Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) Is a Worldwide Environmental Health Crisis

Christiane Tourtet B.A.
February 02, 2009

By now, most people are fully aware of global pollution, toxic chemicals, and have heard, about Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)/ Environmental Sensitivities
(ES). What they do not know is the emergency and seriousness of this public health problem which is spreading daily at an alarming rate worldwide and the
terrible sufferings of the millions of people, including, children, all over the world, victims of this chemically triggered disease, which has destroyed
their lives.

For decades, many governments agencies, doctors, health care providers, and more, have landed, inhumanely, a deaf ear to the sufferings of people affected
by this disease, sometimes, due to tragic and pathetic lack of knowledge, but mostly due to the powerful worldwide campaign of conspiracy consisting of
dissemination of tremendous amount of misinformation, at all levels of Government, Medical Establishments, the media, the public, by Chemical Industries,

Consequently, the industries have done their harm, as they intended to, worldwide, for many years, so that this illness does not become recognized as a
physiological illness, by medical professionals, health care providers, insurance companies, and many more, by, planting purposely, the illusion of controversy.

They have been quite successful in spreading tremendous amount of misinformation in the entire world about MCS, and even limiting the amount of accurate
information received by doctors, other health care providers, by using their powerful financial influence over medical research, conferences and journals.
The pesticide, pharmaceutical, and insurance industries are well known for attempting to revoke, on false charges, through medical licensing boards, the
license of doctors who make MCS diagnosis, and treat MCS patients, especially in the US, Canada, the UK. They harass mercilessly, these physicians until
they are forced to give up their practice. It is interesting to note, that 87% of all the physicians who are responsible for creating practice guidelines,
have ties with pharmaceutical companies, and 59% of these doctors actually recommend the products of these companies in the guidelines they have authored.

The pharmaceutical industries produce all of the pesticides and most of the toxic chemicals implicated in MCS. Many physicians “experts” opinions, are often
part of files submitted to Department of Human Resources. These physicians are connected with insurance industry and are quite hostile to anything that
involves chemical injury or MCS.

In 1990, the “Chemical Manufacturing Association”, a powerful lobby group in the US, submitted to numerous and various government agencies in the US and
Canada, a “position paper”,

which has been made public by the Environmental Illness Society of Canada, at a time, when MCS ( called then, environmental illness) was being recognized
in government policy and in law, as well as becoming part of the mainstream scientific research ,and when research supporting MCS was coming from publicly
funded medical schools. This position paper objected strongly to the recognition of MCS and states:

“The primary impact on society would be the huge cost associated with the legitimization of environmental illness. Should the environmental illness advocates
succeed in their efforts it would also impact on society and on many industries. Potentially affected

industries include, textiles, clothing, lawn care products, household cleaners, dry cleaners, paints and solvents [manufacturers], perfumes, hair treatment
products, plastics, paper and many other consumer good industries”. In its conclusion, the position paper gave a strategic advice:

“Should environmental illness arise as an issue, a coalition with the state and [provincial], medical associations, is absolutely necessary”. And since
that “coalition” the persecution of environmental physicians has increased tremendously.

A very large number of people with MCS, due to their illness, and the anti-MCS campaign of misinformation from industries, have lost their health, their
careers, their home, their savings, their family and friends. They have lost everything, suffer terribly, and are struggling daily for survival.

Millions of people all over the world, who were leading normal lives, after being exposed in the environment, either, to daily low doses of toxic chemicals,
and/or to a major exposure to toxic chemicals, to their utmost dismay, started to develop very unpleasant, painful, and even life-threatening reactions
to the things, in their environment, which have never bothered them before. Reactions can be immediate or delayed.

People with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) can be made extremely ill, by the slightest exposure to chemicals found in every day´s life, such as, but
not limited to, pesticides, insecticides, cleaning products, fumigants, fertilizers, air fresheners, carpets, emission from photocopies machines, carbon
paper, gasoline, fumes from barbecue grill, automobiles exhaust, wood burning, incense, shampoos, toothpaste, beauty products, perfumes, cologne, scented
products, glue, inkless pads, and an array of other things in the environment. Then, as the illness progresses, they have severe food intolerances, and
many times, reactions to mold, pollen, algae, medicines, alcohol, herbal remedies, and gradually to virtually everything in the environment.

