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August 05, 1976 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-08-05

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The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Thursday, August 5, 1976
News Phone: 764-0552


On retaining a union
THE TIME HAS COME for University clericals to decide
whether or not they want to remain unionized. We ~LEN~
believe the clericals should retain the union and give
it a chance to establish a good contract from the Uni-
versity rather than abolish the fledgling local and de-
liver the clericals into the stingy hands of the University
Many clerienis are justly angry at their union for
some of the evenrs that have befallen them in the past
year. Decertifi ,tion advocates and union officers alike
agree that Iss summer's contract was inadequate. How-
ever, abolishit the union now will not change last year
disappointine contract. It will simply dash the best
chance clerinlIs have of amending their unsatisfactory
Similarly. many clericals have expressed disenchant-
ment with the seemingly endless intra-union turmnoll.
Again, we do not feel the best solution to this prohlem
Is the dismantling of the union. Why not give the newly
elected union leadership some time to resolve their dif-
ferences, forget old grudges and heal the divisive wounds -
of the past year? Surely, if the desire to decertify is evi-
dent now and if the union is not effectively functioning =
In the near future, the sentiment will still remain. Give , -
local 2001 another shot at proving it deserves your uniont!
We hope the clericals will vote to keep their union.
She's alergic to her carpeting.

Carmen Rowley, 42, picks
up the telephone, she first
wraps it carefully in a handker-
chief - not because she is
afraid to leave fingerprints, but
because she is allergic to the
plastic from which it is made.
When she reads a book-she
prefers secondhand ones be-
cause the ink smells less strong
- she dons metai-framed spec-
tacles and puts the printed page
beneath a sheet of glass. Her
television is used only at half-
hour intervals because of its
odor when hot. She can't ride
in a car because of the motor
fumes and the smell from the
plastic interior. Every sip of
water she takes must be fil-
tered clear of fluoride and other
chemicals, while she can eat
only a dozen medically ap-
proved foods. Even this limited
menu must be rotated in a strict
timetable every four days.
Rowley's problem, believed to
be shared by several thousand
people throughout the nation, is
that she is allergic to almost
everything in the chemical tech-
nology surrounding us today.
"You become very alert to.
what is going on in your body
and you pay attention to what
it says to you," she says of
her condition. "Of course, some
people can't accept our prob-
lem. They think we are not
really sick - just psychosomat-
ic and imagining things.'"''
got out of hand after the
birth of the last of her three
children 11 years ago. She blam-
es the birth control pills she
then started taking for a final
flare-up of migraine headaches
that soon were forcing her to
bed for a couple of days each
"I was tunder such heavy med-
ication that it was all I could
do to drag myself around, get
the family fed and do the wash-

ing and ironing," she said. "I
didn't feel I could do anything.
I was in and out of the hos-
pital where they X-rayed my
skull countless times but could-
n't find the trouble."
But a prominefit Dallas heart
surgeon, who also suffered the
same incapacitating allergy
condition, came to her aid.
During a recent five-week
stay at the private Brookhaven
Medical Center, Rowley under-

ed what she could handle.
her home in a comfort-
able middle-class suburb, she
slept her first night on the
tiled bathroom floor, because
the synthetic carpeting in her
bedroom had not yet been re-
moved. Then she made a kind
of sanctuary of her bedroom
before launching an all-out as-
sault on the rest of the house.
Up came the carpeting and

feet were bare on the wooden
floor - "shoes are a special
problem," she explained.
Asked if her illness had thrown
a strain on her marriage, Row-
ley said: "My husband has been
a brick. Why, he has even
tried to give up smoking. After
sleeping that first night on the
bathroom floor, things can only
go up from here"
the hospital with a list of

... and her telephone, her shoes, her- television and
even her car's plastic interior. She eats such foods as
prunes, pecans, papayas, rabbit and mustard greens.
Carmen Rowley, 42, has a problem: she's allergic to
life. Ar because of her rare condition, this suburban
housewife and mother of three lives within a set of
extremely stringent restrictions. Yet, she has hopes and
dreams ahead. "Won't it be marvelous to have an egg
for breakfast?" she says.
Y - :y§',:::; ysass , i. 5- yy . ::; " iv : -ns s5 . ^t s"'.. : 5K5.5:g.i ws-i ; ? so f'g -ac-.
went countless tests while liv- out went the synthetic drapes ten foods the doctor said she
ing in a strictly controlled en- and bed covers, the vinyl couch, could safely eat. They are soy
vironment where the odorless and all of her clothes that con- beans,. mustard greens, red fish,
air was filtered through char- tained polyester or any othbr prunes, rice, rabbit, venison,
coal, and nurses Wore neither man-made fibers. In came items organic beef, pecans and pa-
make-up nor perfumes. Cau- like a plain wooden rocking payas- To these she has since
tiously introduced to the foods chair, plain cotton drapes, and added figs to replace the mus-
and chemicals she would have a special all-steel electric space tard greens, which are out of
to tolerate in daily life-wheat heater that her husband had season, and fresh pineapple,
(which contained no chemicals), made from parts of a laundry which she finds she can tol-
baking soda, a whiff of tobacco dryer. erate.
smoke, alcohol, propane and When I saw Rowley a few '"I have tested "turtle," she
chlorine fumes - Rowley learn- days after her return home, her confessed, "and I, think it is

OK, but it's very difficult to
get and you certainly can't find
it at thesupermarket."
Another approved food for
Mrs. Rowley is guanaca meat
(it comes from a kind of South
American llama), and she gets
this airfreighted from Illinois.
It costs $3.45 per pound.
Looking ahead, Rowley said:
"I hope soon to add coconut
as a between-meals snack and
I want to test eggs when the
hens start laying again. I know
a farmer who feeds them organ-
ic food without any chemicals.
Won't it be marvelous to have
an egg for breakfast?"
Rowley's doctor believes
there, could be as many as sev-
eral thousand people throughout
the United States who suffer a
similar condition without realiz-
ing that it is allergy that caus-
es it.
self from the gas in his
operating theater at one of the
big Dallas hospitals. The gas
has been cleared to a level he
can tolerate.
"There are 10,000 chemicals
in the environment today and
we can't test all of them for
all individuals," the doctor ex-
plained. "Besides, no two cases
are ever exactly the same. Some
people react to one thing; oth-
ers to another."
Saying he reckons it will take
another five years for ecologi-
cal medicine to become recog-
nized in the mainstream of
medicine, be added:
"At present there are 300 phy-
sicians working in the field
through the Pan American Al-
lergy Association and 90 per
cent of them have these allergy
problems themselves. There are
150 to 200 more in the Society
of Clinical Ecology, and most
of them have a chemical prob-
lem too.
Godfrey Anderson,1a former
Associated Press correspondent
is a freelance based in Dallas.

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