EHS News: A Cell Phone Destroyed My Nervous System and Health

Today, YouTuber, Leesa aka: Aussie Vegan Gardening Yogi, tells us about her experiences with Electro-hypersensitivity (EHS). She also shares some insights into the condition, her treatment by the Australian medical profession so far; and some of the research, diet tips and practices that have helped her. You can find an excellent source of links to research, architects and support groups at the bottom of her clip (on her channel over on YouTube). Thank you for sharing your story, Leesa xx

(Following this video is another YouTube clip where the much esteemed, Dr Willliam Rea, MD from the Environmental Health Centre ~ Dallas,  gives this talk titled ‘Triggering Agents of Electromagnetic Sensitivity’)

Triggering Agents of Electromagnetic Sensitivity

“… a presentation and Q&A by Dr. William Rea, M.D.. Dr. Rea presented his compelling evidence and recommendations for a healthier world at Creating Safe Havens in a Toxic, Electromagnetic World, a conference hosted by the International Institute for Building-Biology & Ecology.”

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.

4 Disability Assistive Devices I need to Survive

My top 4 Assistive Devices for Mould Illness (CIRS) and Medical Conditions with Chemical Sensitivity as a Symptom!

(Note this page has a formatting issue that has removed my paragraph breaks so it’s in the naughty chair until I can fix it! This always happens when I embed Instagram posts. If you have a solution or know why this happens please leave a comment below or call me.)

Anybody who thinks that people who have medical conditions where their health is impacted on via chemical-irritants are living in the wrong era have it mixed up: living with modern technology makes our lives easier. The mythology that exists that we just can’t cope with the modern world and chemicals—which lets face it are everywhere and in everything—is exactly that: a myth. H20 is a chemical. We need chemicals, we need electricity for our assertive devices and we need devices that can make life living with a chronic illness, disease or other medical condition a whole lot easier. If someone has environmental illness it doesn’t mean they belong in the 1900s’ with all natural pure stuff, in a hut living a paleo lifestyle. No, it means that we need chemical-based extensibly helpful assistive devices like Air Purifiers, Face masks, Oxygen masks and tanks and, my personal favourite: a dehumidifier! Here is a listicle of my top 4!:

My Oxygen Tanks from BOC Gases

These make such a difference to my life that I cannot imagine living without them—until I get better and don’t need them, that is. I use 1 large tank and 1 medium size tank approximately every ten days. At the moment my carer pays for them, but will be applying for Government assistance soon. The biggest difference they make are when it’s smokey outside yet the smoke makes it’s way inside and into my lungs. For the last 14 years I’ve suffered upper respiratory symptoms from inhalation of woodsmoke coming from neighbours’ chimneys. Luckily for me, I live in a holiday area so it’s only terribly bad on the weekends when the terrorists holiday makers come up.

They’re also useful for when someone nearby runs diesel trucks, mows the lawn using old lawnmowers that spew out two-stroke fuel, or run their boat motors after a day of fishing while they clean it; petrochemicals knock me out for the rest of the day at the moment.

The oxygen therapy was prescribed by my doctor to be used 2 times a day for 20 minutes and also for 20 minutes after an exposure to chemical-irritants and natural substances that cause pain, long-lasting symptoms and further sensitisation—as is the case with mould exposure. Actually, I’ve been using oxygen whenever I write and also while on the phone and sometimes even while making a video because the oxygen allows my brain to work as normal. The last 6 months have seen a huge decline in cognitive skills, short-term memory and emotional regulation in times of chemical exposure. Stress just makes it ten-fold, and the anticipation of all of these can cause anxiety, which I’ve not experienced before at such a high level. 

Oxygen therapy has helped this CIRS symptom the most: It’s like feeling completely lost in an unfamiliar place even though you know you are somewhere where you’ve been a 1000 times before. If this place is on a freeway, it’s terribly frightening.

  xxxI can empathise greatly with those who suffer Alzheimers with dementia symptoms, which, over a 6 week period, is what I thought was happening to me before I saw Dr Mark Donohoe and had the Neuroquant MRI, which allowed the diagnosis of CIRS (Mould Illness) to come about so quickly. Hence being put on oxygen. (It’s also useful for doing yoga deep breathing exercises.

