ECHO ANNUAL RETREAT - October 7, 2006 10 AM
Topic: MCS Housing Needs
ECHO will hold its annual retreat at 10 AM on October 7, 2006 at East Beach – Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison – rain or shine. A business meeting will be held to develop Goals and Objectives for 2006-07. The group will then focus on MCS housing needs for people in Connecticut. If you are interested in housing issues for MCS, please attend the retreat along with a local realtor who is interested in discussing MCS housing needs with us.
Bring a covered dish to share along with a chair or two. Parking is free. Just take I-95 East or West to Exit 62 in Madison. Follow the signs to East Beach. We will be on East Beach, Hammonasset, at the picnic table area directly in front of the handicapped parking lot.
Members are welcome to invite interested friends and relatives, but please remind visitors to refrain from wearing perfume, hairspray, aftershave, fabric-softener, or recently dry-cleaned clothes.
ECHO VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
ECHO has developed three poster-board type displays to explain: 1) MCS cause and triggers; 2) pesticides hazards; and 3) health problems associated with fragrance chemicals. We use these displays at various conferences, meetings and health fairs around the state. Volunteers are needed to staff the ECHO Exhibit at the following events for the morning or full day. Call Carolyn at 860-828-4200 for further information.
Thank you for your support and efforts on behalf of ECHO.
Carolyn Wysocki, President of ECHO
-Community Works of CT (CWC), Exhibits during September and October, 2006; Places to be announced
-October 21, 2006 – Saturday, 8:30-4:30 PM; Environmental Justice Conference; Capitol Community College, Hartford, CT
-November 13, 2006 Connecticut Nurses Association Conference, Crown Plaza, Cromwell, CT
-November 18, 2006 SATURDAY 6:00 SOLAR AND ENVIRONMENTAL EXHIBITS... FOLLOWED BY AWARDS AND A FASCINATING POWER POINT PRESENTATION. Unitarian Church, Bloomfiled.
-May 3, 2007, Legislative Office Building, Hartford CT 9-3 any slot is helpful.
The meeting is fragrance-free. Please refrain from wearing perfume, hairspray, aftershave, fabric softener, new leather or recently dry-cleaned clothes.
Presidents Annual Report
by Carolyn Wysocki, M.A., MHSA
2004-2005 may have seemed as though it was somewhat of a quiet year for ECHO due to moves and family illnesses but upon reflection it was a very busy and productive year. ECHO undertook and supported a number of activities very quietly via the internet, teleconferences and in collaboration with other organizations.
For example, in the fall of 2004, Community Works arranged for ECHO to exhibit our MCS, Fragrances and Pesticide Display at Aetna and Northeast Utilities. We also exhibited at the Central Connecticut Health District Health Fair and 2 days at the Connecticut Nurses Association Convention (CNA). Health Care without Harm (HCWH) and American Nurses Association (ANA) helped to arrange our participation in this Convention for some 200 Nurses.
The CNA pre-conference “Environment & Health” CEU Workshop dealt with all of our issues – from cleaning products, IAQ, outdoor pollutants, pesticides, fragrances etc this was an excellent opportunity for MCS Education. We were the only ones who had a display that day and were also invited to sit in on and called apon to actively participate in the discussions. Thus bringing in the concerns and health care needs of a person with MCS. I also talked with some 30 exhibitors from hospitals, Nursing Schools and Vendors on our issues. This was another door opening to having accommodations and understanding for people with MCS or better yet a healthier, safe and green hospital for all.
Our involvement in Health Care continues through the Collaborative on Heath & the Environment (CHE) as a member of the Asthma, and Scientific Work Groups and with Heath Care Without Harm (HCWH) as a member of the Clean Med Planning Committee which is advertised as a Fragrance Free Event. We have also suggested having workshops on fragrances, pesticides IPM, disinfectants etc. By he way Clean Med, 2006 will be in Seattle Washington.
By now you may already know that Governor Jodi Rell has proclaimed May as “MCS Awareness Month” in Connecticut. This is the 8th year in a row that ECHO has received a proclamation. Joe & I minded the ECHO Display at the Legislative Office Building and spoke to legislators, employees; lobbyist about Sick Buildings, MCS and the Pesticide Bill We had various videos running on pesticides, sick Building etc and handed out over 500 brochures.
Speaking of pesticides, special thanks go to those ECHO Members, Environmental Organizations, and garden clubs that solicited signatures for the Ban Lawn Care Pesticide petition. We now have over, 5,000 signatures.
Sue has been doing a great job keeping people currently informed about pesticides, IPM Organic Gardening, etc. with updating the Grassroots newsletter every month. ECHO has also been working with the H.E.L.P Coalition to support passage of the Pesticide Bill that would ban the use of lawn care pesticides at Day Care Centers. Thanks to Sue for arranging to have the Pesticide PSA (Public Service Announcement) developed by another ECHO member to be aired on various radio stations this year. Has anyone heard it? It’s great.
In addition, ECHO gave oral and written testimony during the public hearings phase of this year’s bills on the Pesticide Bill on Day care Centers and the Clean Air, Diesel, School Indoor Air Quality Bills.
After 2 years of serving on the DPH/DEP Tracking Consortium, the fruits of these meetings will be found in a final report which I will summarize at a another time. However it is good to know that MCS and ECHO have been included in the report and 2 recommendations relate to tracking non tradition chronic illnesses as MCS and those whose health has been affected by pesticides. ECHO and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity are noted several areas of thre report .
Another Thank You to Sue and Nancy without who we would not have had a holiday luncheon or an annual meeting.
As you can see, Advocacy and Education were a re-occurring theme this past year.
However, as needs and ideas come forward along with people volunteering to fulfill them, ECHO would certainly expand our services, Until then, ECHO will be continuing to focus on the GOALS of Advocacy and Education through collaboration, coordination and cooperation.
