Archives for May 2015

Masked Life Q&A: Relationships, Communication, and, How Does it Sound?

I’m sending this post out for all my MCS brothers and sisters who are strong enough to wear their respirator masks out in public so as to protect their health. Today, TashaLee from Fruitful Healthy Living will share with us what it’s like to communicate while wearing a respirator mask, and how it sounds. (I have a hard enough time wearing the 3M type of mask, and I’ve only ever worn my Sundstrom respirator in traffic and bushfire smoke, but, in the interest of protecting my health, I won’t rule out using it for avoiding exposures to the chemical irritants to which I’m sensitive to.

The topic of communication is an interesting one for me because I once considered wearing the respirator mask to classes. Luckily, it never came to that. But I would never rule out wearing it out in public because I refuse to be denied access to goods and services (I just send someone else to the shops, yeah?) because other people are wearing personal care products containing solvents, petrochemicals and fragrances into shared public spaces. It’s a disability recognised by the Disability Act and Human Rights but also a disability that’s often not recognised by people offering goods and services. If it was, most of us wouldn’t need to wear a friggen mask to go to these places!)

TashaLee can be found sometimes sleeping in hers, due to having to avoid breathing in toxic VOCs from mould spores in her and her husband’s living space. But she’ll also wear it into shops, too. I think she (and all of us who tough it out) deserves a medal for bravery and tenacity. Today, TashaLee gets two: one for bravery and another for sharing information to help make our lives better.

More from TashaLee:

Answers to questions about life in a mask: how I sound, how to seal it, how it affects [relationships]

Thank you for sharing TashaLee!


TashaLee’s site: Fruitful Healthy Living

TashaLee’s Diabetic Site: Fruitarian Diabetic

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Registration for Australians with Environmental Sensitivities

Today, I came across this data collection group for people with environmental sensitivities:

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity prevalence rates in Australia

Prevalence rates and Impact of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity in Australia

By Dr Sharyn Martin, 2015

Prevalence rates of between 1.0 and 2.9% have been estimated for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity in the states of South Australia and New South Wales, Australia, Table 1.

Prevalence of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

The largest survey at over 15,000 individuals was in NSW where 2.9% of the population had been diagnosed with MCS. This was similar to a rate of 2.6% established in a smaller survey in NSW to determine health effects from a smoke stack.   A survey of over 5,000 parents in NSW determined that 2.5% of 2 to 15 year olds had been diagnosed with MCS and is similar to the percentage seen for adults. In the South Australian study (Fitzgerald D., 2008) 1.0% of those surveyed had been diagnosed with MCS lower than the rates seen in the three NSW surveys. Fitzgerald noted that as there are no diagnostic guidelines for MCS in Australia, it is possible that 1% prevalence is due to under reporting of some of the chemical hypersensitivity individuals. Some chemical hypersensitivity individuals had symptomology more aligned with the MCS cases and could represent undiagnosed MCS.

The following is a form that can be filled out by people who have sensitivities to chemicals or electricity:

“By completing this form you are assisting in the collection of the numbers of individuals in Australia who are suffering with the disability that Environmental Sensitivities conditions such as MCS, EHS, CFS, Lyme disease and so forth incur in their lives. Your information will be kept private and secure.  If you leave an email address your registration information will be included in a confirmation email.

The data collected will provide the background evidence needed to highlight that actions are needed to alleviate the suffering many individuals endure.”

Click here to fill out the form

The following are the aims of the ANRES project:
  • Be a place where individuals with Environmental Sensitivities (ES) or their carers can register their Environmental Sensitivity and add to the numbers. There will be no fees involved and an automatic number instead of name will be generated to maintain privacy
  • Be a place where support groups can register their support, linking in with other groups,
  • Be a place where medical practitioners can register their support for people with ES.

The ANRES project goal is to create a national register that provides Australian prevalence data on Environmental Sensitivities, to assist in gaining recognition of ES as a disability and facilitate moving forward with issues such as access to medical and disability services.

Data Collection

On the ANRES site there are three levels of data entry:


A database of Environmental Sensitivities will allow us and other supporting groups to demonstrate an unmet need in the Australian community. This may be done by disseminating information on Environmental Sensitivities such as MCS to a wide range of organisations and groups including medical practitioners, local councils and the general public through appropriate information distribution channels.

Many of these conditions co-exist. For example a person with MCS may also suffer CFS and food intolerances. It is important to collect this information to determine the overall impact on health and lifestyle. You can assist by registering your support on the ANRES website: Collecting numbers will not bring about immediate changes but it is the first step in gaining recognition of environmental sensitivities, which are largely invisible functional impairments or disabilities. We need to create the will for action

You can download the flyer, here

Or visit the ANRES page for more information

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Ohio Senator Skindell Testifies To Establish Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Month

Can anyone imagine South Australian Senator Penny Wong doing this for us? I can, so I thought I’d ask. Here is her contact page if you would like to join me in asking her to do this for us next year for International Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness day.

Today, Senator Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) presented sponsor testimony before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Senate Bill 51, legislation to designate the month of May as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Month in Ohio.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a devastating and isolating illness that has many different triggers and can start at any age. It may develop after a single particular exposure to a toxic substance such as pesticides or industrial solvents (sometimes from a newly decorated home or office). Others develop sensitivities after a period of ill health or viral infection, with symptoms getting worse over several years.

“Designating May as the Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Month gives a voice to those suffering from this illness and a platform from which we can make the public aware of this debilitating condition,” stated Skindell.

In 2003, research indicated over 12% of the US population was affected with severe MCS – over 36.5 million people – and statistics have continued to rise[1]. Exact numbers of sufferers in the US are still not known but include thousands of soldiers affected by Gulf War Syndrome. Despite this, the medical profession still varies widely in its support and there are currently no clinical guidelines for the treatment of patients.


Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
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