Coping – Air Filtration

Because people with environmental illness, particularly multiple chemical sensitivity, have such a difficult time with trace amounts of toxins, air filtration systems are vitally important to maintain a safe environment.

“We were designed for clean air, pure water, and sustainably-farmed organic food.” – Chagall Sierra, Vocalist with MCS/Asthma/Allergies/IBS-C

Some air cleaners are better than others. HEPA filtration is a medical necessity for people with any environmental illness.

When I moved into my current apartment, which I stay in despite that it’s a toxic building that makes me ill, a friend who also has environmental illness gifted me a box fan (like this one: Holmes Box Fan, Metal, 20-Inch, White) as a housewarming present. He showed me how to tape a HEPA Allergy filter to the back of it so that it would become a much cheaper, makeshift HEPA Air Filter. With that DIY solution, I was able to sleep in my livingroom but not in the more toxic bedroom.

A few years later I was able to pick up a couple of other filter systems. Due to living near a lot of car exhaust pollution with very fine particles, I needed an ionizing air filter not just a HEPA filter. This is the one I got: Bionaire BAP600B-CN 99% Permanent HEPA Air Purifier with Night Light. So far I’m very happy with it, because it’s a 99% permanent filter that just needs vacuuming every once in a while to clean it. The two filters make my livingroom much better for my needs.

In addition, because the kitchen has a tendency to grow mold very easily, I got a small UV Air Filter (the GermGuardian GG1000 Pluggable UV-C Sanitizer and Deodorizer) that kills bacteria and mold spores. It’s slowed down mold growth by about 2 days, which helps me get ahead of the mold problem. I want another one for the bathroom!

In Canada, these devices are supposed to be reimbursed if you’re on Ontario Works or ODSP when they are a medical necessity. However, usually the requests are denied twice (request and appeal) and it comes out of your own pocket. Some people have had success mailing their request and receipt directly to the Ministry of Health rather than dealing with caseworkers. However what’s supposed to happen is that your OW or ODSP refunds you then your caseworker puts the request for reimbursement to the Ministry of Health from OW or ODSP so that they get reimbursed. I wasn’t one of the lucky ones, and it all comes out of my food budget.

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