What is multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS)?
MCS is a broad term that describes a condition where people develop allergic reactions to their environment. MCS is also referred to as environmental illness or multiple allergic response syndrome (MARS). Like allergy sufferers, MCS sufferers react to substances that apparently don't bother other people; however, in the case of MCS, the triggers are not necessarily traditional allergens; often, the triggers are known toxic chemicals.
What triggers MCS?
Substances that can trigger an MCS attack include solvents, pesticides, plastics, paints, new carpets, adhesives, perfumes, air fresheners, clothing and bedding, personal care products, and cleaning products. It is believed that MCS afflicts people who have weakened immune systems or overloaded immune systems.
What are common symptoms of MCS?
MCS can cause dizziness, nausea, memory problems, breathing difficulties, flu-like symptoms, rashes, and hives.
What is sick building syndrome?
Sick building syndrome refers to a situation in which people who work or live in a certain building get sick from chemicals inside that building.
Why do some people get sick from the smell of a new car?
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and other toxic chemicals constitute the new car smell. VOC fumes emanate from glues, paints, vinyls, and plastics inside new cars. They can trigger headaches, sore throats, nausea, breathing difficulty, and drowsiness. Studies have found 50-60 different VOCs in new cars. An Amaircare Roomaid portable air purifier with a VOC filter will help you avoid VOC sickness in your car.
How is MCS treated?
The best method of treating MCS is to avoid the triggers and try to build up the strength of your immune system. First, identify what is making you sick. Carefully sniff out your personal care products (soaps, shampoos, lotions, etc.), washing detergents, furniture, and carpets to see if you're allergic. If you are sensitive to something, then get rid of it! Choose natural personal care products and safe cleaning products that are made specifically for people with MCS, and choose organic cotton bedding to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals while sleeping. The Royal-Pedic Organic Cotton Mattress and the Royal-Pedic Organic Natural Latex Mattress are both made with 100% organic cotton from Peru, and they're custom built without formaldehyde, glue, dye, resin, polyurethane foam, or synthetic latex. These mattresses are perfect for people who are sensitive to petrochemical emissions from chemically treated fibers.
The best air purifier for MCS is the IQAir MultiGas. With three-stage filtration and a specialized blend of activated carbon and oxidizing agents, the MultiGas actually destroys chemical and vapor molecules. As the winner of our very first "Best in Class" award, the MultiGas GC effectively controls VOCs, tobacco smoke, ammonia, and other chemicals and odors, with activated carbon and potassium permanganate - to oxidize chemicals.
Unfortunately, you can't take an air purifier with you everywhere you go. Many MCS sufferers carry an I Can Breathe Honeycomb Mask with them everywhere they go, just in case they find themselves among irritating fumes. An activated carbon filter inside the mask traps pollutants like fragrances, particles, soot, smog, dust, fumes, and formaldehyde.
Most MCS sufferers prefer natural cleaning methods over harsh chemicals. Microfiber dust clothes or electrostatic dust cloths capture dust without the need for chemical dusting spray. The Dust Sponge also works very well without water or chemicals.
Many people are sensitive to chemicals in personal care products. Free & Clear Shampoo and Conditioner and Free & Clear Liquid Cleanser are hypoallergenic and free of common chemical irritants. When going out in the sun, sunscreen may be your best defense in skin protection. Why not choose a sunscreen without harmful chemicals? Try Vanicream Sunscreen, available in SPF 30 and SPF 60.