It is for them, a gamut of debilitating symptoms, upon chemical exposures such as, severe respiratory and neurological problems, confusion, disorientation,
trouble thinking, concentrating, visual changes, short term memory loss, loss of smell alternating with acute sense of smell, rhinitis, burning eyes and
throat, nausea, headaches, irregular, fast heart beat, skipping beats, hypertension, flushing, severe breathing problems and food intolerances, convulsions,
tingling sensations, metallic taste in the mouth, tinnitus, stuffy nose, tightening in the head, throat and chest, muscles and joint pain, foaming at the
mouth, bleeding from the nose, bladder urgency, extreme weakness impairing the ability to walk, etc.. The list of symptoms is endless and the sufferings
simply cannot be described!

People with MCS usually end up seeing many doctors, who for the most part, know absolutely nothing about this illness and the health effects of toxic chemicals
in general, since they had no training in these areas in their time, (and even nowadays) are extremely skeptical, and label them with very wrong and damaging

They may encounter plenty of other doctors, who, as mentioned earlier, for financial gains, have ties with the industries, and have formed an anti-MCS pact
with chemical industries, to precisely stop the recognition of this illness. Many authors of anti-MCS articles, and brochures, as well as many individuals
in charge of national TV coverage, have ties with industries and receive monetary gains, for spreading worldwide, the illusion of controversy, and tremendous
amount of misinformation about MCS. Some industries have been known to have paid as much as $ 10.000 for an anti-MCS article to be written in the press,
and also, to have hired psychiatrists to deny the existence of MCS, and spread worldwide misinformation about the etiology of MCS, so that MCS disappears
from the face of the earth.

The doctors, who truly, have no knowledge of this illness, especially the large majority of psychiatrists, should educate themselves about the dangers of
toxic chemicals, the symptoms and health effects of these chemicals, used daily, everywhere, in the environment. The U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services has a Household Products Database, “Health and Safety Information on Household Products at:
and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) have Public Health Statements, and a list of toxic chemicals and their health effects and
symptoms, at:

As mentioned earlier, due to the predominant lack of knowledge of numerous physicians in regard to toxic chemicals, the adverse health effects and symptoms,(
since they have not received proper training in Medical Schools in this regard, nor has it be made mandatory for them, especially in the US, to pursue
Continuing Medical Education,) and especially due to the tremendous amount of worldwide misinformation, in the media and from other sources, carefully
orchestrated, by unscrupulous parties, who for personal motives and gains, are opposed to the recognition of this chemically triggered illness, they, consequently
fail to diagnose Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and routinely label wrongly persons with this illness.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) has spread worldwide, and still is, at an alarming rate in : The US, Canada, France, Australia, England, Switzerland,
Finland, Denmark, India, Pakistan, Japan, China, Italy, Spain, Germany, just to name a few. A very large number of people in these countries, report terrible
reactions to chemicals, things in the environment, including severe food intolerances, and the majority of them, are able to trace this occurrence, after
exposures to toxic chemicals, in the environment.

Since 1998, the Governors of more than 43 States in the US, have signed “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)/Toxic Injury (TI) Proclamations”, for the awareness
of this devastating environmental illness, which is considered as a disability under the Law “The Americans with Disabilities Act”. and has been recognized
under Social Security Administration, Department of Housing and Urban Development, (HUD), the US-Access Board,

( a Federal Agency, devoted to the Accessibility of persons with Disabilities), and numerous Governmental Agencies and Commissions.

