To the Other 99%: Dump the Corporate Toxins & Let Us Join You!

by Anonymous

Photo of blue, gray, white clouds in sky. In black letters it says, "Please pardon the inconvenience while we change the world."

I want to support the Occupy movement with more than Facebook shares, but I have disabling MCS/EI/EMF (multiple chemical sensitivities/environmental illness/electromagnetic field sensitivities), and public places are not accessible for people like me. They are too harmful. But you — the rest of the 99 percent — can change this, too.

We need to avoid breathing in pollution, including pollution on people emanating from common everyday “consumer” products like conventional petroleum-based laundry products, especially dryer sheets and fabric softeners, anything that contains fragrance chemicals (like personal care products, such as scented deodorants, shampoos, and cosmetics), smoke from fires, tobacco, and exhaust from diesel and propane.

Many of us also suffer possibly debilitating symptoms from wireless technologies. We can’t be in areas with wifi or cell phones. We need clean, unpolluted air to breathe and/or radiation free areas, or we can’t function properly, and some of us even suffer life-threatening symptoms from exposures.

All of this is also precisely why we support the Occupy movement!

We see how corporations have been making, marketing, and selling everyday products with cheap, unnecessary, harmful, toxic ingredients derived from fossil fuels, while they claim these pollutants are safe. We see their efforts at blocking legislation to ban toxic ingredients and preventing warnings to consumers to keep their cell phones at least an inch away from their bodies at all times and to keep them off when not in use.

We see how children are being affected by asthma, behavior problems, neurodevelopmental issues, and cancers. We know that these health problems are due to the pollutants in our air, water, food, clothing, and personal care, cleaning, and laundry products.

Many of us lose our jobs, our families, our homes — becoming homeless without any supports — because others are not willing to change their personal care or cleaning rituals to less-toxic ones that would be safe for us.  We become prisoners in our homes (if we are lucky enough to have and keep a safe enough one to live in).

We see corporations, advertisers, governments, and retailers expertly manipulating the populace into believing these products are indispensable, when really they are lethal. Is it acceptable that we can now expect one in three people to get cancer?

We sing and cry from our cages (as canaries in the coal mines did) to warn  you who have not yet been irreversibly injured that the pesticides, dryer sheets, chemical cleaners, “air fresheners,” and perfumes are harming your families and neighborhoods. Because we don’t want what has happened to us, to happen to you.

The corporations have had a more powerful voice then we do. They do their best to silence us, to block the laws that would protect all of us. They helped create the federal law that does not allow health considerations to be factored into where cell towers are placed! They have bought off the EPA and the FDA. They infiltrate government decision-making bodies. They pollute our air, water, and food, destroy vast areas of the earth we all call home. They destroy people’s lives and health, all the while making huge profits, receiving government subsidies, and leaving us to pick up the pieces, if we’re still able

Isn’t the Occupy movement here to change this? Isn’t the Occupy movement for the 99 percent? We, too, are part of the 99 percent!

If you want to include us in this movement, we need you to want to learn how to make all spaces more accessible to those of us who have been poisoned by pollution and are now chemically “sensitive” and/or harmed by wireless devices.

  • Can you have wireless free zones? 
  • Can you have fragrance-free and smoke-free areas at the encampments?
  • Better yet, can you change your laundry and personal care products to safe, non-toxic, petroleum-free and fragrance-free products?

We want inclusion and access! We want to support you, but we need your help to be able to do so!

We are the canaries of the 99 percent.

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About Sharon Wachsler

Sharon Wachsler divides her time between writing, activism, and dog training — passions that overlap. Sharon has been a freelance writer and editor of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for two decades, focusing primarily on lesbian erotica, disability rights and culture, humor, and service dogs and their training.
This entry was posted in Accessibility, Disability rights, Hidden disability, MCS/multiple chemical sensitivity, Wireless/EMF and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to To the Other 99%: Dump the Corporate Toxins & Let Us Join You!

  1. Sarah S. says:

    I think it’s also important to consider the effects of food as part of environmental contamination. I just watched a video about how commercially cultivated grains can be a very important cause of disease, especially in those who are sensitive to them. I agree with everything you wrote, and urge you to consider dietary factors as well.

