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AWARE of MCS

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is a condition defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as “a diagnostic label for people who suffer multi-system illnesses as a result of contact with, or proximity to, a variety of airborne agents and other substances.”

MCS is the inability to tolerate an environmental chemical or class of foreign chemicals. It develops from exposure to substances in the environment such as toxic mold and pesticides, and may result in intolerance to even very low-level exposure to chemicals. Symptoms often occur in multiple organ systems such as the nervous system, the lungs, and the digestive system.

MCS has also been termed toxic injury (TI), chemical sensitivity (CS), chemical injury syndrome (CI), 20th century syndrome, environmental illness (EI), environmental intolerance (IEI), and toxicant-induced loss of tolerance (TILT).

What are the symptoms of MCS and what adjustments can be made to accommodate it?

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Canary in the Coal Mine

In the 1800s canaries were used to save lives. Miners would take a caged canary to their worksite. If the bird stopped singing (or died), the miners would vacate immediately. The bird was telling them the air quality was unsafe.
Canary in Coal Mine

Those of us who have had a major mold exposure often become chemically sensitive. We essentially become canaries. We can sense the safety of an environment.

The following is excerpt from an article on bird care. It is a good word to all of us, canary or not.

Birds have very sensitive respiratory systems, and you will want to avoid using most household cleaners and chemicals around your bird. This includes anything with a strong scent or chemical odor, cleaners, sprays, liquids, aerosols, etc. You should not use air fresheners (deodorizers and scents) when you have a bird, including sprays/aerosols, plug-ins, powders, and scented candles.

There is an excellent website called The Canary Report designed to alert us to the hazards of chemicals.

Quotes

"We all suffered from headaches, hormonal body temperature fluctuations, brain fog, fatigue, difficulty breathing, thrush, rashes, and yeast infections... we vacated our home two weeks ago."

– Anonymous

"I have been sick for almost 6 months now and doctors were not able to figure out why. I finally put it all together after going away for vacation for a week and suddenly my symptoms were going away."

– Anonymous

"Our family has been out of our home for 9 months due to mold... I am so scared and weak from all of this. We have lost friends; family members don't understand."

– Anonymous

"...at age 35 or 36 I started to become allergic to everything, and I got asthma at age 36... I went to doctor after doctor after doctor and was desperate for help, but nobody could help me."

– Mia

"I've been living in a mold-infested home for 13 months... I was going CRAZY! Finally figured it out... Just a few days of recovering in a mold-free home and I feel AMAZING!!!"

– Lauren

"My daughter started having digestive problems... heart palpitations... coughing episodes... muscle/joint pain... asthma/allergies... Her doctor finally advised me to check for mold in our home."

– Anonymous

"The ERMI mold test as well as your helpful articles and Toxic Talk Tuesday programs have helped us avoid a terrible mistake in purchasing a new home."

– Angela

"I was skeptical at first that these (natural cleaning) products would work, but they work better than the stuff I buy at the store! We will soon be moving to the personal care products as well!"

– Jennifer

"The entire time we lived in our (mold-infested) house the kitchen sponge would get musty smelling within 3-4 days. It was so strange. I had to buy a pack of sponges nearly every week."

– Anonymous

"Both of my sons went downhill quickly and coughed for months... They both lost their ability to read, had profound vision disturbances, and had phenomenal gastric issues."

– Lee

"My daughter has had many blood samples taken to test for everything imaginable and her doctor just seems puzzled. Everything comes back normal."

– Anonymous

"We had some water leaks in our home... we never thought we needed to clean out and remove the floor, the ceiling, or the drywall... my two small children and I have remained constantly sick for years in this home."

– Mia

"We were having a lot of health problems and had been to the doctor countless times... we had large circles of slimy greenish-black mold on the bathroom ceiling, where it had caved in a few months before."

– C.

"My symptoms persisted and eventually turned into lethargy and depression. At the age of 26, I required a nap every evening after work."

– Jennifer

"I'm new at this, but today I cleaned my bathroom with baking soda and vinegar. It's much better not having those strong chemical smells afterwards."

– Anonymous

"I had been struggling with headaches, head fog, breathing difficulties (unable to get a full breath), constant scalp tingling, migraines, nausea, feeling spacey/detached, and severe itchy skin."

– Anonymous

"In my moldy home if I left the wet clothes in the washer they would get musty very quickly and I'd have to re-wash... Sometimes I'd run a load, go to work, and they'd be musty when I returned that evening."

– Anonymous

"I knew it was mold, but doctors kept telling me I had anxiety. I was sitting in my office and could not remember who I was talking to, or what we were talking about."

– Brenda

"I started finding myself sitting on the floor in rooms of my house and not remembering how I got there, what I was doing before, or how long I had been there."

– Brenda

Dedication