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Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Many people who suffer from CFS/FMS also suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, a disorder commonly referred to as MCS and involves extreme sensitivity to a wide variety of fragrances and other chemicals (including the smell of perfume and after shave that others might enjoy).  MCS patients frequently have severe, incapacitating fatigue and also experience symptoms that affect many different body systems and organs. 

MCS is now accepted as a disabling condition by Social Security, and efforts to study the disorder have been launched by the Academy of Sciences and other organizations.  Nonetheless, patients with a diagnosis of MCS are also still likely to meet with disbelief and prejudice on the part of others, including many health care professionals (does this sound familiar?).  The specific etiology and mechanisms of MCS are unknown, but a number of MCS patients developed their hypersensitivities following some significant exposure to toxic chemicals.

There is a need to better understand what causes these syndromes and to develop cures or effective treatments, as well as a need for education of health care professionals and others in the larger community.  There is also the need to reduce the kinds of chemical pollution that cause debilitating and sometimes life-threatening symptoms in these patients in addition to harming persons who have not yet fallen prey to this illness.

Letís all do our part to make our support group meetings as fragrance-free as possible.  Please refrain from wearing perfumes, after shave, etc. to our support group meeting (you could also expand this to include church, work, etc.).  Your MCS friends will be grateful.

For more information on Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, go to

Two books to consider in looking for information on explaining chemical injuries and protecting yourself:

The Human Consequences of the Chemical Problem by Cindy Duehring and Cynthia Wilson, $7.20, TT Publishing, PO Box T, White Sulphur Springs MT 59645

Human Exposure and Human Health by Cynthia Wilson, $55.00 plus shipping, McFarland & Co., PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640; 800-253-2187.