Alena Jula is a lady I know in person. She also was in the newspaper Bygdanytt.no in May 2011 and told her story of being allergic and having ecsema as a child, and when she grow older she got even more sick and it got worse all the time.
Health in each corner
The houses we live in is containing chemicals and pollutants. Alena Jula was sick from the indoor environment and needed a house that made her recovery.
People, their surroundings, ourselves is stuffed with chemicals every day. We lubricants them into the armholes in the morning, powdered them on the cheeks at lunch and wash the clothes with them in the evening. Chemical additive is found everywhere, and we think little of it. So it is not for Alena. She tolerate no chemicals, and are sick from your perfume.
– Do you notice anything? the reporter ask me and try duck in the door.
– Yes, I feel the fabric softener from your sweater, says Alena and holding on to a few meters distance.
– Such items must often be cleaned many times before the chemicals disappear. But it should be fine, I open some windows.
We have been showered with special soap and washed all the clothes in our fragrance-free detergent, but we slides still do not unmarked into the house at the top of Eide field on Valestrand.
Inside the house alone, the man Frank Erkelenz and the two smallest children, Isla and July. They have two more children, but they are at school.
– As a child I was plagued with allergies and eczema, says Alena. – But no one knew what was the problem. As I became older, it was worse. I struggled with pain in my head, I was dizzy, hot, I had migraines and nausea, and I often had infections. In short, I was sick more or less all the time.
But in 2005 came a turning point. On the Internet she found information about the chemical environment intolerance, and was confirmed this diagnosis by a physician. She stopped immediately with perfume, and was better from that moment.
Alena and Frank lived then in Germany, but this year is Frank offered a job in a Norwegian engineering company, and in the following year moved with his family to Sotra.
– When I arrived I was examined at the neurological department at Haukeland, and they could confirm that it was the chemical environment of intolerance I suffered from.
– What treatment were they talking about?
– I got told to avoid environmental toxins as well as I could.
Alena had to in other words, fix the problem themselves. Well, not quite herself – when everything looked and felt the darkest it’s okay to be married to a German engineer. – We looked for a place to stay that did not made Alena sick, said Frank. – But all the house’s s built with a quantity of pollutants, so if we were ever to so many viewings we found no shelter Alena could live in. So we decided to build one ourelves.
It turned out to be easier said than done. The bought land, but no Norwegian contractors could deliver a house free of contaminants. Finally they had to turn to Germany for help. – They came from Germany with the finished modules, and spent five days to put up the house, says Frank. – The rest of the work we could do together with local entrepreneurs.
Now the house that is there, is free of toxins and waste gases, but Alena’s problem is not over because of that.
The world out there is still full of chemicals, and the mom of four children, can not go to the store, take part in public meetings, or go to visit people. In addition, family and visitors are bringing chemical contents of smells from school and work that stick to their person going home, and this is enough to make her sick.
– Also, the two oldest children of mine are being bothered by the perfume and chemicals, although not as much as me, says Alena. – The school has now ended with scented detergent, air spray, and that perfume usage from employees is reduced. It is not the meaning that pupils and adults not to be able to wash and make-up, but there are perfume-free alternatives to use. The changes from the school have done whatever our daily lives much better. We’ve had a good dialogue with the municipality, and they have been taking our problems seriously. But still there is a way to go before it gets completely well, and we depend on parents show respect and not let children use perfumed products.
– What do they in relation to neighbors and community?
– We try to inform about the disease, and asking people to take into account.
– And what do they do?
– Many show great understanding, while others believe that this is not their problem.
Alena says that the focus around the perfume and chemical additive is much greater in many other countries. – Take for example Canada. It has for many years been a ban on perfumes in all schools, kindergartens, health stations and jobs. Such laws are not only done out of respect for persons with asthma, allergies and chemical environmental intolerance, but is intended to protect everyone against chemical toxins. These substances are not good for any of us, even though not everyone is sick.
Alena is engaged and wants to challenge society to think differently about your body smells – The commercials lead us to believe that these scents are holy miraclecomponds that makes us unique and special. As if we should not be there without artificial scents? The perfumes holds often thousands of different chemicals. Today there are safe fragrance-free alternative when we should be dealing in shampoo, detergent and cosmetics.
Alena draws lines back to the 80th century, when people began to become aware of the dangers of passive smoking, and believe that society will experience the same awakening when it comes to perfume. – I am not handicapped in a way that people normally think of as handicapped. I can run and worked, but know I often is handicapped anyway. I want to encourage people to dare imagine and think again – think new. Will the scent free policy be taken into consideration and respect to children and adults with chemical environmental intolerance, asthma, eczema and allergies, then many will get back quality of life.
/ Alena Jula
The chemical environment intolerance
Kjell Aas is a professor of paediatrics, with over 300 scientific articles to his credit. He is a specialist in allergies and has been involved heavily in the health problems that Alena experience. Bygdenytt have asked him about the disease:
– What is the chemical environment intolerance?
– In short, this is an environmental inhibition. This means a hidden environment inhibition depending on the disability that is due to genetic or acquisitions malfunction in our enormously complex and complicated biochemistry.
– Chemical environmental intolerance is not an accepted diagnosis in Norway. Why?
– The condition is subjective symptom and can not yet diagnosed in a laboratory. Up to now have psykiatrar and psychologists claimed that it is a psychiatric illness. The claim is based on bad research that among other things, the perceived consequences of the condition as the cause. For us specialists on the case MCS it is probably and obvious that such a condition may easily lead to isolation, anxiety, depression, fear of places and churches where the air will be polluted by chemical compounds such as perfume, and thatit is not a psychiatric illness.
Perfumes contain substances that have just intervene in the relevant biochemical processes in which a malfunction in a way is self-driven and can provide long-term ailments. Personally I am surprised over how much the people getting sick in chemical environmental intolerance that I have had contact with, seems as mentally normal, despite the stress they live under.
– How widespread is this suffering?
– I have had contact with a hundreds of people who I call “in risks” – and not patients – since they are completely healthy when the environment is clean enough. But since this condition is not recorded in Norway, we do not know anything about how widespread this is in our country. It will continue as long as we do not have any medically diagnosed, in contrast to countries such as Germany and Austria.
– Where should people turn if they suspect they may be affected by this disease?
– The “in risks” have the problem that they can be misunderstood by both laymen and scholars. Some are lucky and meet the real doctors who listens with an open mind in relation to the mysteries of biochemistry. It is usually most likely to meet the understanding among a work medicines that look some cases start of occupational exposure.
– Those who wish to know more about the disease can go into www.inneklima.com a Norwegian site. But if you want you can translate it using an online translater such as for an example www.translate.google.com.
Published here at anneliemolin.wordpress.com with the approval of Alena Jula on 24. September 2011.