MCS activism: How to be represented in an unsafe place

by | May 17, 2011 | Chemical Sensitivity News, Electrical Sensitivity News, NEWS | 1 comment


E.I. Jane

E.I. Jane at the 2009 Disability Expo ~ Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.


People with chemical sensitivity or electrical sensitivity are often overlooked by the public and by officials. It’s difficult for us to travel to testify at public hearings, and once there, there are many barriers for us to actually be in the building and among the people there.

Activists from the Swedish support group for the electrically sensitive came up with an innovative idea. They wanted to put up a booth at a health expo, but had nobody who could staff it due to the exposures from cell phones, etc. They created a dummy cutout, which instead staffed the booth most of the time. The local paper even ran a story on it.

EHS/MCS activists in Arizona, USA, heard about the idea and created their own version. It was named “E.I. Jane” as a play on “G.I. Joe,” the popular action figure for little boys. They made it out of black plastic poster board (cardboard can also be used). The daughter of one of the activists laid down on top and her outline was traced with a pencil and then cut out with scissors. It’s best if it stands on its own, supported by a photographic tripod, stapled to a wooden post or something similar. Or mounted to the back of a chair.

Both the Swedish and Arizona versions were holding a paper stating that it represented a person who would have liked to be present, but could not be because the place is not accessible.

This method could also be used to make a statement at public hearings, etc.


  • Earthwalker is the username that PT founder Julie Genser created for her online interactions so many years ago when first creating Planet Thrive.

    Julie's (Earthwalker's) life was derailed over twenty years ago when she had a very large organic mercury exposure after she naively used a mouth thermometer to measure the temperature of just-boiled milk while making her very first pizza at home. The mercury instantly expanded into a gas form and exploded out the back of the thermometer right into her face. Unaware that mercury was the third most neurotoxic element on Earth, Julie had no idea she had just received a very high dose of a poisonous substance.

    A series of subsequent toxic exposures over the next few years -- to smoke from two fires (including 9/11), toxic mold, lyme disease, and chemical injuries -- caused catastrophic damage to her health. While figuring out how to survive day-to-day, and often minute-to-minute, she created Planet Thrive to help others avoid some of the misdiagnoses and struggles she had experienced.

    She has clawed her way over many health mountains to get to where she is today. She is excited to bring the latest iteration of Planet Thrive to the chronic illness community.

    In 2019, Julie published her very first cookbook e-book called Low Lectin Lunches (+ Dinners, Too!) after discovering how a low lectin, gluten free diet was helping manage her chronic fascia/muscle pain.

1 Comment

  1. FurAndFeathers

    This is the true poster child. A motion-actvated recording would give it a human voice, but it may be more poignent to have the silence.

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