With the right treatment and support, people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) can reduce their sensitivities, achieve significant symptom relief, and return to a more "normal" lifestyle.
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a growing public health concern.
MCS is also referred to as the Chemical Flu, Chemical Aids, 20th/21st Century Illness, Chemical Injury Syndrome, Environmental illness, Chemical Sensitivity, Chemical sensitivities and Multiple chemical sensitivities. Whilst, not technically an allergy, chemical allergy, chemical allergies and total allergy syndrome are terms also used to describe MCS.
People with MCS suffer from a wide range of symptoms that wax and wane with exposure to chemicals, including, chemicals found in everyday products.
The severity and range of symptoms varies from person to person, ranging from mild to extremely debilitating and sometimes life threatening. Unfortunately, without the right treatment people with MCS may start to react to more and more chemicals (spreading phenonem) at doses that were previously tolerated.
MCS is a complex disorder that requires a multi-dimensional treatment approach. This generally includes, chemical avoidance (scientifically proven to reduce symptoms), treating underlying and secondary health issues, detoxification, nutritional support, dietary changes, psychological support and lifestyle changes that support wellness.
To gain the best outcomes it is important for people with MCS to work in partnership with health care professionals who have a good understanding of the complex nature of MCS. Generally health professionals who are also trained in Environmental and Nutritional Medicine are best
This site provides valuable information and resources for people with MCS and related disorders including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Gulf War Syndrome when chemical sensitivity is a symptom. However, it is for educational purposes only, it is not to be used as a diagnosis or a treatment. Always consult with a healthcare professional regarding any health concerns or treatments.
Prevalence of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities: A Population - Based Study in Southeastern United States. American Journal of Public Health| May 2004,Vol 94,No. 5 Stanley M. Caress,PhD,and Anne C. Steinemann
In our study we found that 12.6% (n= 199) of the respondents reported a hypersensitivity to common chemicals (Table 1). The percentage of respondents who reported having been medically diagnosed as having MCS or environmental illness was 3.1%
Multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome: symptom prevalence and risk factors in a military population.Black DW, Doebbeling BN, Voelker MD, Clarke WR, Woolson RF, Barrett DH, Schwartz DA Pub Med.gov.
A total of 3695 study participants (76% of those eligible) completed the telephone survey. The prevalence of symptoms suggestive of MCS/IEI in all participants was 3.4%. Veterans of the PGW reported a significantly higher prevalence of symptoms suggestive of MCS/IEI than did non-PGW military personnel (5.4% vs 2.6%); greater sensitivity to organic chemicals, vehicle exhaust, cosmetics, and smog; and more lifestyle changes.
Paper by sacfs.asn.au
EPIDEMIC INCIDENCE OF MCS - In the United States MCS is one of the most frequently diagnosed chronic disorders. Prevalence studies conducted by the Californian state health department in 1995 and 1996 found that 6% of adults had been medically diagnosed with MCS or environmental illness. (12) A study in 1997 by the New Mexico state health department found that 2% of New Mexicans had been medically diagnosed with MCS. (13) A further study in Atlanta identified 3.1% of respondents as having been medically diagnosed with MCS. (14) Studies in Arizona and North Carolina have produced similar results showing around 4% of people suffer with severe chemical intolerances. (15,16) An independent study commissioned by the 3 Environmental Illness Society of Canada, which represents sufferers of MCS, CFS, Fibromyalgia and Gulf War Syndrome, found that 2% of adult Canadians were no longer able to work due to environmental illness and that 1 in every 8 adult Canadians suffer ignificantly from exposure to “normally safe” chemicals in the workplace or home. The total financial cost of environmental illness to Canada is estimated at $13 billion. (17)
Fitzgerald, DJamesStudies on Self-reported Multiple Chemical Sensitivity in South Australia [online]. Environmental Health, Vol. 8, No. 3, 2008: 33-39)
The prevalence of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) in South Australia is unknown and was sought through population-based telephone surveys of approximately 4000 adults. These surveys revealed a 1% self-reported MCS prevalence but also a more general hypersensitivity prevalence of about 16%. Symptomology and symptom severity suggest a significant negative impact of environmental chemicals in the community.