All the proclamations for the awareness of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)/Toxic Chemical Injury, signed by Governors, since 1998, can be viewed at:

In 2000, the US-Access Board has adopted a fragrance- free policy, to accommodate persons disabled by Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) under the Americans
with Disabilities Act, and has put on -line an extensive guideline of accommodations, which can be viewed at:

Despite this Governmental recognition, the American Medical Association, (AMA) the Center for Disease Control, (CDC), the Agency for Toxic Substances and
Disease Registry (ATSDR), the National Center for Health Statistics,(NCHS) and many other similar Governmental Agencies, in the US and in other countries,
have adamantly refused for decades to recognize officially, and classify MCS as a chemically triggered, environmental illness affecting by now, an estimated
16% of the US population.

They have shown their total indifference to the extreme sufferings, of all these women, men, children, who became so ill, after being exposed to toxic chemicals
in the environment, due, to the extremely powerful, money/profits driven, anti-MCS lobbying of Chemical/Pharmaceutical Industries, worldwide, who had vowed,
as mentioned above, to stop the recognition of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) out of fear of potential liabilities and huge losses of profits!

However, the good news is that Germany, is the first and only country, in the world, as of now, whose Government has officially recognized Multiple Chemical
Sensitivity (MCS), in its National Health Care System, as a physiological illness, and had the disease classified in the International Classification of
Disease, in the World Health Organization (WHO) under ICD -10-GM Code T78.4, in the sections of chapter 19, (injuries, poisoning and certain consequences
of toxic causes).

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency, in its recently published report on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, concluded that there is ample evidence that
these sensitivities are due to environmental contaminants, and that the initiatives taken by the Danish Government to minimize off-gassing materials in
the indoor environment may have contributed somehow to a lower incidence of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) in the Danish population. The Agency had
recommended that measures be taken

to prevent the development of sensitivities.

The Canadian Federal Government and national bodies have recognized Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) under the term, environmental sensitivities, and
has developed a Policy on Environmental Sensitivities.

The Ontario Ministry of Health funded the Environmental Hypersensitivity Research Unit at the University of Toronto, in 1994, and opened the Environmental
Health Clinic at Woman´s College Hospital in 1995.

After a six year pilot project, in 1997, The Nova Scotia Environmental Health Centre was established at a permanent site. This facility is associated with
Dalhousie University, which include Canada´s only environmental control unit for treatment and research. Many cities in Canada, including most capitals,
have educational initiatives, policies, anti-idling bylaw, ( for vehicles fleets) idling –free zones (around schools). Near 130 Cities, in Canada, restrict,
now the use of pesticides on private property, partially to protect people with environmental sensitivities. Calgary

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The Environmental Health Committee of the Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) is taking the lead in the World Organization of Family Doctors, and
within the College of Family Physicians of Canada on environmental health. Not only have they recognized environmental sensitivities, but are carrying
out diagnosis, education and treatment, as well as numerous environmental health initiatives.

What is remarkable, and should be adopted in every country in the world, especially in the United States, is that, since Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
(MCS)/ environmental sensitivities have not been included explicitly in medical school curricula, the Continuing Medical Education, or Continuing Professional
Development, is a requirement for Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, as well as for the members of the College of Family Physicians
of Canada.

The Environmental Health Committee of the Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) offers Continuing Education Medical Education in regard to environmental
sensitivities, and taking of a comprehensive patient history. The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term care and Health Canada, have helped fund an
Environmental Health Peer Presenter Program for Physicians, where Physicians from different regions trained in five seminars on environmental health, other
care professionals close to home.

In 2006, an Environmental Health Scholar, was designated by the OCFP, in every medical school in Ontario, to incorporate partly, environmental health into
undergraduate medical curriculum.

National, international, municipal and provincial governments have recognized conditions related to environmental sensitivities, which has led to funding
for facilities and clinical health care programs. Political and public awareness are quite important for conditions such as multiple chemical sensitivities/environmental
sensitivities, because recognition of environmental causes has various implications for many interests in society, and in Canada, the medical community
is increasingly acknowledging environmental sensitivities.

The French Government is looking into Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), as a disease triggered by the environment,

and is starting to take measures of public health prevention, designing programs of awareness, and alerting the consumers of the risks associated with using
chemical products.

