Thilde Jensen

The Canaries

The Canaries series is a personal account of life on the edge of modern civilization as one of the human canaries, the first casualties of a ubiquitous chemical and electrical culture.

Since World War II the production and use of synthetic petroleum derived chemicals has exploded. We live in a world today where man-made chemicals are part of every breath we take and where electromagnetic emissions are everywhere.

As a result it is believed that 2-10% of the human population worldwide has developed a disabling condition referred to as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) or Environmental Illness (EI). EI is a condition in which the immune and central nervous systems go into extreme reactions when exposed to small amounts of daily chemicals like perfume, cleaning products, car exhaust, printed matter, construction materials or pesticides.

When the delicate balance of life first has been broken there seems no end to how sensitive we can become. In addition to chemicals some react to food, electromagnetic fields, textiles and even light - making life a near impossibility.

Many people with EI end up living as refugees in remote areas out of tents, cars, or retro-fitted trailers, away from the dangers of a chemical and electrical world which they no longer can inhabit. Others are prisoners of their homes, with advanced air filtration systems to keep contaminants out of their breathing space.

At the core of the bizarre appearance of Environmental Illness is a questioning of the sanity of a human world continuing to develop in a manner that is toxic to life itself.

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