Thursday, May 3, 2007

May 2007 Proclaimed Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and/or Toxic Injury Awareness Month in 26 States!

Salem, NY -- To date, 26 governors around the nation have proclaimed May 2007 as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and/or Toxic Injury (TI) Awareness and Education Month. A list of these states along with copies of the proclamations may be viewed at MCS and TI Proclamations
Many of the illnesses in our society today may result from exposure to toxicants in the environment. Numerous empirical studies have shown correlations between neurotoxicity and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, environmental illness/multiple chemical sensitivities, encephalopathy, and possibly sudden infant death syndrome. Increasing numbers of Americans are developing multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), chemical injury (CI), environmental illness (EI), asthma, reactive airway disease, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and other disorders.

In the United States autism, once a rare condition, has increased from 4 – 5 per 10,000 children in the 1980’s to 30 – 60 per 10,000 children in the 1990’s, a greater than ten-fold increase. The prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is currently estimated at 8% of the population. Gliniania suggests an etiological link between metals in particulate air pollution and some forms of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The prevalence of MCS ranges from 16% to 33% of the population. When compared to the prevalence of diabetes, which is well publicized at 7% of the population, less than half the prevalence of MCS and other environmental illnesses.

Multiple chemical sensitivity is an environmental illness which causes negative health effects in multiple organ systems. Respiratory distress, seizures, cognitive dysfunction, heart arrhythmia, nausea, headache, and fatigue result from exposure to levels of common chemicals such as perfumes, fragrances, cleaners, and pesticides that are normally deemed as safe. In 1999 consensus criteria were established for the diagnoses and definition of MCS. The criteria define MCS as symptoms that are reproducible with repeated chemical exposure, are chronic, appear at levels of exposure lower than previously tolerated, improve or resolve when incitants are removed, appear in response to multiple chemically unrelated substances, and which involve multiple organ systems that commonly include the cardiac, pulmonary, and neurological systems.

History of MCS in Science

One of the first studies on MCS focused on possible long term potentiation in the hippocampus and neural sensitization as a central mechanism. Later studies examined the role of the inflammatory process and found that brain inflammation was correlated with symptoms of MCS. In 1999 Meggs proposed that MCS is caused by low molecular weight chemicals that bind to chemoreceptors on sensory nerve C-fibers leading to the release of inflammatory mediators. McKeown-Eyssen showed that polymorphisms in the CYP2D6 allele may be responsible for variation in toxicant metabolism pathways that may cause differences in susceptibility to MCS. Pall identified evidence suggesting elevated nitric oxide and peroxynitrite (NO/ONOO-) as the etiology for MCS and several related conditions including fibromyalgia, post traumatic stress disorder, gulf war syndrome, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Pall has identified organic solvents and related compounds, organophosphorus/carbamate pesticides, organochlorine (chlordane, lindane) pesticides, and the pyrethroid pesticides as initiating the NO/ONOO- cycle of biochemistry leading to MCS. With such a large percentage of the population suffering from MCS and a large number of toxicants capable of initiating the NO/ONOO- cycle it is conceivable that a common exposure may initiate or exacerbate MCS. It is also plausible that a combination of toxicants may be linked to the etiology of MCS.

Genetic Variants

There is a variety of physiological, biochemical, and genetic studies on MCS including objective biomarker tests for MCS that have been published by Kimata, Millqvist, Bell and Fox and their respective colleagues, each of which is based on measurable physiological changes in response to low level chemical exposures of MCS patients. Genetic data of McKeown-Eyssen and her colleagues and the earlier work of Haley and his colleagues shows that the chemicals initiating MCS act as toxicants, not as odors generating some strictly olfactory response. McKeown-Eyssen published data showing that five genetic polymorphisms each have a statistically significant role in determining MCS prevalence. Each of these genes encodes proteins that metabolize chemicals previously implicated in MCS, notably the organophosphorus pesticides (PON1 and PON2 genes) and the organic solvents (CYP2D, NAT1 and NAT2 genes). These data show that chemicals shown to initiate MCS must be in a specific chemical form to be active; therefore individuals who metabolize them at different rates vary in their susceptibility to MCS. Haley found similar, confirmatory results with the PON1 gene in studies of the Gulf War syndrome veterans. Genetic studies coupled with known biochemical functions of the genes involved are the recognized approach to determining biological mechanism. Therefore, these specific studies provided significant confirmation of the toxicogenic roles of chemicals previously implicated in MCS.

In simple terms, three recent studies show that a genetic variant makes sufferers of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) more likely to develop the condition. In 2004, McKeown-Eyssen studied 203 MCS sufferers and 162 controls and found that genetic differences relating to detoxification processes were present more often in those with MCS than those without. The study concluded that "a genetic predisposition for MCS may involve altered biotransformation of environmental chemicals. Haley found similar, confirmatory results in a 1999 study with the PON1 gene in Gulf War syndrome veterans.

A new study by Schnakenberg et al (2006) confirmed the genetic variation previously found by McKeown-Eyssen and Haley. A total of 521 unrelated individuals participated in the study. Genetic variants of four genes were analyzed: NAT2, GSTM1, GSTT1, and GSTP1. The researchers concluded that individuals who are NAT2 slow acetylators and those with homozygously deleted GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes are significantly more likely to develop chemical sensitivity.

