HEAL was founded in 1977, and has had thirty years of experience in serving those with environmental sensitivities and related problems. Those who founded HEAL — physicians and others concerned about the health effects of environmental exposures — knew that people with environmental sensitivities need reliable, credible and timely information about harmful substances in the environment, as well as information about healthy alternatives to toxic materials in their homes, schools, and workplaces. They were also convinced that everyone — not just those who are already sick — would benefit from knowing about harmful materials and their alternatives. They founded HEAL to fill these needs.
HEAL has several different ways of going about this. First, we publish The Human Ecologist four times a year, and each issue is packed with information on everything from health research, to how-to articles, to in-depth features on environment and health issues. Recent issues have included articles on understanding biodetoxification ... selecting helpful interventions for MCS … identifying healthy building materials … using Americans with Disabilities Act in the workplace — and much (much) more. In addition, each issue contains the latest news about research on MCS, CFS, allergies and asthma, fibromyalgia, and other health problems with a connection to the environment. On top of that, each magazine contains news columns about home health, toxic (and less toxic) dental materials, pesticide effects and healthier alternatives, child health and the environment, and policy matters that affect everyone’s health and well being. There are reviews of books and other publications offering essential information about environment and health.
The Human Ecologist isn’t just informative, however — it’s also reliable, credible, and respected. We focus on accuracy and objectivity, and we provide sources for all our information — so that you can check it out yourself. This policy, which HEAL has followed for decades, has contributed immeasurably to the credibility of difficult-to-understand conditions like MCS, CFS, fibromyalgia, “perfume allergy” and more.
In addition to The Human Ecologist, HEAL’s Service List offers information “on demand,” including our unique directory of accommodations for sensitive and allergic travelers, and our guide to HEAL members in the health care professions. You can also order the HEAL publication Fragrance and Health, a landmark book on a topic of great importance to people with MCS, allergies and asthma.
HEAL also provides volunteer resources around the country — there may even be one around the corner from you. HEAL chapters and Regional Resource Service volunteers offer the personal touch and local know-how that are so important to people who are struggling with MCS and other environmental illnesses. Being able to talk to a real person who understands your problems — and who may even be able to help you to find workable solutions to them — truly is “priceless.”
In addition to providing all these member services, HEAL does even more. When HEAL was founded thirty years ago, there was an urgent sense that the organization should alert the public about the health effects of environmental chemicals. Through the years, HEAL has done this by providing information to agencies such as EPA, FDA, the Interagency Working Group on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), and others. Most recently, HEAL recommended federal research on workplace exposures that harm the respiratory health of nurses and teachers. This recommendation was made to the National Occupational Research Agenda at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). When HEAL recommends an action to a federal agency, the recommendation is always backed up with facts, research, and logic. We have found that using this approach has won credibility for the causes we support.
Is HEAL an effective organization? Yes! Our member services provide direct benefits to people struggling with the health effects of environmental exposure. Members write to us and say —“Thank you for all that you do!” and “You’re helping to save my life — thanks so much.” We also believe that HEAL’s activities have resulted in a much wider acceptance of MCS than existed even ten years ago — we think that distributing over 250,000 brochures and fliers about MCS had a huge impact on public awareness of MCS and the people who have it. Fragrance and Health put this issue on the map for many people who formerly scoffed at the idea that perfume could have health effects. And that’s just a small sampling of the influence HEAL has had over the years.
Join HEAL today and become the newest member of one of the oldest organizations of its kind in the world. Although HEAL is a national organization, we’ve always kept our focus on people just like you, with problems just like yours. Let HEAL become your organization — join today! Purchase a membership in HEAL for USA $28 (low-income $20); Canada $34; other foreign $40 - (U.S. funds only, please)