[toggle title=”Letter to all Parties”]
Cher /Chère (Nom du chef du parti), recipe
Nous vous écrivons au nom de l’Association pour la santé environnementale du Québec. Notre mission consiste à offrir aide et support aux personnes souffrant d’hypersensibilités environnementales. Les hypersensibilités environnementalesi incluent l’hypersensibilité chimique multiple et l’hypersensibilité électromagnétique, des conditions souvent présentes en même temps que d’autres conditions chroniques comme la fibromyalgie et la fatigue chronique.
L’hypersensibilité peut être déclenchée par une exposition massive, ou par une série d’expositions de bas niveau, à des produits chimiques, à des moisissures ou à des champs électromagnétiques. Il en résulte pour la personne atteinte une incapacité à tolérer de bas niveaux de tels déclencheurs. De telles expositions peuvent amener des symptômes débilitants pouvant affecter plusieurs systèmes corporels. Des expositions continues peuvent empirer la condition, jusqu’au point où la personne devient incapable de tolérer de nombreuses substances différentes, à des doses normalement ou précédemment tolérées.
L’absence de milieux de vie ou de travail sains, d’aliments sains et tolérés, d’eau propre, ainsi que de traitements médicaux adéquats et de support, peut causer une perte d’emploi. Il s’ensuit une spirale menant à la pauvreté, l’itinérance, l’exclusion sociale et l’isolation. De plus, le manque de disponibilité de soins appropriés au Québec oblige le vulnérable à aller chercher des soins médicaux en dehors de la province, à ses frais, malgré sa piètre situation financière.
Bien qu’on n’ait pas identifié un mécanisme unique causant cette maladie complexe, et qu’il est peu probable qu’on y arrive, on étudie de nombreux cheminements et interventions correspondantes. Néanmoins, il est indéniable que les symptômes disparaissent et que l’état de santé s’améliore lorsque le réussit à éviter les déclencheurs (parfums et fragrances, eau de Cologne, produits de soins personnels et de nettoyage, matériaux de construction et de rénovation, produits pétrochimiques, les moisissures, les champs électromagnétiques, etc.). La base d’une bonne gestion de cette condition médicale est donc un environnement sain, exempt de produits chimiques toxiques, de moisissures et de champs électromagnétiques.i
Questionnaire regarding environmental sensitivities 2012
For each item below, please explain :
- if you support the measure please explain how this will be done;
- if you do not support the measure then please explain your reasons.
- Recognition of environmental sensitivities as a medical condition (as they have done in Ontario, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Japan).
- Adequate health services and appropriate treatment, as is being done in the above-mentioned Provinces and Countries.
- Support for the individual, with appropriate social services.
- Measures to ensure healthy workplace environments.
- Research and policies to initiate, enact and promote least-toxic policies and laws in Quebec government jurisdictions.
- Funding and support for groups that provide front line support services.
[toggle title=”Canadian Human Rights Commission”]
Policy on Environnemental Sensitivities (ES)
Individuals with environmental sensitivities experience a variety of adverse reactions to environmental
agents at concentrations well below those that might affect the “average person”. This medical condition is a
disability and those living with environmental sensitivities are entitled to the protection of the Canadian
Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. The Canadian Human Rights
Commission will receive any inquiry and process any complaint from any person who believes that he or she
has been discriminated against because of an environmental sensitivity. Like others with a disability, those
with environmental sensitivities are required by law to be accommodated.
The CHRC encourages employers and service providers to proactively address issues of accommodation by
ensuring that their workplaces and facilities are accessible for persons with a wide range of disabilities.
Successful accommodation for persons with environmental sensitivities requires innovative strategies to
minimize or eliminate exposure to triggers in the environment. These may include: developing and enforcing
fragrance free and chemical avoidance policies, undertaking educational programs to increase voluntary
compliance with such policies, minimizing chemical use and purchasing less toxic products, and notifying
employees and clients in advance of construction, re-modeling and cleaning activities. Such measures can
prevent injuries and illnesses, and reduce costs and health and safety risks.