On some days, I can get through a 40-45 minute session of yoga with Banana Blondie 108 She has some wonderful chest opening exercises in her ‘Heart Chakra’ Yoga series. And for $10 US a month, it’s great value. You can find these classes at Thriving Plant Based There is free yoga available also. I have a post coming up on the value of the Chakra series with my lovely, gifted virtual yoga teacher!)

My AusClimate Dehumidifier

I’ve blogged before about my AusClimate dehumidifier in the post titled, This One Sure Thing: My AusClimate Dehumidifier, however, even more so than my next device, an air-filter/purifier, due to the breathing issues I have with indoor and outdoor moulds, keeping the relative humidity low is a must for comfortable breathing. There is no point having oxygen to plug into my airways if the air is full of outdoor moulds; or moulds from the water damaged ceiling in the room sealed off from my main living area. When I moved in I was told by my real estate rentals manager that the ceiling had been fixed as it was something I was concerned about when I saw the tell tale water stains on the ceiling. I believed my estate agent, and I still do.

However, a year or so after moving in it began leaking after a terrible storm. The owners of the property and the estate agent sent out someone to replace the roof; but even before that happened I was on the forum of AESSRA asking about dehumidifiers. I didn’t like what I heard so I looked on the internet under the keywords ‘mould’, ‘dehumidifiers’ and ‘mould remediation’; and that was how I came to find AusClimate. Not only was I given excellent advice on how to use my machine, like:

  • running it for 3 whole days to remove all the water from the indoor environment;
  • keep the dust mite count down (the perfect food for mould!) by vacuuming regularly; and using micro cloths to pick up dust without spreading it;
  • advice on how to keep my home mould free (so long as the water leaks had been fixed—and, with the new roof the owners of the rental put over my head, they were, for the time being, until now with this new 3rd leak. Stain over stain on the old chipboard/particle board ceiling.
  • this machine has saved my lungs a huge amount of pain because not only has the roof leaked again (which I will be blogging about in another post where I compare the AusClimate dehumidifier to the Delonghi Dehumidifier, which I have running 24/7 in the water damaged room: it’s that inefficient. And my ERMI results.) but I’ve had to put up with even more damp air
  • at least I have my AusClimate 35 litre machine to keep my living space dry, therefore, hopefully, no mould can grow on my possessions? I don’t know. If you have the answer to this, please leave it in the comments below…

But whenever it rains outside, I whack on the dehumidifier! This stops my lower lungs from hurting from the dampness in the air if I didn’t have it running. (I don’t know why my lower lungs hurt when I breathe in damp, cold or smokey air but my GP and Dr Donohoe are looking into it via an x-ray and Spirometry test, which I’m doing next week along with my tests for the Biotoxins and other bacteria shown up in my MRI.)

My living area is around 45 square metres, making up the lounge, dining room and kitchen (that’s where my bedroom, office, gym and dining area are). I never run it for longer than 5-6 hours at a time; however, once a month I run it for a whole day or night when I am out of the house. It’s so powerful that if I leave it on for too long, I can feel my eyes start to dry out, which is just a sign to turn it off. It’s winter here in Melbourne and not only do I need to suck up the cold damp air with the Dehumidifiers, I need to dry my washing inside because if I leave it outside in the rain, it gets mildewy and even worse, reeks of the chemical-irritants in woodsmoke. I have made a video about using this machine to dry my clothes, which you can watch below. 

(If you cannot watch it, basically it just shows how I hang my clothing and cleaning cloths (dusters) on a large portable clothes hanger overnight with the AusClimate running. By morning my clothing is clean, fresh and dry ready to be put away.)

xxx I’ve also made a video on how I clean it once a month. Ergo, I intend to make a video on how we clean the whole unit, fully, once or twice a year. I have heard stories of other units going mouldy—I mean they do suck up water and dust—so do need to be maintained just like any other household device. Watch the video below, and then we shall move onto clean air!

