Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

(Environmental Illness)

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is basically a subset of Environmental Illness (EI), which is caused by living in a toxic world. The chemicals that were synthesized after World War II—including, pesticides, synthetic fragrances, cleaning products, detergents, etc.—are mostly "petrochemicals" (petroleum based) and are quite toxic to humans. There have been virtually no studies done on the majority of these chemicals to see how they affect humans. The industry just placed the chemicals in the environment with the assumption that they are "safe till proven toxic" instead of the other way around! One of the biggest offenders is PERFUME and other scented products. Did you know that many of the ingredients in your perfume are the exact same ingredients found in GASOLINE??!! I didn't either! The scary thing is that the perfume industry is NOT REGULATED at all—they can put any number of chemicals in fragrance without revealing what those chemicals are or how they affect humans. We humans are all participating in a giant "lab experiment" against our knowledge and against our will, and it's making some of us VERY sick.

canary with maskThose of us who are becoming chronically ill from these chemicals are similar to the "canaries in the coal mine." Coal miners would take a canary into the mines with them to warn them when the air became toxic. They knew that when the canary stopped singing or died, it was time to get out before it affected them as well. We "human canaries" are here to warn the rest of you that, unless you start making changes and avoid as many toxic chemicals as possible, you too may become very sick. Nontoxic living is actually much "simpler" and cheaper!

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Jacki's Story of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

From Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Diagnosis and Improvement at Last!

Imagine being a very happy, active person with a wonderful career, a wonderful spouse, great friends, a loving family—and then almost overnight becoming so weak, dizzy, exhausted, and "spacey" that you couldn't function any more. Imagine sleeping for 10–12 hours a night and waking up every morning feeling just as exhausted as when you went to bed. Imagine going to doctor after doctor—trying to find out what was wrong with you—only to find that the medical community had no clue as to why you were having such bizarre symptoms. Imagine being sent to a psychiatrist because your doctor thinks you're just "depressed" and need to "snap out of it"—to force yourself to keep functioning (despite the fact you're happier than you've ever been!). Imagine trying to do just that—only to end up sicker and sicker—until finally you have to quit the job you love so much, as well as virtually every activity you previously had participated in, because you were simply too weak to hold your head up for more than a few minutes at a time. Imagine having to resort to using a special high-back wheelchair for going to church, shopping, etc., because you were so dizzy and had such balance problems that it made it difficult to walk and you were to weak to hold your head up unsupported…

Read more: Jacki's Story of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Guidelines for Nontoxic Living

nontoxicNot everyone will have the incentive to make all these changes—however, every change you make WILL make a difference! This way of living is not only much better and safer for YOU—it's also much better for the environment! Switching to nontoxic living can be a very pleasant experience if we think of it as a return to the purity and safety of the way our ancestors lived. Many of the suggestions here were actually used by our ancestors before all the toxic chemicals were marketed to make life "easier." We pay dearly for that "ease" with the loss of safe, clean air to breathe and—in many cases—the loss of our health. Some of the products may take a little more "elbow grease"—others actually work BETTER than their toxic alternatives. Either way you can take major steps to clean up your environment and protect yourself and your family from toxic chemicals by following these suggestions…

Read more: Guidelines for Nontoxic Living

Why Air Fresheners Should Really be Called Air Poisoners

spray canAir Fresheners (or "Air Poisoners"?) – YOU Decide!!

All of the advertisements strive to make us feel that we do not have a really nice home unless "air fresheners" are supplied in all bathrooms, kitchens, and around the house generally to assure that we and our visitors are persuaded that ours is not just a clean home, but one with requisite elegant touches. There are two kinds—the spray type, with their unrecycleable aerosol cans or plastic packages, adding to unnecessary solid waste, and the wick type, that send out their fumes continuously.

These products do not, in fact, do anything to improve the quality of the air. Instead, they add a number of pollutants—some designed to deaden your sense of smell, others serving as propellants, and others adding various kinds of toxic perfume to drown out whatever smells may offend. Many of these ingredients cause irritation of the nose and lungs—leading to serious problems for many people. Many times, pesticides are even included—for what purpose?! Spray this around and solve all your odor problems?!

