The Canaries

Several months ago a friend of mine told me about a photographer she knew who was taking pictures of those suffering from chemical sensitivity.  I was first directed to Thilde Jensen’s website (see warning towards end of post).  You can view the photos by scrolling across the bottom of the screen.  There was also an article featuring some of these and other photos at

Thilde Jensen, herself, became a victim of chemical sensitivity and soon discovered an “invisible subculture” also forced to live on the fringe of a normal existence to avoid constantly exposing themselves to the very chemicals that make them ill.  Thilde has used her photography to bring this disabling condition to the forefront.

While I do have to put a warning that there are two pictures of women with some nudity in them, I love the way her camera lens has captured the very essence of this debilitating condition.

8 responses to “The Canaries

  1. Pingback: The Canaries | allergictolifemybattle | sondasmcschatter

  2. Curious if any/all of these folks might thrive in a dwelling enclosure built with a huge emphasis on minimizing environmental chemical exposure. I see these pics of people in cars, trucks (because they are wisely avoiding wood-framed structures). I see a pic of an insightful lady that has created a vapor/EMF barrier in lieu of indoor Sheetrock (or covering/sealing her indoor Sheetrock substrate. I see two pics of a terribly ill lady (BUT one in a bathtub with a mildewed tile floor, and one on an old couch sitting on an old wood floor), etc.

    I’m frustrated on behalf of these people, my heart is torn by every picture. There has to be an answer, an option for the thousands in this position. I don’t know if Compositek by Evergreen would be tolerated by any/all of us…… But why aren’t we collectively rallying, lobbying and seeking a possible outlet. The vibe is “we understand eachother’s suffering,” and WE DO SYMPATHIZE and commisurate. But with the large numbers of people suffering, why not consider tapping into that “power” and seeking/pursuing/pressuring/demanding a common outlet for safe dwelling option(s). I don’t endorse Evergreen, in fact I’m frustrated that they’ve blown off my requests. But I can say that I’ve spent dozens of hours researching the topic of small, accessible, mobile, safe dwellings, and they seem to be the closest to “getting it.” Whereas Swanson Associates advertise “non-toxic trailers” that include “low-EMF wiring”– but they haven’t even responded to my email inquiry via their website.
    Anyway, thanks for allowing me to vent (on behalf of we who are actively struggling to find answers, resolutions, and a place to live that gives us A CHANCE TO HEAL). Seeing our shared suffering in photos compels me to reach out again, to seek feedback/ideas/assistance/suggestions in this quest for a safe place for the environmentally-sickened to dwell, survive and HEAL.

    • Please forgive me for not responding sooner to your post. Why aren’t more fighting? Many don’t have any fight left in them. Many are just too sick to fight. After fighting and dealing with workers’ compensation for about ten years, I don’t have the energy to start another battle right now myself. Getting this blog going, putting the information of what I have gone through in it and completing my book is taking more energy and time than I thought it would.

  3. Thanks for sharing these.

  4. Thank you. When my mother was going through this many, including myself, thought this was in her head. I’ve become more sensitive to her now.

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