MCS America

MCS America celebrates multiple chemical sensitivity and toxic injury awareness month

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Source: MCS America

In the United States alone, it is estimated that more than over 48 million men, women, and children suffer adverse health reactions to everyday chemicals. Multiple chemical sensitivity and toxic injury is an increasing epidemic which leads to emergency department visits, job loss, homelessness, school absenteeism, and serious lifelong chronic illness in America. Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) affects over 48 million men, women, and children irregardless of gender, race and economic status. In response to these alarming statistics, and in an effort to raise public awareness of the risks faced everyday by Americans living with multiple chemical sensitivity and toxic injury in May is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Toxic Injury Awareness Month in America.

Twenty-five governors and mayors across America have issued proclamations for this important event.

Events are being held across the United States during May. Each event will raise awareness about indoor and outdoor pollutants that trigger multiple chemical sensitivity and toxic injury, as well as ways to prevent toxic injuries and exposures.

MCS is a Major Public Health Concern

At least 45 million people in the US report sensitivity to various chemicals.[1]
About 3 million Americans are diagnosed with MCS.[1]
MCS affects people of all ages, economic status, race, and both genders.[1]
Chemicals that people with MCS react to are toxic and affect everyone to some extent.

Medical Findings

Brain scans show reduced blood flow to the brain when people with MCS are under chemical exposure.[2-7]
Physical variances identified in MCS include brain inflammation, oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, cardiac and airway disease, and auto-immune disorders.[8-14]
Mast cell activation and disorders of porphyrin metabolism have been linked to MCS.[15]
Genetic variations relating to detoxification processes have been linked to MCS.[16]

The Cost of Environmental Illnesses

Annual expenditures for healthcare and lost productivity due to MCS are estimated at $71.8 billion dollars per year.[18]

Environmental Factors

Indoor and outdoor environmental exposures can trigger reactions: perfumes and fragrances, cleaning solutions, scented laundry products, pesticides, herbicides, paint and building materials, gasoline and petroleum based products, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.[12]

MCS Can be Controlled

MCS can be controlled with a plan that includes avoidance and control of environmental triggers, many people with MCS can lead normal, healthy, and active lives.[18]

For more information on MCS America’s awareness program, visit http://www.mcs-america.org.

References

Kreutzer R, Neutra RR, & Lashuay N. Prevalence of people reporting sensitivities to chemicals in a population-based survey. Am J Epidemiol. 1999 Jul 1;150(1):1-12.

Heuser G, Mena I. Neurospect in neurotoxic chemical exposure demonstration of long-term functional abnormalities. Toxicol Ind Health. 1998;Nov-Dec;14(6):813-27.

Callender, TJ, et al. Three-dimensional brain and metabolic imaging in patients with toxic encephalopathy. Environmental Res. 1993;60: 295-319.

Callender, TJ, et al. Evaluation of chronic neurological sequelae after acute pesticide exposure using SPECT brain scans. Journal Toxicology & Environmental Health. 1995;41:275-284.

Heuser, G, et al. Neurospect findings in patients exposed to neurotoxic chemicals. Toxicology & Industrial Health. 1994;10:561-571.

Ross GH, Rea WJ, Johnson AR, Hickey DC, and Simon TR: Neurotoxicity in single photon emission computed tomography brain scans of patients reporting chemical sensitivities. Toxicol Ind Health 1999;15(3-4):415-420.

Simon TR, Hickey DC, Fincher CE, Johnson AR, Ross GH and Rea WJ: Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography of the brain in patients with chemical sensitivities. Toxicol Ind Health 1994;10:573-577.

Elofsson, S, et. a. Exposure to organic solvents. Scandinavian Journal of Work & Environmental Health. 1980;6:239-273.

Seppalainen, AM, et al. Neurophysiological effects of long-term exposure to a mixture of organic solvents. Scandinavian Journal of Work & Environmental Health. 1978;4:304-314.

Jonkman, EJ, et al. Electroencephalographic studies in workers exposed to solvents or pesticides. Electro Clinical Neurophysiology. 1992;82:439-444.

Bokina, AI, et al. Investigation of the mechanism of action of atmospheric pollutants on the central nervous system and comparative evaluation of methods of study. Environmental Health Perspectives. 1976;13:37-42.

Ziem, G. and McTamney, J. Profile of patients with chemical injury and sensitivity. Environ Health Perspect 1997;105:417-436.

Bell I.R. Baldwin, C.M. and Schwartz, G.E. Illness from low levels of environmental chemicals: relevance to chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Am J Med. 1998;105:74S-82S.

Baldwin, CM and Bell, IR. Increased cardiopulmonary disease risk in a community-based sample with chemical odor intolerance: implications for women's health and health- care utilization. Arch Environ Health 1998;53:347-353.

Heuser, G. and Kent, P. 1996. Mast cell disorder after chemical exposure. 124th Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, New York NY, 20 November 1996.

Zeim, G, McTamney, J. Profile of patients with chemical injury and sensitivity. Environ Health Perspect. 1997 March; 105(Suppl 2): 417–436.

Fox RA, Joffres MR, Sampalli T, Casey J. The impact of a multidisciplinary, holistic approach to management of patients diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivity on health care utilization costs: an observational study. J Altern Complement Med. 2007 Mar;13(2):223-9.

Gibson, P. Perceived treatment efficacy for conventional and alternative therapies reported by persons with multiple chemical sensitivity. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2003;111:12,1498–1504.

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