Environmental Conference/March on Saturday

From The Gazette.
What impact do the chemicals we are exposed to every day have on our bodies? That question and others will be discussed Saturday at a conference organized by the Environmental Health Association of Quebec.

According to EHAQ, some 170,000 Quebecers say they suffer from environmental sensitivities or multiple chemical sensitivities.

It is a chronic, painful, multi-system condition that can develop after a single exposure or repeated low exposures to common chemicals in the environment. The condition leaves people sensitive to very low exposures to things like cleaning products, cigarette smoke, pesticides, scented products and pets, among others, EHAQ says.

“People suffering from Environmental Sensitivities are referred to as the ‘canaries’ of our society, because they are similar to the canaries in the coalmines of yesteryear. They are sounding the alarm that the toxins are building to dangerous levels. Without proper government stewardship, there can only be an increase in illnesses related to the pollutants in the environment in the future,” EHAQ president Rohini Peris wrote in a letter to Quebec Premier Jean Charest, asking him to improve medical services for people with environmental sensitivities.

Currently, Peris said, people with the condition do not have access to doctors trained in environmental medicine in Quebec, and are unable to get insurance, and are not recognized as having a disability.

The guest speaker at Saturday’s conference is Dr. John Molot of the Environmental Health Clinic at Womens’ College Hospital in Toronto. Following his lecture, participants will march along de Maisonneuve Blvd. to Charest’s Montreal office at McGill College Ave. and Sherbrooke St., where Quebec Solidaire MNA and doctor Amir Khadir will speak.

The conference begins at noon at Concordia University’s Hall Building, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd., W. Room H-110. Admission is free.

– Monique Beaudin

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