Monday, September 19, 2011

NY Times Photo Essay

This is a beautiful photo essay about what it can be like to live with chemical sensitivities. I encourage you to take a few minutes from your busy day to see how some of us spend our days.

Canaries by Thilde Jensen

I can't imagine having to live outside year round. I'm too sensitive to wood smoke and it would be hard to find a place completely free of drifting particulates.

I can't even wear the masks you see in some of the photos because my body reacts to the materials they are made from. When I go out I wear a mask like you see in pictures 9 and 14, with two carbon filters inside it. Rarely does it completely protect me from the effects of the fumes and vapors in our environment.

I'm grateful that I don't have to go the extremes that some folks do in order to sustain life. I'm grateful that I'm not sensitive to electromagnetic fields in addition to everything else. I'm grateful that my husband understands and supports me both emotionally and financially. I'm grateful that he has a reasonably secure job. We have health insurance but it doesn't cover any of the medicines I take or the specialists I visit on occasion. Compared to many I'm very fortunate indeed so I try not to complain.

If you haven't already clicked on the link above I hope you will do so now. And feel free to spread the word. For that matter, refuse to buy artificially scented products. At least that would be a step in the right direction.


  1. Thank you for sharing this ... it is truly amazing how much human-kind knows and yet how little we understand. While I do not suffer like you do, even I avoid certain places like perfume counters and Easter Sunday services in sanctuaries fille with Easter lilies.

    I've shared your blueberry idea with several who suffer, and they agree that it helps.

  2. I never buy them. I also never buy magazines with scent. I am not sensitive, but I see it as pollution.

  3. Great, informative photo essay. Thanks for the link. It's sad that so many people suffer with this.

    I avoid all scented products and I HATE the laundry detergent aisle in the store. It really flares up my allergies, so I can just barely imagine what you go through. I made a mistake one time and bought what I thought was dye and perfume-free laundry detergent. Some idiot decided that just being for sensitve skin and adding a perfume was good enough. My whole family said "Get rid of it - it stinks!" I need to write that Co. a letter to let them know how unhappy I am with that product. If more of us did that, maybe it would help.


Due to my health issues I am frequently unable to respond to your comments but please know that I do try to acknowledge your thoughtful responses. I cannot respond to 'no-reply' bloggers either, much to my frustration.