What is MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY?
Imagine not being able to leave your home because your neighbors laundry softer makes you have migraines, vomiting, tachycardia and muscle weakness just to name a few symptoms. Imagine not being able to hug or be near people with perfume because your lungs react so severely that you have to be hospitalized and treated for weeks or months on end.
Just think for a moment that you are in need of urgent medical/dental attention but you are unable to visit a doctors office because they use air fresheners in patient rooms, hallways and waiting areas. This is the misery that is faced each and every day by MSC sufferers. This is the outward expression of MCS.
MCS can be brought on after toxic mold exposure, chemical injury and a weakening of the immune system. In the case of prolonged toxic mold exposure and chemical injury a persons liver function is seriously affected and detoxification pathways are blocked.
These people are also dealing with oxidative stress due to their exposure which makes them more susceptible to an MCS diagnosis.
“MCS affects the central nervous system, but may also cause malfunctions in other systems such as respiratory, gastrointestinal or heart.” Source
“People with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) are made sick by exposures to low levels of many common chemicals — such as perfume, paint, pesticides, solvents, new building materials, vehicle exhaust, and smoke. Common symptoms include headache, fatigue, body aches, asthma, rash, dizziness, nausea, and tremors. Symptoms can range from mild to life threatening. People with MCS also often react to foods, drugs, mold, pollen, and electromagnetic fields.
Developing severe multiple chemical sensitivity alters every aspect of a person’s life and can make it almost impossible to work, find safe housing, obtain health care, socialize or pursue hobbies. Relations with family, friends, and co-workers often become strained, because many do not believe this is a “real” illness.” Dr. Ann McCampbell
“Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) was identified in a 1989 multidisciplinary survey of 89 clinicians and researchers, and modified in 1999. Top consensus criteria (Multiple chemical sensitivity: a 1999 consensus, 1999) for MCS define the condition by these criteria:
A chronic condition.
Symptoms recur reproducibly.
Symptoms recur in response to low levels of chemical exposure.
Symptoms occur when exposed to multiple unrelated chemicals.
Symptoms improve or resolve when trigger chemicals are removed.
Multiple organ systems are affected.
Toxic substances that people with MCS become disabled by include any quantity of exposures to pesticides, secondhand smoke, alcohol, fresh paint, scented products and perfumes, candles, fragrances, food preservatives, flavor enhancers, aerosols, tap water, cosmetics, personal care products, new carpets, petroleum products, formaldehyde, outdoor pollutants, newspaper ink, cleaning compounds, printing and office products, and other synthetically derived chemicals.
Some also become ill from natural products that are highly concentrated such as natural orange cleaners due to high volatile organic compound and pesticide concentration. Symptoms can range from minor annoyances (headache, runny nose) to life-threatening reactions (seizures, anaphalaxis).” Source
Learn about Environmental Sensitivities discussed by John Molot MD in the video below.
Hear patients discuss their struggles in the video below.
“This film covers not only fragrance issues but also presents an overview of multiple chemical sensitivity. It features Dr. L. Christine Oliver, an Associate Clinical Professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and former Co-Director of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. The film also contains footage of an interview with the former Commander of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Dr. Ronald R. Blanck. People with MCS in the film include Gulf War veterans and survivors of the 9/11 WTC attacks, as well as people from all walks of life.”
Below is a video about the Legal Aspects of Environmental Sensitivities. Although this video is from Canada in the USA and in many other countries individuals with MCS are treated as individuals with disability.
Below is a General Database of MCS & Related Scientific Study Abstracts (Last Updated 5/2007) from mcs-america.org/
This document lists citations for peer-reviewed journal articles that support a physiological basis for MCS.
Organization Specific Research
Free Full Text Studies:
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