Chemical sensitivity is likely among the many “chronic health conditions” that homeless Minnesotans endure (see yesterday’s blog post). People like me with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) are at great risk of homelessness because so many houses and alternative abodes make us ill.
For me, it has been easier finding housing free of triggering chemicals than it has finding housing free of mold. However, I am fortunately not as sensitive to chemicals as many people, for whom the world is an obstacle course.
This brief article on chemical sensitivities and homelessness, particularly in Arizona, was written several years ago, but every word still rings true.
The broader picture is this: Many of the chemicals that we use in our foods, homes and workplaces are not safe for human consumption, especially in combination. Single or a couple chemicals combined might pass safety tests. But how many do we consume at the same time when we eat take-out baked chicken with a dozen ingredients, or liquor that does not reveal that its color is do not to “the barrel” but to artificial colors that contain gluten or genetically modified corn, or slather our skin with lotions whose contents are unrecognizable?