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Danish MCS Activists report about the situation for those with Chemical Sensitivity in their country




Face painted with Danish flagProvided by Chemical Sensitivity Network (CSN)

In January 2006, at the initiative of the Ministry of the Environment, a Research Centre for Chemical Sensitivities was founded in Denmark. The Center was designed to offer treatments to those with MCS and research fragrance sensitivities in more detail. The initial hope that originally flowed through this center, funded by the Ministry, was to benefit MCS sufferers and to delve into medical science for those affected. Unfortunately this hope has been shattered by recent publications. 

The EMM Blog will publish several articles reporting the consequences for MCS sufferers. Environmental health professionals and organizations must be well informed about the events in other countries and it appears that the Danish Research Centre for Chemical Sensitivities is striving to clearly influence the international science of MCS.

Series is written by Danish MCS-Activists: The Danish MCS Research Centre in the International Field of Vision

Part I: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Report from Denmark

The Danish Research Center for Chemical Sensitivities on the lookout for psychological factors in MCS patients:

In 2006 The Danish Research Centre for Chemical Sensitivities was established on the initiative of the Danish Ministry of the Environment. It soon became evident that the purpose of this research center was to have the environment acquitted, so to speak, of the charge of causing MCS. Time and again patients heard the then Head of Research, MD, PhD Jesper Elberling announce that the environment should probably not be blamed for the problems.

The Research Center has no experts of toxicology or environmental medicine among its staff. Instead, the new Head of Research, former nurse, MSc, PhD Sine Skovbjerg and her staff focus on counting and documenting various psychological factors among patients. Her view is that MCS should be studied as a somatoform disorder and that MCS can be cured by so-called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.

Part II: Changes of the international science of chemical sensitivity at the Danish Research Centre for Chemical Sensitivities?

In April 2010, an independent group of Italian scientists (De Luca et al.) published their research results, Biological definition of multiple chemical sensitivity from redox state and cytokine profiling and not from polymorphisms of xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes

In July 2010, the Danish Research Centre for Chemical Sensitivities and Fragrance Sensitivity reported on their website, (which in the opinion of many Danish MCS sufferers is very questionable research, with the main emphasis on mental health):

Since this is only a single study (De Luca et al.), it is necessary to review the results and pursue new studies before a conclusion can be drawn regarding the importance of immunological factors in fragrance and Chemical Sensitivities.

This is why the Danish Research Centre for Chemical Sensitivities plans to examine whether heightened cytokines or inflammatory factors can be detected in those with chemical hypersensitivity REGARDLESS OF CONTACT ALLERGIES.

Part III: Paradox - Danish MCS sufferers are denied help because of the lack of scientific documentation which nobody wants to obtain!

Until 2008 it was a common practice in Denmark for local authorities to grant severe MCS sufferers free aid under the service law, section 122, by giving them half mask respirators with activated charcoal filters. In 2008 a severe female MCS sufferer had her application rejected by the local authorities for this respirator. This case ended at the Danish appeals board.…

To the MCS sufferers' great astonishment and despair, the MCS Research Center, however, published on its homepage that they were not going to research the effects of half mask respirators with activated charcoal filters on the MCS population. Their arguments, were among others, was that an investigation into the effects of mask respirators on MCS sufferers would require a clinically controlled study, and such a study must be both placebo-controlled and double-blind in order for the results to become reliable and useful.

Instead, the Research Center regards electroconvulsive therapy of MCS sufferers as interesting.


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