A Look at Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity – also known as MCS, is a condition that creates an extreme sensitivity to various chemicals, resulting in the person becoming very ill – with a wide range of symptoms.

Even when around chemicals that are regarded as safe.  People who have MCS become ill when exposed to a variety of chemicals.

It is not usually limited to just one type of chemical.  Many of these chemicals are present in our day to day lives.

Some people have only mild chemical sensitivities, while others have a more severe form of the illness.

For those heavily effected by MCS – everyday tasks such as shopping, socializing, housework and holding down a job often make them so sick, they have to limit these activities and in very severe cases, refrain from these activities permanently.

MCS is Widely ignored by Medical Professionals!

This condition is not taught to medical students or to established doctors – resulting in a misdiagnosis of a mental illness for many MCS sufferers.

This leads to the patient becoming sicker, often to the extent of becoming debilitated.

There is also a lack of scientific medical research for medical testing being done on this condition – Eg:Currently there is no blood/urine test for MCS.

The Chemical Industry Never Developed Methods to Assess… Multiple Chemical Exposure Health Risks

2013 (Natural News) – According to the latest available statistics, there are more than 80,000 approved chemicals currently in commercial use.

  • But believe it or not, only a few hundred of these chemicals have ever gone through proper safety testing by their manufacturers or by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prior to hitting the market.
  • It is an undisputed fact that the EPA has never considered either the acute or chronic health implications of multiple chemical exposures, instead relying on empty promises from the industry concerning the safety of its chemicals. More here

Who can get Multiple Chemical Sensitivity?

MCS is an environmental illness.   Just because we cannot always smell a chemical – doesn’t mean that there isn’t a chemical presence.  Infact some with MCS can taste or smell a chemical presence when others cannot.

Due to the increasing amount of chemicals being used in society today, anyone is at risk of developing this illness.

We absorb more chemicals than we realize on a day to day basis through, the air, the foods we eat, the water we drink, various medications, cigarette smoke, gas emissions – inlc emissions from fabrics, furnishings, capets etc, plastic products & exhaust fumes.

Some with MCS are also sensitive to electromagnetic fields. They can be made sick by exposures to cell phones and towers, computers wireless telephones and power/smart meters, other wireless devices, fluorescent lights (including CFLs), microwave ovens, other electrical appliances, battery re-chargers, dimmer switches, and security and scanning equipment… More here

Individuals can develop MCS after they have been exposed to eg: A large chemical spill or it can develop through low levels of exposure over a period of time, months – years.

MCS is Most Common in those That Have Regularly been Around or Worked…  

  • Near or in any manufacturing company that uses chemicals in the process
  • Painters & spray painters
  • Petrol pump attendants and associated workers
  • Laundromat or dry cleaners
  • Veterans – particularly those that were in the Persian Gulf War
  • Rescue workers that have been involved in drug lab raids, explosions and helping at incidents such as the 9/11 rescue force
  • Rubbish dump

Symptoms of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

MCS frequently involves imbalances in a person’s nervous, immune, and endocrine (hormonal) systems, as well as impaired detoxification abilities.

  • Burning, stinging eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Breathlessness
  • Nausea
  • Extreme fatigue/lethargy
  • Headache
  • Migraine
  • Vertigo
  • Dizziness
  • Shakiness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Poor memory recall
  • Poor concentration
  • Runny nose (rhinitis)

  • Post nasal drip
  • Sore throat
  • Regular cough or clearing of the throat
  • Sinus problems
  • Skin rashes and/or itching skin
  • Sensitivity to light & noise
  • Sleeping problems
  • Digestive upset
  • Bloating
  • Food and/or medication intolerance
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Seizures


These effects can vary in patients.

For mild MCS patients these effects may not always be prominent all of the time, but usually escalate when there has been chemical exposure.

The escalation and severity of these effects can also depend on how much chemical presence the sufferers body can normally tolerate, and how far over this level they are.

MCS patients can usually monitor this themselves by the effects they are getting. The best course of action to alleviate these effects is to reduce your exposure to chemicals.

This can include…

  • Using unscented body care, cleaning products or change to organic products
  • Eat organic produce whenever possible
  • Adding organic Aloe vera Juice to your daily diet can help strengthen the immune system more
  • Regular chemical free saunas can help to detoxify
  • Seek advice on a detoxifying diet
  • Regular massage
  • Regular exercise
  • Do it your self Lymph drainage massage can help to unclog toxins in the body more

(This technique also helps to alleviate aches, pains & headaches)

  • Ask friends & family to  refrain from wearing perfumes/colognes when around you
  • Look at changing your career if you work in a highly toxic workplace

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: Reflections

(by DR C Oliver & Alison Johnson)

The documentary above by Alison Johnson gives an excellent overview of MCS.

Dr L. Christine Oliver, MD (featured in the above documentary) is based at the Massachusetts General Hospital in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Department of Medicine and also has expertise in occupational medicine More

Dr. Anne C. Steinemann (featured in the above documentary) is an internationally recognized expert on pollutant exposures and associated health effects, including topics of indoor air quality, consumer product testing and evaluation, exposure assessment, and healthy homes and communities.

She advises numerous governments, industries, and organizations on issues of environmental pollutants, public health, and water management, and has directed more than $8 million in federally funded research… More

Common Substances that Cause Symptoms

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Paint
  • Gasoline
  • New carpet and furniture
  • Household cleaners
  • Perfume & other scented products
  • Air fresheners
  • Newspapers
  • Pesticides
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Food additives
  • Paint
  • Aerosols

  • Various building materials
  • Solvents
  • Fresh ink
  • Smoke
  • Exhaust fumes
  • Industrial fumes
  • fabric softeners
  • Potpourri
  • Incense
  • Essential oils
  • Shampoos
  • Hair and body products
  • Detergents
  • Various adhesives/glues

Article written by Wen Dee: 


SUBSCRIBE to Zip Zap Insights – Latest Articles

Related Articles


'Zip Zap Insights is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate Advertising program
designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, Amazon EU Associates Programme, Amazon CA Associates Programme & other associated Amazon stores.