  2. Kathy says:

    It’s ridiculously hard to come to consensus on anything with Occupy. You could petition various encampments to provide special areas for you…but I’m pretty sure they will tell you they are “maxed out” and additional work to make sites MCS friendly will not be a priority. I would like it to he different. I would like to hear that I’m completely wrong!! All you can do is try. But perhaps focusing your efforts in other areas? A LOT of us are caught up in just organizing the effort. I hardly remember why I got involved (okay, that’s bs, but you know what I mean?)

    You know what would be really valuable to some Occupy locations? Having position papers to work from. Getting a well thought out, immaculately-sourced document from a trusted source, so we could teach from it would be sooo precious. We’re too busy running around with signs to do a true teach-in and get info disseminated. And if you’d like to do the teach-in yourself we could set up Skype. Just a thought. I wish I had more to offer….

  3. Kathy says:

    I don’t have MCS. But if you are being left homeless because other peoe won’t make it safe for you or you need to be isolated to protect yourselves…there’s a lot the rest of us have to learn in order to be inclusive.
    From what I think I know of MCS, there are varying degrees of it, so what one person could tolerate could potentially knock someone else on their butt. Is this true?
    Keeping this in mind, how big of a wireless area would you need? Most communication is done online between occupation sites, so you would need to be how far away from those?
    And what exactly is without fragrance? Tents and such are donated or purchased new…and they usually have some kind of fumes related to them. So how would that work? What kind of living space would be suitable?
    And then the people…what IS fragrance-free? What products (for sanitation purposes) would work for all people with MCS? Or would it need to be a case-by-case basis?
    Could the people who have MCS reach consensus as to what type of environment would be safe for them?

    All these are things that would need to be taken into consideration and spelled out for 99.99% inclusion.
    It takes a lot of time and a lot of patience (and sometimes huge frustration!) to reach consensus, but I think if you were able to spell out clearly exactly what was needed for inclusion the dialog could begin.

    I think it would require that you be willing to educate people on MCS and give them time to prepare. But Occupy’s philosophy is one of inclusion so it would be hypocritical not to try to make this work. Just my two cents…

  4. billie rain says:

    wonderful. thank you!!

  5. linda says:

    I think there are 2 issues here… One is about learning how to accommodate people with MCS and EHS.

    The other is getting the toxic corporate chemicals out of our daily lives, because they harm not only people with MCS, but everyone, eventually.

    There are many layers to each issue here.

    Accommodation needs will vary, but would begin with upwind no smoking and fragrance free areas, and include a no cell-phones on zone. The food issue can also be included in various ways, perhaps universally by labelling foods as a start.

    What might be most important is an awareness and an agreement to make sure that people with invisible disabilities are accepted and will have support if there are problems.

    Some people with MCS and EHS would be able to attend less frequently than others. Some not at all, because as was mentioned, there are many sources of chemical emissions. However, if all camps were aware that there are people who cannot come because of chemical or wireless barriers, and made an effort to learn and change some product habits that would also benefit their own health, then more people with the disabling conditions would find it safer to attend whenever and wherever they can..

    Ultimately the problem is that the chemical companies are in your beds and cribs, that there are toxic chemicals in laundry and personal care products, and in so many other things we all have in our homes, including our pillows and mattresses. So many of the health problems we see around us are linked to petrochemical pollution. The commercials air relentlessly, and every home is full of these harmful products. That is a harder issue to tackle, but is very much related to Wall Street and Big Oil.

    Here are a couple of links to get people started. Browse around the sites to learn more.

    Don’t get slimed: Skip the fabric softener
    Fabric softeners contain toxic ingredients that are bad for your health and the environment. EWG recommends that laundry doers just say no.
    http://www.enviroblog.org/2011/11/dont-get-slimed-skip-the-fabric-softener.html

    Lighten Your (Chemical) Load
    All those products we use to make our clothes clean might take care of the dirt and grease, but they can leave nasty chemicals behind! Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get your laundry squeaky clean without the toxic chemicals.
    http://watoxics.org/healthy-living/healthy-families/growing-up-green/lighten-your-chemical-load

    Here’s a 3rd link, there’s a great pdf chart there about what we find petrochemicals in:
    http://www.npra.org/ourIndustry/petrochemicalFacts/

  6. Pingback: Corporate Control of People with Disabilities | #OccupyOakland Media

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