Chemical Sensitivity - (See Our New MCS Awareness Program HERE!)
What Is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)?
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity refers to a moderate to severe sensitivity or allergy-like reaction to many different kinds of pollutants including solvents, VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds), perfumes, petro-chemicals, smoke, smog, and any type or source of toxic "chemicals" in general.
The quote below is 'interesting' - and obviously written by someone who does not have the condition:
"Multiple chemical sensitivity unlike true allergies - where the underlying mechanisms of the problem are relatively well understood widely accepted, is generally regarded as "idiopathic" - meaning that it has no known mechanism of causation & it's processes are not fully understood."
If you have MCS, you can usually pinpoint when - and why - you developed the condition. Perhaps 'they' would rather not say that the "mechanism of causation" is this modern world with its myriad of chemical toxins and contaminants.
What Is It Like to Have Multiple Chemical Sensitivities?
MCS is also known as Environmental Illness, or 'E. I. Syndrome' - a name that pretty much sums it up! With MCS, you are basically 'allergic' to your environment. That's not to say the 'natural' environment, but rather the one we have now almost completely surrounded by synthetic chemicals.
To a person who develops MCS, it can be very restrictive and even debilitating. When a chemical injury occurs, many persons become 'Universal Reactors' which even includes some foods and molds. The degree to which this happens will depend on the severity of your condition.
Many with MCS also have Electro-Hypersensitivity. You may develop a headache and/or nausea around electronic devices such as cell phones, TV, microwave ovens, high-power lines, etc. If you have this in addition to MCS (as I also do) you have officially become 'allergic' to the modern world.
In a nutshell, what it's like to have MCS is to often have almost nowhere that you can go, and nowhere that you can work:
So, What CAN You Do For Work? -
- OFFICE - NO, unless everyone agrees that they would also rather not use perfume, cologne, cellphones, air freshener, hairspray, microwaves, etc.
- GROCERY STORE - NO, unless it happens to be a health-food store with no toxic products. (The detergent aisle in most stores is unnavigable.)
- DEPT. STORE - NO; touching clothing all day that has chemical finishes, or hanging out near the cosmetics department?
- LUMBER YARD - NO; most wood, plywood, and other building products are treated with chemicals for pest infestation, dry-rot, etc.
- CONTRACTOR - NO; same reason as above. Almost all building materials are toxic (wood, paint, plastic laminates, glues, etc.)
- GREEN CONTRACTOR - MAYBE; if you catered to businesses and homeowners that wish to use only green products. (Still risky.)
- WAREHOUSE - NO, unless it just so happens to store only non-toxic products and you aren't also too overly sensitive to plastic & cardboard.
- HOUSEKEEPER - NO, unless you have your own specialty business that caters to others who would also rather use nontoxic cleaning products.
- JANITOR - NO; same reason as above, but you would have even less control over which cleaning products you would be able to use.
- PAPER STORE - NO; any 'paper' jobs would be out. Most with MCS also react to the chemical finishes and components of paper - everything from Greeting Cards and Boxes to Newspaper and Printer Ink.
- MODELING - NO; unless you could bring your own make-up and clothing, but that's not usually the case.
- PHOTOGRAPHY - YES! Digital has opened this up as a possibility. You no longer have all the chemicals involved in processing film.
- COMPUTER - YES? If you can work at home, or a secluded office or cubicle. Just limit time on electronic devices, esp. if you have EHS.
So, are we somewhat 'useless' - NOT at all! If you have MCS, you just have to be very careful of your work environment. Many workplaces are now 'going green' making them great places to work - for everyone!
Additionally, the computer has opened up many possibilities of working out of the home. Having a home-based office or business also saves you a commute so you don't have to breathe in any on-road vehicle exhaust.
The less toxins you are exposed to, the better off you will be. Prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals will only make you condition worse. Even though you may be o.k. with certain substances now, you can eventually develop a sensitivity to those as well.
I consider that having MCS is like having a built-in 'early warning detector' for any harmful pollutants and toxins in your personal surroundings. These toxins aren't good for anyone - we can just tell ahead of time that they're not.
Those with MCS are like the 'advanced guard' who will be able to help out others who will inevitably be coming along with this same type of condition. We have fortunately already done the 'research' to help with what products can be used that won't further burden their sensitivities.
Having MCS has actually opened up a whole new world for me of wonderful products that I probably never would have 'discovered' if I hadn't developed this condition. Even if I were to stop being sensitive to conventional chemical products, I would still use - and prefer - the natural ones by far!
My Own Story With MCS: Click HERE
See Our New MCS Awareness Program HERE!
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