Have you ever thought about all the differences in our world? The different colors, different animals, different shapes, different fish, etc,etc! People have differences in size, hair color, religion, what hand they write with, etc, etc. We live in a world of VAST differences. Some people can see or hear better than others. Since this is true, it is equally as true that some people have a stronger sense of smell than others.
That brings us to the precious canary photo above: Years ago in coal mines they used a canary to determine if their air supply was toxic. The toxic gasses would kill the canary first, alerting the miners to get out! There is a growing disease called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, abbreviated MCS. People who have this disease are referred to as ‘Canaries’. I, myself, have this. There is a difference though. The canary in the coal mine had no smell of warning or danger. Most of the time ‘we’ do. It’s well known as fragrance. It makes people with MCS very ill. It’s not the odor itself because some fragrance is pleasant. It’s the chemicals IN and sometimes OF the fragrance. Just because you don’t smell danger and I do, doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous to our health. I feel like those movie actors who try to warn the officials of coming danger, but am unheeded until it’s too late.
Fragrance is found in SO many products. Soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, the list goes on and on. The problem for sufferers of MCS is that it takes just a small amount or a small whiff of these chemicals to make us terribly ill. The off-gases of things like paint can do the same thing. A dear friend of mine was trying to think of a solution for me, when she suggested I wear a mask. Some people actually do wear masks. I’m not to that point and I hope I never am. I told her that it was a funny thought that I could be out shopping wearing a mask and people thinking I had some awful and contagious disease, when it actuality it was I who was protecting myself from ‘them’! You may be wondering at this point what you can do to help people who have MCS. Maybe you have a friend or family member with it. Here are some tips:
Educate yourself about MCS and chemicals. These products affect our environment we all live in! They are not healthy for any of us. It’s all about money making for the companies who make products with these chemicals for the consumer to buy. Please don’t buy poison, no matter how great it smells or how pretty the bottle is. Follow environmental social medias.
When you visit someone who has MCS, please wear no fragrance. An alternative may be a light essential oil based fragrance. They shouldn’t have chemicals. And pre-wash your clothes in a fragrance free detergent. Yes, I can even smell fragrance in clothes.
If a person with MCS is visiting your home, please do not light any fragrant candles or use any air freshener spray. When my daughter was young she told me how she loved that our home had a neutral smell. I use baking soda with a natural lemon dish soap to clean most things. And Murphy’s Oil Soap (99% natural) on our wood floors/cabinets. Try shopping for products at your local natural foods store or Co-op. I don’t use bleach at all. I’ve read that a great substitute for bleach is hydrogen peroxide. 🙂
I hope I’ve helped someone out there to understand MCS a little better. Getting away from chemicals and fragrance is healthy for the environment, for you and for those you are around, whether friend, family or the general public. Going natural is a kind way to be. May we have a ‘sense of kindness’ to those around us.
Kind Food, Kind YOU.