[insert video 2: How to thoroughly clean your Dehumidifier]
[Insert Video 3 on how to stop would smoke coming inside while taking a shower]

My 3M Filter Mask and Cotton Scarf

I’ve blogged about it and made a video about how useful the 3M mask has been to me over the years. 14 to be exact! Although, it used to give me a lot of freedom, it’s not longer useful unless it’s for fleeting exposures like going to the letterbox or stepping outside for a bit. When I go out I now use it with the oxygen nasal tubes underneath and it works like a charm. Amazingly so. I buy my masks from AESSRA (The Allergy and Environmental Sensitivity, Support and Research Association)

My InovaAir Purifier (Air Filter)

In 2004 I rented an Austin Air purifier to see if it worked for me. I had it two weeks and realised I needed one; therefore, I took out a small bank loan, immediately buying one. The InovaAir Purifier is almost the same design just more modern and sleek looking. It’s on wheels so can me moved about; has the reputation of cleaning the air of a small to decent size room within 15-20 minutes so long as its clean to begin with. For example: your house has clean air in it after airing it throughout a fresh sunny day, evening comes and you forget to close up the house, allowing woodsmoke from a neighbour’s backyard fire pit or woodfire chimney to get inside your house. The air is no longer comfortable to breathe on a physical level, naturally, you close up your house, turning on your InnovaAir or Austin Air Purifier onto high. Within 15 minutes your room is back to being clean again. This may not take away the inflammation or headache or asthma caused but it will stop any more smoke from impacting on your health.

(There are some other tips and tricks I have ready in another draft post that I’ll try and post before winter rudely sets in but for now, know that I go through a lot of painters’ masking tape (it’s less sticky and doesn’t pull paintwork off) and cotton wool blocking up holes where drafts pull the chimney smoke in.)

Where I get my Oxygen from: BOC Homecare (via prescription)

Where I bought my AusClimate Dehumidifier from: AusClimate online

Where I but my 3M Masks: AESSRA

Where I bought my InovaAir Purifier from: InovaAir online

Information on woodsmoke, rules for chimneys and Parliament Enquiries into the use of them:

Lung Association and Woodsmoke: Air Quality and Woodsmoke:

(image art by Michellina van Loder and Pixabay)

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.

Steps to becoming scent-free: From Breakspear Hospital

Thank you Breakspear Medical, and Patients

Of great interest are the treatments coming out of Breakspear Medical Hospital in the UK. Yes, it’s private, and many cannot afford to go there. But for those who can, well, they are paving the way for people with any or all of the 6 overlapping medical conditions that fall into the category of Environmental Illness: MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity)/EHS (Electro Hypersensitivity; ME (Myalgic Encephalopathy, sometimes also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis)/SEID (Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease—formerly and still called CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in some countries); CIRS (Mould Illness); Fibromyalgia; Lyme-like Illness, and PTSD.

For the treatments applied and practiced, the research papers, and all the information just like the following to come, will filter down to the public, Big Business and small, and General Practitioners. Eventually.

Here at the Labyrinth we are keeping our eye on Breakspear Medical, among others like Griffith University in Australia who are making groundbreaking research into ME/SEID.

But for now, we’ll share their steps to becoming scent free:

Steps to becoming scent-free

Do not use perfume/aftershave or any scented toiletries

Please avoid using scented soap, standard hair products, skin lotions or any other perfumed toiletries.
Be sure not to wear clothes, which may still have traces of fragrance on them.
Standard cosmetics, such as lip balm, should also be avoided. If you use makeup, please ensure it is scent-free.

Wash and dry your clothes with unscented laundry products

Most laundry detergents, fabric softeners and anti-static dryer sheets are scented, which can adversely affect you and other patients. Use a ‘for sensitive skin’ or scent-free non-biological laundry powder with low perfume levels or none. Note: sometimes it can take several washes to significantly reduce the fragrance from clothes that have been cared for with scented products.
Boric acid will effectively clean your clothes and scent-free anti-static balls in the dryer (which are unscented) will help reduce static and wrinkles.
Dry-cleaned clothes need to be thoroughly aired, by hanging them unwrapped in a well-ventilated area for an extended period before bringing them into the clinic, or if possible, leave them in your car.

