Multiple Chemical Sensitivity - the Role of Environmental Health Professionals

By Gist, Ginger L. | Journal of Environmental Health, January-February 1999 | Go to article overview

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity - the Role of Environmental Health Professionals


Gist, Ginger L., Journal of Environmental Health


* "Sometimes these bouts of fatigue come on so fast and are so absolute that I've actually fallen off chairs that didn't have arm rests and crumpled to the floor where I stood."

* "I forgot commitments, I forgot things I had just read, I forgot where I'd parked my car, what people's phone numbers were, how to get to places where I was driving."

* "Not a day goes by that I don't miss the old life and the old me."

- Statements from Patients with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), also called environmentally triggered illness, twentieth-century disease, universal allergy, and chemical AIDS, was first described almost a half century ago when a Chicago allergist began to see a pattern of patients who reported becoming iii after being exposed to a variety of petrochemicals. Since that time many more cases of MCS have been reported, yet we still have no case definition for the condition and no medical test that can diagnose it. Treatment that is effective is, at best, difficult to determine.

Developing MCS is believed to be a two-step process. A person becomes sensitized after receiving a "major" exposure to an environmental chemical such as a pesticide, a solvent, or a combustion product. The sensitized person then begins to respond to low-level chemical exposures from ordinary substances such as perfumes and tobacco smoke. These low-level exposures are said to "trigger" a response. Over time, chemically unrelated substances may trigger symptoms. The symptoms reported by MCS patients vary a good deal but typically include chest pain, depression, difficulty remembering, dizziness, fatigue, headache, inability to concentrate, nausea, and aches and pains in muscles and joints.

Several populations have been identified as possibly being chemically sensitive, including Persian Gulf veterans, industrial workers, occupants of "sick buildings," and people who live near contaminated sites. The racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic characteristics of these groups vary greatly enough to suggest that a real health problem is occurring.

Recently, a federal interagency work group was convened to discuss MCS. Cochaired by Dr. Barry Johnson, assistant surgeon general and assistant administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and Dr. Richard Jackson, director of the National Center for Environmental Health, the work group included members from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the Department of Energy, the U. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity - the Role of Environmental Health Professionals
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.