Hear Our Voices!!!
by Stephen Torrington
We are being exposed to more and more toxic compounds in our homes and workplaces, as a group we who have experienced chemical poisoning or who live with chemical sensitivities are not often heard, and unless our poisonings are of a life-threatening immediacy they will often go undocumented.
When we try to report harm to our health we often are met with ignorance or denial from our medical professionals, we also will often experience what feels like cover up politics from our Government authorities.
Long term health problems after an acute chemical exposure are very difficult to have accepted by ACC or WINZ.
Ill health or disease from longer term chronic chemical exposures are also very rarely accepted for compensation from ACC or documented as notifiable workplace injuries by Worksafe NZ.
The growing rates of illness linked with chemical residue from pesticides in food and water are also increasing as is the science linking this type of exposure to long term illness.
The spraying around our communities is causing many health problems as are the amount of our jobs which require working around toxic and neurotoxic chemicals and pesticides.
Historically it’s been very difficult for those chemically poisoned in Aotearoa NZ to get a diagnosis, compensation, or to access vitally needed healthcare services, as our average local GP just isn’t trained to treat or able to diagnose this type of illness, yet the growing rates of those harmed is alarming.
The world’s largest pesticide research project the US agriculture and health study has shown that 16% of all pesticide workers and their spouses will receive an acute poisoning at least once in their lifetime.
The World Health Organization data states unintentional poisoning caused the loss of 10.7 million years of healthy life in 2012 alone due to illness and suffering, yet our Government fails to properly recognise the harm caused by chemical poisoning.
A movement of environmental health is sweeping the globe, the science fuelling this is compelling, and our country is falling well behind international best practice by not addressing the growing epidemic of harm perpetrated on its people.
The nature of illness from many of the neurotoxic compounds we find ourselves exposed too can make it challenging for many of us to speak publicly so this must remain a personal decision, yet I hope many will find the courage.
Let’s find our voices and help to bring change, those living with ongoing chemical poisoning and sensitivity have as much to contribute to the debate as any scientist, doctor or government agency and all who have been harmed deserve the chance to have their voices and experiences heard and respected.
Stephen Torrington, chemical poisoning advocate and Founder of More Wisdom.
More Wisdom aims to help support people who have been exposed to pesticides, and other toxic chemicals, which have harmed their lives. More Wisdom also provides a resource for the general public to get better informed and make better choices regarding the use of pesticides.