Eliminate air fresheners from your environment

Do not use house or car air fresheners, particularly ones that spray into the air, as these can adhere to your clothing, a handbag, briefcase, rucksack or footwear, as well as on hair and skin and leave a detectable scent.
Do not use scented candles or potpourris or burn incense in your home, as these may also leave a scent on hair, skin, clothes and furniture, which could trigger a reaction in you or another patient.

Note: I find it heartbreakingly sad that it’s almost like a friendship test. It’s often the ones who you think who would never do this for you who actually do; and the ones who you think are your like your besties or close family or extended family members who won’t help or outright refuse to, or only half-heartedly try, and then say: “Nothing I do is good enough.”.

What, I, personally find precariously rocky is the resulting fact that friends and family think that if they don’t spray on fragrance or put on scented products that particular day of seeing me, they believe that they are fragrance-free and unscented… If I complain because I feel incredibly sick, or a rash appears on my face and my carer or friends’ mention that it’s fragrance residue that’s the cause, people commonly think that they just can’t please me. They’ve even said, “I did’t wear fragrance today; so what is the point?”. They take it personally. (I used to take it personally too. Ergo, if I want to get better, I can’t sit around or lay in my bed thinking about how much this person has hurt me by their inactions; or how I must be an inconsequential human being for that to have happened. I must accept those people for their behaviours, while moving on from this and the pain in my heart.)

What is the point of us seeing each other?

When the real culprits to blame here, besides their lack of desire to assimilate the information, or my own ability to express it, rather, it’s the layers of the various fragrance products (hair shampoo, conditioner, gel, hairspray (and even if they didn’t put it on they still brushed with the same hair brush, coated with the scented products that day); washing powder, fabric softener, dryer sheets (I’ve heard, not experience this one); car air-fresheners, Ambi-purs, Glade plug-ins (commonly known as FEDS (Fragrance Emitting Devices) that spray out all over them before they even walk in the door. And the fragrance left behind on my hair, clothes, and, in the past, my furnishings. I rarely take visitors or visit because it just doesn’t work out: you’ve not experienced this until you’ve kissed the face of someone you love and had scented face cream on your lips, which caused a reaction for 6 days afterwards; or the ache in my lower lungs that hurts for 6 days after breathing in actual aftershave:

It makes you thankful for the handful who go to the effort of keeping brand-new clothes (that we offer to pay for) not worn or washed with fragrance products, and kept safe, at our home. They shower with our products before they leave home to visit us. And usually shower again when they arrive, changing into the clean clothes kept at our house.

Often it makes me feel like I can’t win; and I know I’m not alone in that. But I won’t stop pushing on with my education agenda!

But then there are the few who have changed products permanently for their own health (as well as mine and others like me), who make me see that it’s not me at all… It’s something else, something I cannot yet articulate, yet.

These are illness we have no control over; apart from expensive medical testing and treatments. The least people can do is accommodate us. Engagements (even my own), weddings, parties, Christmas, New Years Eve, birthdays: these are all non-events for me and so many others.

Gratefulness takes on a new meaning. As does love, family and friendship.

More From Breakspear Medical

Living scent-free

It is a current cultural phenomenon that so many things are scented and most people feel that a smell like a mountain meadow means that it is clean, fresh and desirable. Not many people give thought to what it is that is creating the enticing artificial smell; the smell is in fact volatile organic compounds (VOCs) being inhaled as vapours and absorbed through the skin.

As Breakspear Medical is a medical facility specialising in allergy and environmental medicine, new reports and studies that focus on these areas of concern are frequently reviewed by our doctors and collected for reference in our medical library.

More and more studies are being published that link more frequently occurring conditions, such as non-specific headaches, asthma, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, multiple chemical sensitivities, chronic fatigue and numerous other conditions, to fragrances.


From Breakspear Medical on Going Scent-Free for Inpatient Services; and for Visiting Others

Research on ME/CFS at Griffith University: Professor Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik

Emma Franklin’s HeartBreaking Post on her experience with the labels: MCS; ME/CFS (SIED); Fibromyalgia, written to celebrate ME Awareness Month

Amelia Hill: MCS, ME/CFS, EHS, Lyme Disease & Mould Illness …not real? Well, I’ve got something to say about that.

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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