Toxic Injury Awareness and Education Month

Here in Wisconsin, our Governor has proclaimed May “Toxic Injury Awareness and Education Month.” Lest you think, Oh Best Beloved, that our State stands alone in this, the Governors of at least twenty other States this year alone have also officially similarly proclaimed May as the month in which to raise awareness and provide education about Toxic Injury, Chemical Injury and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. In the past eight years, the Governors of over thirty-five States have issued proclamations recognizing the need for education on and awareness of chemical injury, toxic injury and MCS.

If you’re not familiar with chemical injury, here’s some key points about this devastating illness:

  • Toxic injury is often characterized by a heightened sensitivity to very small amounts of air pollution, mold, petrochemicals and other toxins found in our everyday environment, this sensitivity being called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), chemical injury or toxic injury.
  • Toxic injury is a chronic, debilitating and sometimes life-threatening biologically-based (i.e., physical) condition for which there is no known cure, causing serious financial, employment, learning, housing, health, social and other consequences.
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is recognized by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, the Social Security Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, and other state and federal governmental agencies, which have supported the health and welfare of people with this condition. The Veterans Administration, as documented in the VA’s report on GWS, released Monday, Nov. 17th, 2008, specifically states when discussing the cause of Gulf War Syndrome that “It is well established that some people are more vulnerable to adverse effects of certain chemicals than others, due to variability in biological processes that neutralize those chemicals, and clear them from the body.”

As part of our own personal contribution to Toxic Injury Awareness and Education Month, I’m going to direct you to a new article written by Michael and I that is now on our website: What’s So Tough About Home Repairs, Maintenance And Construction? It’s not easy when you’re living with a family member who has chemical injury.”

We hope you find it both educational and informative!

The End of an Era

I’m going to miss GM’s Pontiac Division.

It’s nostalgia I’m feeling, not brand loyalty. I voted with my dollars for the quality and durability of Honda and Toyota cars long ago. But I grew up in a Detroit suburb, surrounded by families who worked for the automobile industry. Much of my extended family still works for the auto industry, or serves families who do. So the economic ups and downs of the automobile makers still hit quite close to home.

But the nostalgia… ah, now that’s for another reason. The first car I regularly drove as a newly-licensed teen was a light blue Pontiac Custom S. I loved the way it looked, hated its blind spots. It was the first car I ever dug into, as the brakes just… didn’t… when you put it into reverse. Turned out to be a factory error – the star wheel adjusters on the back drums were installed backwards. That started my love-hate relationship with car repairs, which turned into a purely hate relationship when I was lying underneath our 1974 Plymouth Valiant, 3-foot-long breaker bar in hand, removing a frozen u-joint… in the pouring rain. That’s when I swore we’d always have enough money to have someone else do the major repairs on our vehicles.

My favorite Pontiac was a bright yellow Trans Am my brother rebuilt. And of course, who couldn’t love the 1968 Pontiac GTO? That, now, that was a car! Remember Woodwarding? Oh, yeah, cruising Woodward Avenue in a ’68 Goat was the only way to go.

Ah… Pontiac. We’re gonna miss you.