Seeking Safe Refuge: Negotiating housing precarity in the face of Environmental Sensitivities.

My name is Adrienne Brodie and I am a PhD candidate at La Trobe University. I am currently conducting a research project in anthropology, aimed at investigating the health seeking behaviours of people who suffer Environmental Sensitivities. I am particularly interested in finding out how people who are susceptible to low-level pollutants find ways to accommodate their illnesses within the home environment. I am seeking participants who reside in Victoria, Australia, aged between 18 – 70 years, who identify as having one or more of the following health conditions: Lyme Disease, Mould Illness, multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) and/or wind turbine syndrome, and who also experience illness-related difficulties related to housing.

I am seeking participants who would agree to a two-stage interview process and be able to meet in person over two visits. The first meeting will be attended by a research team of two people, myself and a research assistant, with participants who are agreeable to having photographs being taken of various things around the home that demonstrate the strategies you use to create, maintain and manage safe living space. These may be photographs of how you have used masking tape to seal up drafts in windows and doorways, shielding your living space from sound or wi-fi pollution, outgassing groceries in outdoor spaces, or airing out clothing, all of which is related to living with environmental illness. The second meeting will just be attended by myself and will be solely focused on the interview that is expected to take between one to two hours. Interviews and the participant’s explanations of the photographs being taken will be digitally recorded.

I understand that some people who suffer Environmental Sensitivities may not have access to a computer, so if anyone knows of others with EHS to whom this research may be of interest, please pass on the details of this recruitment advertisement to them. This research will be conducted in such a manner that the identities of participants will remain strictly confidential. It is a requirement that participants be interviewed without the assistance of a carer or family member. I have personal experience with MCS, and my research assistants and I welcome thorough instructions on how we can best accommodate your needs to ensure your participation in this research project. We will endeavour to make every effort to accommodate the fragrance, chemical and electromagnetic radiation free requests of each participant on an individual needs basis.

If you live in the Australian state of Victoria, are aged between 18 – 70 years, and experience Environmental Sensitivities as a symptom of one or more of the five conditions mentioned above, please contact me to express your interest to participate by sending an email to with a subject heading: Project Number HEC17-104.



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