Author Message

===forwarded message===

Contact: Karen Sutherland, Director, MCS Initiative,
Institute for Science & Interdisciplinary Studies,

Peggy Wolff, Chairperson pro tempore,
Environmental Health Coalition of Western Mass.,

For Immediate Release

   The Institute for Science & Interdisciplinary Studies
(ISIS) and the Environmental Health Coalition of Western
Mass. (EHCWM) have won grant funding for work in
Hampshire County to increase knowledge about Multiple
Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) for school and health care
personnel and the general public.
   The award is one of 18 EPA Environmental Justice Small
Grants to be made in the New England region.  The highly
competitive EPA program is designed to address
environmental justice issues to facilitate fair treatment and
meaningful involvement of all people with respect to
environmental law and policies.
   The ISIS-EHCWM project will sponsor workshops for
health care professionals on diagnosis and treatment for
MCS and for schools on prevention of MCS among children
and {*filter*}s.  It will also increase public understanding
through development of educational materials, public
presentations, and expansion of the EHCWM to individuals
and organizations who are in positions to affect public
knowledge of MCS.  
   MCS is a rapidly growing public health problem
recognized by numerous state and federal agencies that
presents particularly difficult environmental justice issues
and demands public understanding.  Although local numbers
are as yet unknown, studies elsewhere have found
prevalences of 16-33% chemical sensitivity in the general
population and, in California, 7% with fully developed
MCS.  People with MCS are very often unable to work or
participate in society due to their reactivity to small amounts
of commonly used chemicals.  The condition is poorly
understood medically, hampering effective diagnosis and
treatment.  The crippling effects of poor health, poverty and
isolation are compounded by the ignorance and prejudice
with which MCS sufferers are often confronted.
   The EPA-funded project is part of a larger MCS Initiative
developed by ISIS, working with local, state and national
MCS organizations and individuals.  The MCS Initiative
brings chemically injured people together to work with
scientists, doctors, service agencies, and other citizens to
devise methods for prevention and services.  Its Center for
Outreach, Research and Education (CORE) identifies and
responds to needs for information.  
     ISIS is an innovative scientific institute located at
Hampshire College which is developing a new approach to
science that is open, self-relexive, democratic and socially
responsible.  Other ISIS projects include work with local
citizens, scientists and the miltary to clean-up toxic waste at
Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee, work with the
Secoya of rainforest Ecuador to cope with the vast
problems caused by oil development, and work with the
local Community Involved with Sustaining Agriculture to
foster a sustainable">food and farming system in the
Connecticut River Valley.  
     EHCWM is a grass roots organization which works to
increase local public and professional understanding of
environmental health issues and to facilitate services needed
by persons injured by and sensitive to chemicals.  Other
EHCWM projects include working to develop healthier,
accessible hospital facilities, schools and housing.
     Individuals and organizations interested in being
connected with the project and/or who need referrals and
information about chemical sensitivity are encouraged to
contact Karen Sutherland at 413-582-5582 or Peggy Wolff
at 413-253-2646.


Tue, 30 Mar 1999 03:00:00 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

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