Category Archives: News

You can roll your eyes…. but

Last week, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne addressed the press, announcing the cap-and-trade system, an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. She began by stating, “We have to take into account all the costs of not doing this because if…,” at which point she stopped in mid sentence, distracted by a member of the press. This was followed by, “I know, you can roll your eyes, but” and signalled, with her hand held up, to halt the posturing by a reporter. She continued, “ if people’s insurance costs go up because of extreme weather and because of increasing damage that’s done…insurance costs have to keep going up; that’s a huge cost”. Continue reading

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The week my friend Steve died…

Steve was kind, loyal, athletic, funny, and wise; a good husband and father, and my friend for 50 years. He died last Wednesday, aspirating in his sleep, at the end of long and inevitably losing battle against a neurodegenerative disease called multiple systems atrophy. This disease trapped him in a body that no longer received motor signals from his brain, while his mind remained normal and his spirit stayed bright and strong. Continue reading

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Why do employees with MCS struggle for accommodation and benefits?

I recently testified as an expert witness on behalf of a patient with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) who was being denied accommodation in the workplace. The lawyer for the insurance company began the proceedings by trying to discredit me as an expert but my CV convinced the Judge to accept my testimony. These companies employ lawyers and physicians who support the insurance company’s stance and continue to discredit doctors who treat patients with environmentally related conditions. So it’s no wonder that these patients still struggle to obtain benefits and accommodation. Continue reading

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Suprises in the Pantry

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight – to feel and look better, and also to be healthier. In 2014, experts in weight loss were talking about sugar as the enemy, contributing to the obesity problem and the related health concerns, such as diabetes and heart disease. While diet is certainly the main cause of weight gain, the environment plays a significant role too. It’s now the third week of that resolution to lose weight. Perhaps making some changes in your environment can help you achieve a more successful outcome. Continue reading

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The Facts About Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Chemical intolerance was first described as a medical condition in the 1950’s. Since that time, it has been referred to as multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). In those early days, there was no body of scientific evidence that could support the existence of such a phenomenon. It didn’t make sense according to our traditional understanding of toxicology. Conventional physicians assumed that it must be psychological, although there was not much evidence to support that either. Continue reading

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Chemical Scents: They’re Everywhere!

I took this unusual picture at a road stop in a rural town in Quebec. No one asked me if I wanted to get deodorizer sprayed in my face while I was standing at this urinal. However, people with multiple chemical sensitivity risk getting sick whenever they go into a public washroom because most bathroom facilities have deodorizers that spray toxic chemicals intermittently in order to cover unpleasant odours with other subjectively preferable scents. Continue reading

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Turn turn turn, turn this world around – for the children

My daughter, Samantha, was born with brain damage caused by hydrocephaly. The cause of the condition was not known. It’s not genetic which means that something else interfered with her normal development before she was born. The subject of children with disabilities is, and will continue to be, a recurring theme in my blog posts because the subject is so close to my heart. Continue reading

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Back to School – and Children’s Health

Another school year has started! For many families, the first couple weeks of September can be an exciting time but for others it can bring a sense of foreboding, especially if a child has asthma. Continue reading

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You are what you breathe!

Summer in the city, lunchtime on a weekday. I walked through a park on my way to a meeting on a main street. It was a lovely day; clear blue sky and warm sunshine. The park benches were all occupied with people eating their lunch. I don’t usually peer into the lunches of strangers but I had been mulling over the obesity epidemic as a blog post topic – call it my research. I stopped and took a panoramic view of what people were eating. Here’s what I saw… Continue reading

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Are Bees Warning Us About the Sting of Autism?

Recently, my wife and I were shopping at a major grocery chain store that sells natural and organic foods. We noticed some signs that were posted in various places with the message: “Give bees a chance” – a catchy play on words from John Lennon’s song, “Give peace a chance”. The purpose is to attract public attention to the fact that the honey bee population is rapidly declining. Continue reading

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