For further information on environmental sensitivities, click on the following Commission publications:
The Medical Perspective on Environmental Sensitivities
Accommodation for Environmental Sensitivities: Legal Perspective
Policy reviewed January 2014.
[toggle title=”ES MCS Status Report”]
PDF Version (complete report)
There have been many advances in understanding of ES-MCS since the mid-1990’s, including validation of consensus case criteria and refinement thereof, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health; proposal and evolution of testing of etiological hypotheses; prevalence, co-morbidity and disability data from the U.S. and Canada; and development of diagnostic, therapeutic, education and health promotion strategies. Academically-affiliated, Ministry of Health-funded referral clinics have been established in Ontario and Nova Scotia, and a Paediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit integrated into academically- affiliated paediatric services in Alberta. MCS has been recognized as a disability requiring accommodation by the Ontario (2000) and Canadian (2007) Human Rights Commissions.
While the causes and underlying mechanisms of MCS are still not fully understood, there has been increased recognition of the large number of ubiquitous chemicals to which we are all exposed in varying amounts and combinations. Their potential impacts on body defence mechanisms and the contributions of genetic and epigenetic susceptibility factors and metabolic consequences have been hypothesized and are slowly being tested. The science of toxicology has evolved substantially and there is a move away from “physical” versus “psychological” models of disease/illness to the multiple determinants of health model utilized by the World Health Organization (WHO). There is also increasing understanding of unique responses to low doses.
Prevalence surveys have now been conducted in several of the United States for both physician- diagnosed and self-reported MCS. The Canadian Community Health Survey has reported health professional-diagnosed MCS in those over the age of twelve in Canada (2.4% in adults, 3.4% in women and in those with the lowest household income), and has shed light on demographics, functional impacts, and the influence of poverty as well as of co-morbid conditions. In spite of high prevalence and morbidity, there are significant gaps in health, social and housing services.
Diagnosis of MCS in both the provincial Environmental Health Clinic in Ontario and the Nova Scotia Environmental Health Centre is accomplished by ruling out or carefully treating other conditions that could account for or contribute to the presenting symptoms, by assessing each individual’s exposures, and by determining whether or not the person’s pattern of symptoms fits validated consensus criteria. A few objective tests are helpful in assessing body burden of various chemicals, functional status, co-morbid allergies, and diminished blood flow to the brain.
There being a duty to provide care and not abandon s with newly reported complex clinical conditions to their own devices, treatment for ES-MCS has evolved based upon approximately 50 years of international clinical case reports and case series, supported by treatment surveys. It is empirically evidence- informed best practice; individualized, holistic and person-centred. It focuses on assisting s at the earliest possible opportunity to reduce their exposures to their unique symptom triggers and known hazardous chemicals, optimizing their internal processing and elimination of such chemicals through nutrition and dietary fibre, and reducing body burdens when necessary and possible. If co-morbid allergies are not relieved by environmental controls, ventilation or filtration at home or in the workplace, they may be helped by individualized desensitization or medications to relieve symptoms. Dysbiosis (imbalanced microflora in the gastrointestinal tract) may be helped by probiotics and stabilization of pH. Patients are encouraged and supported to take control and self-manage, instituting and nurturing elements of good health. While early diagnosis and prompt treatment can significantly improve individual functioning/quality of life and reduce healthcare utilization, primary prevention through partnering and health promotion is the ultimate goal.
[toggle title=”RESPONSES FROM THE PARTIES”]
PDF Version (complete responses)
Responses posted in order of receipt.
- Parti nul response received at 12:13 pm, August 15th.
- Québec solidaire response received at 9:18 pm, August 16th.
- Équipe Autonomiste response received at 4:56 pm, August 27th.
- Union des citoyens du Québec response received at 5:09 pm, August 29th.
- Parti Québécois response received at 10:11 am, August 31st.