Personal and Political Aspects of MCS. (Correspondence)

Article excerpt

Thank you for the August 2002 Environmental Health Perspectives Supplement on "Air Toxics and Asthma" and "Environmental Factors in Medically Unexplained Diseases" [Environ Health Perspect 110(suppl 4)]. I am pleased to see the recommendations for research on illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, sick-building syndrome, and multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS).

For several years I have had reactions to many scented products, auto exhaust, some plastics and inks, and numerous household chemicals. I have had allergies most of my life, which are well managed by medication. Chemical sensitivities have been more of a hardship than allergies and, to my knowledge, avoidance is the only effective therapy.

Years ago, I had a short-term illness after using furniture stripper, and years later, I had a long-term illness following repeated use of a 12.8% lindane solution. As my sensitivities increased, repeated chemical exposures in daily life brought me chronic and debilitating fatigue, intermittent severe stabbing pain, earaches, tooth and jaw pain, visual problems, loss of bladder control, loss of coordination, nose bleeds, respiratory problems, disorientation, and vasculitis in my hands and feet. …