Read more: Why Air Fresheners Should Really be Called Air Poisoners

Health Risks of Fabric Softeners

…From Dryer Exhaust and Treated Fabrics

Compiled by Julia Kendall (1935 – 1997); distributed by Environmental Health Network (used by permission)

Symptoms of exposure are taken from industry-generated Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

Chemicals Found in Fabric Softeners/Dryer Sheets

  1. Alpha-Terpineol

    Causes CNS (central nervous system) disorders… "highly irritating to mucous membranes" …"Aspiration into the lungs can produce pneumonitis or even fatal edema." Can also cause "excitement, ataxia (loss of muscular coordination), hypothermia, CNS and respiratory depression, and headache." "Prevent repeated or prolonged skin contact."

  2. Benzyl Acetate

    Carconigenic (linked to pancreatic cancer). "From vapors: irritating to eyes and respiratory passages, exciting cough." "In mice: hyperanemia of the lungs." "Can be absorbed through the skin causing systemic effects." "Do not flush to sewer."

  3. Read more: Health Risks of Fabric Softeners

Stephanie's Story - MCS From a Child's Perspective

The Chemical Hypersensitivity Brochure for My Friends

by Stephanie Miller and her Mom
August, 1996

I have written this information to help my friends and family have a better understanding of the illness, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), that I am experiencing. I sincerely hope that this will help you to better comprehend a subject that is not (yet) well understood by many people, including the sufferers and the medical community.

"For those of us with MCS, we are the 'canaries in the mine.' Those of us who call ourselves canaries are just the weakest link in the human chain. We are the first to fall—the most susceptible. Coal miners carried canaries when they descended the long shafts in their mines. More sensitive than humans, the sweetly chirping birds responded to toxic gases by falling silent or dying. When the canaries died, the miners still had time to flee to safety—away from the odorless, invisible gases that would do them harm. Many a canary gave its life—serving as an early warning bell for the miners." – Freeman R. Bekins

Read more: Stephanie's Story - MCS From a Child's Perspective

Let's Stop Poisoning Our Children!

no perfume– By Richard M. Barry

The following excerpts from this pamphlet are used by permission of RM Barry Publications. See below for ordering information to obtain the complete printed version of this pamphlet.

Why should three-year-old Jasson Whitley have died a lingering and horrible death after swallowing three ounces of hair conditioner? Two weeks after drinking the liquid, which contains ammonia, the little boy died.

And why should seven-month-old Adrian Gonzales have died? He crawled through a puddle of spilled laundry bleach, which gave him third-degree burns on 50 percent of his tiny body and burned his lungs from the fumes as well.

Why must these children have suffered so? If only they had never been exposed to such hazardous chemicals. Every year, five to ten million household poisonings are reported. Many are fatal, and most of the victims are children.(2) These poisonings are the result of accidental ingestion of common household substances found in just about every home.

Read more: Let's Stop Poisoning Our Children!

The Case for Neutralizing Immunotherapy

Optimal Dose Immunotherapy

by Joseph B. Miller, M.D.
"The Environmental Physician", Fall 1991 – Used by permission of Dr. Albert Robbins

The neutralizing (optimal dose) method of intradermal skin testing and subcutaneous immunotherapy represents a major technological advance. It constitutes the safest, most effective, and most rapidly beneficial method of allergy skin testing and immunotherapy available today.

Each subcutaneous immunotherapeutic injection usually provides rapid relief of allergy symptoms, often in 30 minutes. The unusual rapidity, effectiveness, and safety of this response is based on the fact that the absolute precise best dose of each individual allergen is included in the treatment solution.

Read more: The Case for Neutralizing Immunotherapy

Maximum Intradermally Tolerated Dose

…of Food Allergy Testing and Immunotherapy: New Concepts

by Joseph B. Miller, M.D.
"The Environmental Physician", Fall 1994 – Used by permission of Dr. Albert Robbins


I have long noted that the symptom-relieving dose in intradermal relief-dose ("neutralizing") testing was almost always 0.05 ml of the strongest concentration that produced a negative wheal. Any concentration stronger than this almost always produced a positive wheal, equivalent to a mild local reaction, sometimes accompanied by symptoms, equivalent to a mild systemic reaction. The strongest negative wheal concentration (SNWC) usually did neither; it was almost always totally tolerated, both locally and systemically.

Read more: Maximum Intradermally Tolerated Dose


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