Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
Lourdes Salvador is the founder of MCS America, a science writer, and a social advocate for the greater awareness of environmental contamination, human toxicology, and propagation of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) as a disorder of organic biological origin induced by toxic environmental insults.
For more information visit MCS America
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Fact Sheet
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Fact SheetMultiple Chemical Sensitivity Fact SheetMultiple Chemical Sensitivity Fact SheetMultiple Chemical Sensitivity Fact SheetMultiple Chemical Sensitivity Fact Sheet
by Lourdes Salvador
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.
• 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
• 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
• With a plan that includes avoidance and control of environmental triggers, many people with MCS can lead normal, healthy, and active lives.18
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Callender, TJ, et al. Three-dimensional brain and metabolic imaging in patients with toxic encephalopathy. Environmental Res. 1993;60: 295-319.
4. 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.
5. Heuser, G, et al. Neurospect findings in patients exposed to neurotoxic chemicals. Toxicology & Industrial Health. 1994;10:561-571.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Elofsson, S, et. a. Exposure to organic solvents. Scandinavian Journal of Work & Environmental Health. 1980;6:239-273.
9. 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.
10. Jonkman, EJ, et al. Electroencephalographic studies in workers exposed to solvents or pesticides. Electro Clinical Neurophysiology. 1992;82:439-444.
11. 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.
12. Ziem, G. and McTamney, J. Profile of patients with chemical injury and sensitivity. Environ Health Perspect 1997;105:417-436.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. Zeim, G, McTamney, J. Profile of patients with chemical injury and sensitivity. Environ Health Perspect. 1997 March; 105(Suppl 2): 417–436.
17. 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.
18. 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.
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
Copyrighted 2012 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America