A Happy, Healthier and Peaceful New Year to All and A Special
Congratulations to ECHO on Its 10th Anniversary
These past ten years have seen many changes and challenges for ECHO as
an organization and particularly for those with MCS and their families. An
ECHO History Book is in the works, which will reflect many of the projects,
and issues we have addressed throughout these years.
In addition, there are several new Anniversary projects and activities
being planned for the coming year. You can find them among ECHO's 2002 Goals
in this newsletter. Call any ECHO Board member or me if you have any other
ideas or would like to help so that together we can make them a reality and a
special year for ECHO.
Reality also hit home on September 11th. The reality of the World
Trade Center crash and collapse, as horrific as it was, goes beyond an act of
terrorism. While we with MCS grieve for the victims of the WTC, we can
prophetically relate with and support the rescuers and the thousands of
people affected by the smoke and chemical particles in the environment of the
WTC. It is no surprise that the workers at ground zero are having major
health problems while key officials invited us to come to New York reporting
that the air water and soil are safe. We knew better. We know the health
dangers of toxic chemicals in environments.
We clearly understand their concerns and those raised by the postal
workers on the possibilities of anthrax cross-contamination as we try to
eliminate perfume and fragrances from our incoming mail. There are still many
unanswered questions about the anthrax source, vaccine and treatment just as
there are about the West Nile Virus.
Because of WTC, perhaps more people will be vigilant regarding the aerial
spraying of pesticides as a quick knee jerk response for the West Nile Virus.
Perhaps there will be less rush to chemical solutions as the nation
becomes more aware of chemical / bio-terrorism.
Perhaps people will recognize that chemical warfare has already begun at
home, in the USA with toxic chemicals as solutions to house cleaning,
disinfecting, pest removal, food preservation, etc.
Perhaps the workers affected by WTC will be able to receive medical
attention, disability and support, unlike those of the Gulf War Syndrome or
those with MCS.
Perhaps there will be a louder voice of citizens raising their concerns
on the effects of chemicals on our environment and on our health.
Perhaps the recently passed National Health Tracking System will include
MCS and will be signed by the President.
We can Hope - We can Pray and We can take action so that our "Perhaps"
becomes a "Reality".
ECHO 2004-2005 GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:
ECHO's Goals and Objectives were developed at the September Retreat and at
Executive Board meetings:
GOAL I: TO PROVIDE INFORMATION AND SUPPORT TO PERSONS WITH MCS.
1. Explore the feasibility of orgnizing an MCS Support Group by 2005
GOAL II: TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ABOUT MCS
Objectives for MCS Awareness Week - May 4 to 10, 2003
1. Arrange for an ECHO Display at the Legislative Office Building
2. Contact Governors office for MCS Proclamation
3. Develop brochure for pesticide education for Day Care Centers
4. Display MCS information aat at least 4 organizational events.
GOAL III: TO COLLOABORATE WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS ON MCS ISSUES/ADVOCACY
1.Collaborate with Health Care With Out Harm (HCWH)on Pesticides and Frangrances Issues.
2. Work with Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) on MCS Issues.
3. Work with DPH/DEP on Tracking Consortium
GOAL IV: TO ADVOCATE FOR PUBLIC POLICIES THAT PROMOTE HEALTH and WELFARE OF THE CHEMICALLY INJURED AND PREVENT CHEMICAL INJURIES.
1. Support Clean air project with ConnPirg
2. Support legislation to strengthen IPM, Indoor air quality in Schools
3. Support legislature on pesticide use.
4.Continue soliciting signatures on petition to eliminate cosmetic use of pesticides.
GOAL V: To ENCOURAGE MEDICAL RESEARCH ON MCS
1. Participate in the CHE Scientific Work Group
1. Recruit an ECHO Membership Chairperson
1. Evaluate the beneits of participation in Community Works of Connecitcut
SNET COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
Want to help ECHO painlessly? SNET will donate 5% of all you calls to ECHO.
Sign up for Community Connections today. Call 1-899-635-7638 and tell them
you want your money to go to ECHO. Or call ECHO for an application. Please
call today or sign up on the Internet at http://www.snet.com/community
ECHO thanks the following people for signing up for Community Connections:
Mrs. Nellie Wysocki, Jerome and Elaine Tomko, Tracy O'Donnell, Paul
Mikkelson, Bruce and Pam Feathers Joyce Lodola, Agnes Jonas, Rosetta
Vigoureux, Carolyn Mullen, Caroline Stevenson, Jerome J. Tomko, Tracy
O'Donnell, Gordon Parmelee, Abraham Wiener, Judith Puhalski, and Elisabeth
Levy, Joyce Kowalczyk and Daniel Simao!!!!!
OIL CO-OP MEMBERS BEAT THE HEAT
Citizen's Oil Co-op announced that their members on average have saved
about 20 to 30 cents per gallon on heating oil. The Citizen's Oil Co-op
price averaged 82.9 for the first week in December. The state average was $
1.11.9. The Citizen's Oil Co-op is open to all residents of Connecticut
and is currently serving all counties, except Litchfield County. For
additional information, contact Citizen's Oil Co-op at 860-561-6011 or
www.oilco-op.com. If an individual joins and names ECHO as the referral
group, ECHO will receive $5 of the $10 startup fee charged to join the co-op.
CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY REGISTRY:
Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has a registry
dedicated to chemically sensitive individuals. The DEP website is:
To register you must provide the names and addresses of your neighbors to DEP
as above. Pesticide contractors are required to check the registry database
prior to applying pesticides and must notify any person listed on the
registry. The DEP website also states, "Prior to performing ground spraying,
the DEP will notify everybody listed on the database in the area of scheduled
spraying." [DEP Mosquito Management Program.]