MCS : Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
         Environmental Illness : EI

Environmental Health, Environmental Illness, Environmental Sensitivity, Toxic Injury, Chemical Injury, Clinical Ecology

Environmental Sensitivities can occur when people become sensitive to substances or phenomena in their everyday environment at levels well below what “normal” people would consider acceptable. This occurring through deadaptation(toxic insult overload) leaving altered set points of nonadaptation(altered sensitivity). Sensitivity reactions can be triggered by scented products, cleaning products, laundry detergents, paints, petrochemicals, pesticides, pets, plants, fuels, electromagnetic radiation, molds, foods, etc. Many sufferers as well as employment problems become socially isolated as they are forced to retreat from places and activities they love, and for some, the devastation extends to losing spouses, family and friends who may not believe they are ill.

Environmental Illness - individuals whom have become ill due to adverse environmental factors such as pollution and allergens. Maladaptation - body bio-systems are overwhelmed or weakened for various reasons ( acquired - altered gene, enzyme etc ) and is not able to maintain homeostasis.

1996 Definition from International Program on Chemical Safety (IPCS):
An acquired disorder with multiple recurrent symptoms; associated with diverse environmental factors tolerated by the majority of people; not explained by any known medical or psychiatric disorders.

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Creating a Healthier Environment:
Reducing exposures to chemicals improves the health of those with MCS. Better air quality also helps promote the health of everyone. The following are ways to create a healthier environment:

  • Avoid pesticides, use least toxic integrated pest management (IPM)
  • Avoid newly built or remodeled buildings, or build with less toxic materials
  • Avoid new paint and solvent-based stains and transparent finishes
  • Avoid new carpets
  • Avoid gasoline, solvent, dry-cleaning, and tar fumes
  • Avoid tobacco smoke and vehicle exhaust
  • Use least toxic, natural, and unscented cleaning, laundry, and sanitizing products
  • Avoid perfume, cologne, and scented personal care products
  • Avoid air "freshener" sprays, incense, and fragrance-emitting devices
  • Use electric utilities or radiant heat
  • Open windows, ventilate buildings with clean fresh air and/or use portable room air filters

“…there seems to be confusion amongst some people as to whether MCS is classified as a disability. We would like to assure this committee that the Equal Opportunity Commission and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission consider MCS to be a legitimate disability under the Disability Discrimination Act, and will act on legitimate claims of discrimination from people with MCS. In relation to MCS disability access, it is very clear that we need a broad access strategy for all areas of public life, such as public buildings, public spaces, public transport, schools, supermarkets and other basic services.”
Mr Peter Evans, Convenor of the SATFMCS

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Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Awareness Month of May

“As the cause of MCS remains obscure and diagnosis problematic, treatment strategies can only be based on understanding and supportive care.”
Dr Jim Fitzgerald, South Austrelian Department of Health

Environmental Illness
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“…I can no longer work and my husband is now my fulltime carer as I can no longer care for myself. I can no longer shop, use public libraries, walk in parks, or visit friends because of the effect the chemicals they use have on me. I am too ill to drive, write or even hold a book and my daughter is typing this for me as I am unable to.”
- a person with MCS

"Individuals with environmental sensitivities experience a variety of adverse reactions to environmental agents at concentrations well below those that might affect the “average person”. This medical condition is a disability and those living with environmental sensitivities are entitled to the protection of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability."
but not in Australia yet

Last edit 28 08 09

ME/CFS International Awareness Day

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