AirMD's Green Blog

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)

Simon Hahessy Says:

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Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) can occur in many different forms and people often express serious symptoms, yet the individual(s) cannot be diagnosed by their physician. Research has found that chemical exposures even in small concentrations often produce symptoms that are otherwise undiagnosed and these discoveries explain why physicians often find it difficult to treat their patients.

Today we are exposed to many different chemicals in our everyday lives, from our workplace to our recreational activities and even from our homes. It is estimated that the average person is exposed daily to approximately FIVE HUNDRED different chemicals and that the average person has approximately TWO HUNDRED chemicals stored in their body fat. Today every child born has been exposed to chemicals inutero (in the uterus). It is no wonder that more and more people suffer from chemical sensitivity, the environmental illness increasingly among us.

Unfortunately that is what is occurring in today’s world and more and more people are becoming sensitized. It is estimated that approximately 15% of the population in the United States suffer from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) with some studies recording the percentage as high as 50%. Common forms of chemical exposures are from the foods we eat, the air we breathe and where we live.

Chemicals found in foods are common including preservatives, dyes, pesticides and herbicides. Fresh vegetables and fruits are preserved using sulfites and many deaths have been reported from acute asthma secondary to these sulfites. In our diet and the water we drink THREE HUNDRED AND NINE volatile organic compounds and FIFTY FIVE pesticides have been identified. It seems chemical sensitivity is something we may have to grow used to.

The air we breathe outdoors contains many chemicals and where you live can potentially increase your exposure potential. Close proximity to chemical plants, tire factories and steel mills can all contribute to significant exposures to harmful chemicals. Unfortunately, where you reside can increase the likelihood of suffering from an environmental illness. Additionally, your home can expose the occupant to many chemicals some of which I have discussed in my other blog entries.

It is very hard to control your exposure to chemicals in the air outside or to certain foods you eat when outside of your home but you can make a difference when you are at home. Eating organic food is a positive step and should be something everyone tries to do as it is healthier for everyone and has less of an impact on the environment.

Monitoring your home environment is another step to reduce your exposure to chemicals. Monitoring includes having your home tested periodically, ensuring all furniture brought into the home is certified as chemical free or emitting low amounts of chemicals as well as getting rid of the dependance for using traditional based chemical household cleaners. Everyone should make the effort to identify and eliminate any sources that can cause environmental illness and to reduce the potential for individuals suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).

The amount of undiagnosed illnesses is on the increase and it is estimated that cancer will take over heart disease as the number one killer of people in the United States in 2010. We must all make a change in our lives to ensure a healthier happier life.

When you think about it, we not only induce our enviroments with chemically treated furniture and cleaning products, but what about the pesticides that are used by the exterminator that comes to my house once a month? How do they effect our air and is there any other alternative to pest extermination that is more environmentally safe??

Feb 06th, 2009
at 08:24 pm

Michele you are correct, along with everything else, we do allow exterminators into homes to treat pests. They are introducing harmful pesticides into the home. Many pest treatment services now use an application that places the treatment around the outside of the home. Ask your exterminator about this service. If they do not offer it, you should use a service that does. This is another step in improving your home environment making it a healthier safer place

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