EHN [of California]
P.O. Box 1155
Larkspur, California, 94977-0074
Support and Information Line
Story appearing in The New Reactor,Vol 9, No. 6: Nov-Dec. 1999.
Our son changed his family's vacation plans and came to visit us a few days ahead of schedule to spend more time with his grandmother. His wife and children first visited her family in southern California, then joined us. They were still using their clothes from home when the whole family got together here.
We all visited great-grandma, then enjoyed a trip to Pt. Reyes -- all in one car. Thule Elk (http://www.quovadimus.org/ptreyes97/3-400.html) were there to be admired. The air was clear. Life was good.
The next morning I was suddenly made ill on the second floor by something wafting upstairs from the living room. I knew not what the cause, but I did know I had to vacate the house immediately.
I "flew" down the stairs and outside as fast as I could. Our grandson was 2.5 years at the time and saw an opportunity to get out of the house, onto the front porch with me -- he eagerly joined me.
I'm afraid my shock and dismay outweighed my grandmotherly spirit for I quite shouted: JORDAN, YOU'RE OUTGASSING!
His big brown eyes welled up. His lower lip quivered. Two big tears dropped onto his cheeks and ran down his face to drop onto his shirt. With the saddest face you'd ever want to see, he said, "My mommy doesn't say THAT to me!"
He ran inside throwing his little face into his mother's thighs. He wrapped his arms tightly about her and sobbed, "Grandma said I was OUTGASSING!" Jane with a bemused look, then with grin, asked, "Barb, WHAT is going on?"
Funny. Sad. Life! Life with MCS.
Jane's family had washed their clothes for them, using highly scented detergent and fabric softener. When they opened their suitcases in the living room and began dressing, the chemical fumes wafted upstairs and got me. But good.
It turns out that Adrien had started coughing as they were getting dressed. Jordan was saying, "Oh, my shirt smells so good!" He could have been in a fabric softener commercial.
Tom washed the clothes repeatedly with Borax. His final touch was to throw vinegar into the rinse. The clothes came out fine and could be dried in my dryer. And I was then able to enjoy the family visit.
For more information about fabric softeners, please visit the work of Julia Kendall (whom we lost July 12, 1997) http://www.ehnca.org/www/ehnhompg/kendall.htm
Follow-up 7/2000: The children now come to us with their clothes in need of washing to spare us all the highly scented detergents and fabric softeners used by the other grandparents. And these days, both children have respiratory and headache reactions to fragrances. Neither child lived on her/his allergy medicines while visiting us, as they had to while visiting the other grandparents.
The already chemically injured people are walking, talking HUMAN OBSERVATION STUDIES. Why are our cases ignored? Pretty soon the cost of ignoring us will far outweigh the market value of the products that make us sick . . . sort of like killing the goose that lays the golden egg. Hmmmmm, I wonder if the industry thinks of the consumer as a goose?
Goose as defined by American Heritage Dictionary:
How silly are we to listen to industry advertising hype and public relations campaigns?
If you were allowed to know of all the chemicals used to concoct your favorite scents,
AND their adverse effects upon your health, the health of your children -- future and
those you now have, the health of untold others who come in contact with your noxious
vapor trail, and the health of our wildlife: Would you still purchase products marketed
without being proven safe for inhalation and absorption?
Until industry is regulated and we see all of that "sound science" proving that fragrances
I'd like to see some of that "sound science" the industry claims it needs before it can
Where is all of that sound science? If the industry had it and it proved their products
For another story on the topic of fabric softeners, please visit
Los Angeles Times, front page
EcoLiving Center: http://www.ecolivingcenter.com/articles/chemicalsinthehome.html
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The Environmental Health Network (EHN) [of California] is a 501 (c) (3) non profit agency and offers support and information for the chemically injured. In this section, EHN brings you a few stories that appeared in past issues of The New Reactor EHN's HomePage is http://www.ehnca.org