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Spain, December 18, 2023.

With the title “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Electrosensitivity and organic disability: analysis from a human rights approach”, CONFESQ (Coalition that unites the Spanish associations of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) and electrohypersensitivity (EHS) among others), has carried out a Conference at the ONCE Foundation headquarters on November 6, 2023, where two reports were presented that analyze the barriers suffered by these pathologies from the social and legal spheres.

This Conference, inaugurated by José Luis Martínez Donoso, director of ONCE Foundation, Elena Antelo, director of COCEMFE and María López Matallana, president of CONFESQ, aimed to present, develop and analyze the content of the reports “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and organic disability : analysis from a human rights approach” and “Electrohypersensitivity and organic disability: analysis from a human rights approach”. Lawyers Paloma Torres and Isabel Díaz Velasco, co-founders of Medusa Human Rights, authors of both reports, presented the socio-legal analysis carried out and its conclusions. The reports seek to make a first approximation to the situation of people affected by these diseases. environmental conditions that, due to the development of chronic health conditions, suffer from the existence of social barriers that limit or prevent full social participation and the exercise of rights and freedoms with equal opportunities. In a broader line of action, we want to use the right International Human Rights and its protection mechanisms, so that people affected by these pathologies can feel protected. In the case of MCS there is an organic impossibility of tolerating low levels of exposure to chemical products (cleaning and washing products, cosmetics and hygiene products, perfumes, air fresheners, hydrocarbons, ink, insecticides, etc.) that generate serious limitations for the daily lives of the affected people, such as lack of accessibility to health services, jobs, education , to adequate housing, to public roads or other facilities open to the public. In the case of EHS, the organic impossibility leads to not tolerating low levels of exposure to sources of electromagnetic pollution (EMC). This is the case of infrastructures that use wireless communication protocols (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, TETRA, etc.); DECT phones, mobile phones, remotely managed meters. Urban furniture is also susceptible to hosting polluting emission sources, such as smart streetlights (they can house sensors, cameras, WIFI, electric vehicle charging, and also host 5G networks); base stations and mobile phone antennas, transformer inverters and photovoltaic panels, electrical lines and substations, radars, and other electrical devices. Both studies conclude that affected people face environmental barriers (at home, at work or in a school). of studies, health centers, social and cultural spaces, public roads…), which generate multiple and systemic organic disabilities. Environmental control is an essential requirement to guarantee accessibility to the public and private spheres of these patients. They also point out that the reality of people with organic disabilities associated with MCS and also EHS is invisible in the eyes of institutions and society in general, which disproportionately affects women, who make up more of the 80%. Finally, the reports conclude that the lack of accessibility occurs in a context of accumulation, which represents a systematic violation of human rights, putting their physical and mental health at serious risk, and leading them to a situation of absolute social exclusion. Not only do they have difficulties being diagnosed and accessing specific treatments, they also suffer a worsening of their physical and mental health due to not being able to access health services on equal terms; They encounter difficulties in accessing or maintaining a job, which prevents them from living independently and autonomously and forces them to request social protection, which is sometimes denied; Sometimes, they end up moving away from urban centers and their support networks, to achieve accessible housing, which contributes to a greater situation of isolation. For all these reasons, it is urgent that public administrations create spaces for reflection on how to implement measures. accessibility adapted to the context of organic disability; and, in addition, establish clear conditions and procedures for the request, evaluation and adoption of reasonable adjustments in public and private settings. Note: This study has been financed by FUNDACIÓN ONCE, through the COCEMFE Priorities Plan, and the EQSDS associations, SFC-SQM Euskadi and SFC-SQM Madrid. CONFESQ is the National Coalition of Fibromyalgia, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Electrohypersensitivity and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity entities. This non-profit entity is made up of 65 Associations and Federations distributed in most of the Autonomous Communities of the Spanish State, representing more than 11,000 people affected by these diseases and their families directly, of whom approximately 80% are women.

Contact Contact name: Maria Contact description: CONFESQ Contact phone: 665836033