Here in the US, scientific research, epidemiology studies, National Health Disease Registry, and Classification of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) as
a chemically triggered, environmental disease, which should have been done, decades ago, by the American Medical Association,(AMA) Center for Disease Control,
(CDC) and other relevant governmental agencies, have been adamantly and persistently dismissed, under the powerful influence, and campaign of misinformation
of the anti-MCS lobbying of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries.

The industries have prevented successfully the dissemination of accurate scientific research/findings in medical reviews in regard to MCS, and have worked
toward stopping scientific research of being conducted for MCS, by governmental agencies, and have obviously great power and ties with CDC and AMA. Many
physicians, in the US, who diagnose and treat MCS patients, have been and still are presently, persecuted, harassed, by industries, until they are forced
to give up their practice, or until industries succeed in having their medical license revoked. They just want at all costs that MCS disappears, in order
to escape liabilities for the harm their toxic products have done, as well as avoiding potential huge loss of profits.

Regardless, MCS is here to stay and is increasing daily worldwide at an alarming rate. Now , that Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) have become such a
frightening worldwide epidemic and that an extraordinary number of websites worldwide, have appeared on the Internet, in regard to Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
(MCS) mostly created by the sufferers of this devastating environmentally triggered disease, people all over the world are exchanging news from one country
to another, and, are determined more than ever, to have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) medically recognized, and classified as it should have been
done, decades ago.

The fierce battle continues more than ever, and the terrible injustice, discrimination, humiliation, mistreatment, of persons, suffering from this devastating,
chemically triggered environmental disease, will have to come to an end, very soon, as more and more governments, doctors, scientists and researchers,
worldwide are increasingly recognizing the chemically/environmentally triggered illness of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

The endless false excuses of numerous Medical Associations, Government Agencies, who have ties with the industries, will no longer have any power, as the
reality of this worldwide pandemic, is, in itself the evidence of this devastating chemically triggered environmental illness. Regardless of what form
the individual physical symptoms, of persons with MCS take, millions of people all over the world, share a common link that characterizes Multiple Chemical
Sensitivity (MCS) and that is:

Painful hypersensitivities reactions, that can be life-threatening, to chemicals, and other substances in the environment, including food intolerances,
triggered by exposures to toxic chemicals in the environment that keep increasing in severity, and spreading to more and more chemicals and substances
in the environment, and to more and more minute doses of exposures, until at the most advanced stage of the illness, persons with this illness have agonizing
reactions to virtually everything, they breath, touch, consume.

The wide array of symptoms may vary with each person, depending on the gender, age, pre-existing and/or other health conditions, individual genetic susceptibility
and metabolism, the type, length, of toxic chemical exposures. However, the symptoms of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), no matter how numerous they
can be, can affect virtually every organ, and have a definite pattern, worldwide, of symptoms consistent with neurological reactions to chemicals, (neurotoxicity)
respiratory distress, and severe food intolerances.

There are plenty of scientific articles available, many of them, whose findings strongly point out to genetic susceptibility, notably, in several studies
done in the US, Canada, and other countries, as well as indications of other physiological mechanisms. Some of results these studies can be found on the
award winning site MCS HOMEPAGE at:

Also it is interesting to note that the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), in its report “You and your Genes” in the section “What
gene variations make people respond differently” states: “Researchers are studying how different people respond differently to harmful substances. They
have found that common differences in genes can affect the human body´s response”. It also states: “A few people may have a variation that makes them very
resistant to a chemical. A few may have a variation that gives them a high chance of being hurt by the same substance. Most of us may be somewhere in between”,

“The newer “Environmental Genome Project” looks at genes that have been already located. These particular genes have been shown to play a role in how we
react to environmental substances. Scientists want to see how these genes differ in different people, what percentage of us have which variations and what
these variations mean in terms of our reactions. These are not genes that give clear orders for a disease, regardless of other factors. Instead, these
genes determine our weakness or strength, in the face of various metals, natural and human-made chemicals, radiation and such. They are called “susceptibility

However the NIEHS, and the National Institute of Health (NIH), who have received funds from the industries for many of their programs of Research, have
spent millions of dollars researching other diseases, but Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) due to the powerful anti-MCS lobbying of industries, is not
in their agenda for scientific research.

