor of the Commonwealth
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth “
You can read more about from the Governor of Massachusetts here