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Environmental Illness

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The first Canadian study commissoned by a non-government organization (NGO) on the socio-economic impact of environmental illnesses like multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia (FM) and Gulf War syndrome (GWS) was conducted by Cullbridge Marketing and Communications of Ottawa

The first Canadian study commissoned by a non-government organization (NGO) on the socio-economic impact of environmental illnesses like multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia (FM) and Gulf War syndrome (GWS) was conducted by Cullbridge Marketing and Communications of Ottawa. The study provides critically needed Canadian information that will help governments, medical and support agencies and patients to prioritize their planning and budget programs and services for this growing segment of the population.

"This study demonstrates the enormity of the health and socio-economic costs of environmental illnesses. Whereas healthcare analysts, medical bodies and NGOs have had to rely on US statistics they can now, through the information provided in this breakthrough report, begin to get a handle on the Canadian picture. Judging from the details in the report, governments can no longer afford inaction," says Judith Spence of the Environmental Illness Society of Canada (EISC).

Based on the available data, the EISC estimates the following:

  • About one in eight (several million) adult Canadians suffers significant symptoms, increased absenteeism and measurably impaired abilities at work due to "normally safe" exposures to some of the common chemicals found in their homes or work.
  • About one in 50 (approximately half a million) adult Canadians are unable to work due to a disability associated with environmental illness.
  • Over $10 billion a year is lost in productivity.
  • Over $1 billion each year is eroded from the tax base.
  • Over $1 billion each year spent in health costs, much of which could be avoided if the illness was diagnosed and treated in a timely manner.
  • Over $1 billion each year is lost in avoidable disability payments.
  • Avoidable suicides.
  • Erosion of personal rights and universality of healthcare.
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