Environmental Health Association of Québec (ASEQ-EHAQ) is a non-profit organization founded in 2004.
Present membership in the group is over 1400.
The mission of ASEQ-EHAQ encompasses not only support (education, resources, telephone line (provides comfort and information), support meetings, healthy housing, resource guide, newsletter, etc) for people suffering from environmental sensitivities but also prevention through education on the use of ecological strategies in order to maintain a healthy environment through sustainable development.
The primary requirement for best management of environmental sensitivities is a healthy, toxin-free environment.
ASEQ-EHAQ provides services and support required by people who suffer from environmental sensitivities.
ASEQ-EHAQ has built ties with medical doctors, specialists and academia thorough which collaboration is done in Research and Knowledge Translation, which address the links between environmental exposures and health.
To address our mission of education, support, research and sustainable development and to provide support services to our members and the general public, we have the following programs and activities that have been carried out by the organization since its inception in 2004:
Member support services (become a member)
Member support services include membership application and renewal processing, dispensing information and conducting research (such as: review of scientific literature, studies, member experiences, etc) on matters pertaining to environmental health.
ASEQ-EHAQ Hotline 450.240.5700
Provides immediate assistance to members to address issues such as isolation caused by the illness, information on doctors, providing resources and other relevant information, providing least toxic solutions for everyday living, providing counsel to those in need.
The website carries latest research, least toxic solutions, relevant information on environmental sensitivities, links to similar websites and organizations and ongoing events.
A bilingual bi-annual newsletter which carries a wealth of information on diagnostics, treatment, research, resources and tips for the general public on management and prevention of environmental sensitivities.
For people who suffer from environmental sensitivities as well as for the general public, the bilingual Resource Book will carry an ‘A to Z’ on ecological products, companies and services in Québec and will also list resources available in North America. In addition, it will list other similar organizations and website links for various resources.
Support group meetings
Support meetings are held six times a year for members, new members and their families. Meetings address isolation and are aimed at empowering the individual. This is done by providing useful information on how to best avoid and manage environmental exposures and the sometimes debilitating symptoms of environmental sensitivities. Participants are encouraged to participate in the meeting through group discussion. Pamphlets and other materials of the group are provided to meeting participants.
- The additional free support services to members include:
- Translation English/French on the telephone for members to make appointments with doctor’s offices whose staff speak English only.
- Making doctor’s appointments for members who are too ill do so do.
- Driving members who are ill to Ottawa for treatment.
- Accompanying francophone members to Ottawa to translate for them in the doctor’s office.
- Doing groceries and other shopping for members who are too ill.
- Providing and paying for cleaning and help inside the home for people who are disabled.
- Paying for groceries for members who are in need.
- All the above services are provided by or organized by volunteers.
Affordable, Ecological, Healthy Housing Project
On a purely volunteer basis, extensive work has been done to date on a project for an affordable, community, Green Living, housing project which will provide affordable housing to people of all ages, including the elderly, who have become disabled from environmental sensitivities. We have had funding and support from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and have used resources from the information they have on building for the environmentally sensitive.
According to a study done by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) over 80% of people suffering with environmental sensitivities improved when their living areas were made healthy, or if they had access to healthy housing. With a Grant from the CMHC, a feasibility study has been completed on a school to convert it into healthy housing. An offer for of this property has been made and this project is now with the Lester B Pearson School Board.
In addition, a member has donated land to the group in the Laurentians. We are working to have a zoning change to accommodate our project. Financing will be provided by the Société d’habitation du Québec. A separate group will be formed for this housing project and ASEQ-EHAQ will closely work with the new group and will be involved in support and services.
Development and Printing of Public Education Materials
Public education material is always being developed to meet the rising need for ecological solutions for everyday living.
Translation of Member and Public Education Materials
Most of our members speak only French. However, almost all of the studies and other material are only in English. To provide material in French, we need to have translations done.
Workshops on Children’s Health and Environment
In keeping with our mission on education and sustainable development, in October 2007 we organized six workshops entitled ‘Playing it Safe: Service Provider Strategies to Reduce Environmental Risks to Child Health in collaboration with the Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment (CPCHE) www.healthyenvironmentforkids.ca. The workshops were very successful and well attended by representatives from hospitals, school boards, schools, daycares, government agencies and the general public. Similar workshops were held in 2008 and are being planned for 2009.
Participation in Eco events
We have participated in several eco events such as the Salon National de l’Environnement in Montreal, the eco events in Brome and in Ste-Anne de Bellevue.
Collaborate in Research and Knowledge Translation
In April 2008, ASEQ-EHAQ collaborated with medical doctors and scientists from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the Ontario College of Family Physicians, Environmental Health Committee to apply for funding to the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), for a scoping review on ‘Toxic Metals in Canadians and their Environments’. Our participation to this project would include review of knowledge translation materials and distribution of knowledge translation materials.
Monthly Board Meetings
Monthly Board meetings for administrative, planning and discussion purposes. Some Board meetings are held by teleconferencing.
Collaboration with organizations and groups
ASEQ-EHAQ is a member of the Canadian Environmental Network (CEN). Through the CEN we attend meetings with Health and Environment Canada regarding the Chemical Management Plan and on air quality issues.
We maintain contact with similar groups such as ours in Canada and across the globe.
Collaborating with UQAM on the possibility of research on the social and economic impact of environmental sensitivities.
Participating as a Community Consultation Group in a project entitled ‘Éco-santé tous ensemble’ South Asian Women`s Community Centre and McGill University, Division of Clinical Epidemiology. McGill University Health Centre
Participating with groups across Canada to promote ‘Healthy School’ day on April 27, 2009.