In order to try to understand the extremely complicated physiological mechanisms of this chemically triggered environmental illnesses, scientific research,
must be done, and it is the utmost duty and integrity of the American Medical Association, Center for Disease Control (CDC), Agency for Toxic Substances
& Disease Registry (ATSDR), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and other Governmental
Agencies, to stop being governed by the anti- MCS, power and propaganda of misinformation of the Chemical and Pharmaceutical industries, who are interested
only in preserving their interests and profits, at the expense of the sufferings of millions of people, whom lives have been devastated by this chemically/environmentally
triggered illness and to officially recognize Multiple Chemical Sensitivity(MCS) , which is the direct consequence of global environmental pollution.

It is interesting to note, that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially recognized and classified many diseases, for which the
physiological mechanisms and etiology are unknown, and for which there are no universally accepted definition criteria, as well as diagnostic tests, including
diseases, for which, hypothesis are , genetic susceptibility and triggers from the environment.

It has spent huge amount of money for the research of many of these diseases, and for programs of awareness, yet due to the powerful anti-MCS lobbying of
the Industries, it has deliberately, ignored for decades, to recognize and classify Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) as a chemically/environmentally
triggered illness, for which scientific findings suggest the evidence of genetic susceptibility.

Now, is the time, more than ever, at a turning point in history, to stop the terrible injustice done for decades, in the US and worldwide, to the millions
of people suffering agonizingly from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and do its part for the official recognition /classification of this chemically
triggered disease which is spreading daily at an alarming rate worldwide. It is an immediate necessity, to conduct scientific research, and to sponsor
programs of prevention and awareness for the occurrence of this chemically/ environmentally triggered illness.

Due to the seriousness, and urgency, of this worldwide epidemic, it can no longer afford to bury its head in the sand, and continue to be governed, by the
powerful anti-MCS lobbying of Chemical Industries, and will have to face, once for all, the reality of this devastating global chemically/environmentally
triggered illness so dangerously on the rise, which have already taken a huge toll in an estimated 16% of the US population.

And as Julie Louise Gerberding, M.D. M.P.H. Director of CDC, states: “For over 60 years CDC´s mission has been dedicated to protecting health and promoting
quality of life through the prevention and control of disease, injury, and disability. We are committed to programs that reduce the health and economic
consequences of the leading causes of death and disability and that ensure a long productive, healthy life for all people.”

“We take our role very seriously, as CDC protects the Health of Americans on many levels and in many arenas…..When diseases break out around the globe,
CDC responds at a moment notice, lending its expertise and resources to conduct outbreak investigations and provide technical assistance”.

“We also provide funding for state and local health departments, community based organizations, and academic institutions for a wide array of public health
programs. Each day, Americans benefit from those activities through the safety and health tips we promote directly to the public, the training and education
we offer our partners, and the guidance and recommendations we provide for health care providers.”

Well, after decades, of inhumanely, and deliberately, ignoring the devastating chemically triggered, environmental illness of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
(MCS) until it became a most alarming global pandemic, isn´t it time, now for CDC to keep its word?

For accurate, up-dated information, on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), please, visit the award winning site MCS HOMEPAGE at:

as well as the outstanding site:


  • U.S Department of Health and Human Services
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
  • MCS-America
  • MCS-Homepage
  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
  • National Institute of Health (NIH)
  • US Access-Board
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • German General Medical Council, Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Republic Germany
  • Danish Environmental Protection Agency
  • Canadian Government, Human Rights Commissions
  • French Government, Mme la Ministre de la Sante

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities under Siege,
by Ann McCampbell, MD, Chair, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities,
Task Force of New Mexico.

© 2009 Christiane Tourtet. All rights reserved.

Reproduced from