multiple chemical sensitivity

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multiple chemical sensitivity

(MCS), adverse physical reaction to certain chemicals in susceptible persons. When exposed to the chemicals, people with MCS react with symptoms such as nausea, headache, dizziness, fatigue, impaired memory, rash, and respiratory difficulty. A wide range of household and industrial chemicals, including cleaning products, tobacco smoke, perfumes, inks, and pesticides, have been implicated as triggers for MCS.

Many researchers do not regard multiple chemical sensitivity as a medically valid syndrome, believing that the depression that frequently accompanies it is an indication that the symptoms are psychological in origin. Others note that descriptions of the syndrome are largely anecdotal and not proven scientifically, or that the imprecisely defined syndrome is easily abused as a diagnosis, pointing to what they feel is an exaggerated number of worker's compensation cases involving MCS. Nevertheless, many sufferers do seem to improve when they eliminate contact with the chemicals known to trigger their condition; in extreme cases this may mean confinement to specially treated living quarters.

References in periodicals archive ?
(4) Environmental illness: Cancer was the main focus of environmental health research with 64 articles from 1993 to 2012, followed by respiratory, birth defects and developmental diseases, reproduction, and neurological disorders.
There has been tremendous and hostile resistance to educating doctors on the dangers of environmental illness and toxic mold, generated mainly by the fields of Occupational Medicine, Public Health, Allergy, and Psychiatry.
Environmental illness and misdiagnosis--a growing problem.
I was 26 and in a long recovery from years of debilitating environmental illness and chemical sensitivities.
The explanation sometimes offered is that these people suffer from something called "multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS)," also referred to as "environmental illness," "total allergy syndrome," or "20th-century disease."
Your September/October 2004 cover story includes recommendations for women to be smart consumers and prevent environmental illness. But I'm disappointed in your suggestion that women should "limit canned tuna."
majority of those identified with environmental illness are women
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HUD provided $1.2 million to build an Ecology House for MCS sufferers in Marin County as part of a program intended to "support housing for people with disabilities." Many journalists have been credulous as well, to judge from articles with titles such as "Sick of Work: Chemical Poisons at the Office Can Put You at Risk" (Calgary Herald), "When Life is Toxic" (The New York Times), "Environmental Illness: The New Plague" (Utne Reader), "Why You May Be Allergic to Your Home" (McCall's), and "Allergic to the 20th Century" (Health).
Working with a poetry of absence evocative of both Chantal Akerman and Michelangelo Antonioni in the upscale suburban reaches of the San Fernando Valley, where overstuffed living rooms and manicured gardens are made to seem as vast and as hollow as city railway terminals, and the sound track is no less instrumental in creating a sharp sense of distance and displacement, Haynes creates a glowering atmosphere of nameless dread that, along with the heroine played by Julianne Moore, most reviewers have felt obliged to name - generally calling it "environmental illness - if only to assign this movie a coherent narrative curve.
In 1977, Mary Oetzel was diagnosed with an environmental illness, resulting from "multiple chemical sensitivities." This spurred her to research environmental issues, and today she is president of Environmental Education and Health Services in Austin, Texas.
Proponents of the MCS theory claim environmental illness can cause dozens of symptoms involving every organ system: the skin (rashes, itching); respiratory system (congestion, difficulty breathing); nervous system (headaches, memory loss, clumsiness, confusion); circulatory system (swelling of the extremities); gastrointestinal system (food intolerances, bloating, diarrhea ; endocrine system (menstrual problems, fatigue); immune system (hives, food allergies, white-blood-cell abnormalities); and the muscles and joints (achiness and arthritis).
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