According to the study the glutathione S-transferases act to inactivate chemicals so people without these GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes are less able to metabolize environmental chemicals. If a person cannot metabolize chemicals they build up in the body and cause disturbances in normal body function. Schnakenberg and fellow researchers explain that "glutathione S-transferases play an important role in the detoxification of chemicals... the deletion of this gene may be an important step in the early onset of diseases" which is a critical discovery that provides a biological basis behind the etiology of multiple chemical sensitivity. The researchers also noted that diseases such as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, hepatocellular and prostate carcinoma, and Alzheimer's disease have been associated with the common chemicals metabolized by GSTP1. The deletion of the GSTP1 gene leaves individuals more susceptible to developing these diseases, as lack of these genes means a loss of protection from oxidative stress.

Economic Impact

The effect of these neurodevelopmental disorders reaches beyond the individual to the parent, the social system, the work force, school curriculum, medical providers, care providers, the welfare system, and therefore affects the pocketbooks of every taxpaying citizen. Cumulative social and economic costs identified in four case studies of illnesses that are candidates for environmental causation totaled between $568 billion and $793 billion dollars per year in Canada and the United States. Neurodevelopmental disorders cost the United States $81.5 to $167 billion annually and Methylmercury induced toxicity alone is estimated to cost $8.7 billion dollars in lost productivity in the United States. Sixty-seven percent of chemicals imported into the United States have not been examined for neurotoxicity and could be a further contributing factor. Individuals affected by neurodevelopmental disorders will increasingly become a burden to society for care as they age, giving rise to the essentiality that scientists discover the etiology behind this alarming increase. The costs of reduced IQ in the United States alone in 1987 may have reached $327 billion.

Impact on Victims

The sufferers of these conditions are often unable to obtain qualified medical care or rehabilitation services. These patients are often misdiagnosed with psychiatric disorders due to the outward symptoms of physiological neurotoxicity. While they may be treated with detoxification protocols and/or exposure education, they are too often referred for useless, and in some cases harmful, psychiatric therapy and medications that exacerbate their symptoms. Indeed 80% report no benefit from psychotherapy to treat MCS and 15% reported harm from psychotherapy. Though 65% find psychotherapy helpful to cope with the dramatic life changes the condition imposes upon them, psychotherapy is obviously not a cure because MCS is not a psychologically mediated disease. Not a single empirical study shows any significant remission rate in the symptoms of environmental illness from counseling.

The most effective treatments to date involve avoiding all chemicals, creating a chemical-free living space, and various methods employing detoxification to reduce body burden of toxicants. Most insurance in our medical system will not cover tests to determine body burden of chemicals or necessary detoxification. Of special note is that the Medicaid and Medicare that these patients must rely on once they become disabled does not cover the treatments that could very well return the patient to full productivity, thus removing them from the reliance on the disability and social systems. This is penny wise and pound foolish and amounts to draconian torture of innocent patients who truly desire qualified medical care and the opportunity to return to full lives and careers. Many report they had successful, professional careers prior to becoming ill and reported that they would happily resume their old lives if they could find relief from their MCS. Part of this relief would include proper accommodations for MCS in the workplace and school system so that patients. The solutions are really very simple and chemical avoidance should be practice by all people, regardless of health. To create a workplace and school without toxicants would benefit all who occupy it and prevent toxic injury to healthy occupants. No one is safe from this mass pandemic. These illnesses pose a clear threat to our welfare, social security, and disability systems and are completely avoidable!

Harmful to Everyone!

Regardless of MCS, a study by Anderson has shown toxicants like fragrances are harmful to everyone, not just those who develop MCS. This is conclusive scientific evidence that fragrances are harmful toxicants! The fragrance industry has made unsubstantiated claims to the safety of fragrances that are not backed by science and are insufficient protection for Americans. Just because a product is on the market does not mean it is safe. Consider pesticides which have been scientifically shown over and over again to be endocrine disruptors and are currently blamed for the huge increase in hypothyroidism, cancer, MCS, and many other illnesses. The trade secret laws of the fragrance industry block individuals from being able to determine what ingredients are in fragrances, furthering damage to innocent people. Second hand fragrance is equivalent to second hand smoke!

A perfect example of this dilemma is the toxic effects of commonly used fragranced items such as air fresheners. Many well-established toxicants are emitted during air freshener use including "d-limonene, dihydromyrcenol, linalool, linalyl acetate, and beta-citronellol which were emitted at 35-180 mg/day over 3 days while air concentrations averaged 30-160 microg/m3" as shown in a recent study. Maternal depression is also significantly associated with air fresheners. Glade, which contains short chain aliphatic hydrocarbons, is shown to cause ventricular fibrillation and is potentially fatal if inhaled. In a 1997 study, emissions of "air freshener at several concentrations (including concentrations to which many individuals are actually exposed) caused increases in sensory and pulmonary irritation, decreases in airflow velocity, and abnormalities of behavior measured by the functional observational battery score". A 2006 study at the University of Colorado and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston concluded that air-freshening chemicals may lead to the formation of cancerous cells by suppression of the enzymes that are essential for regulating normal cell death. There are many acute toxic effects of fragranced products including but not limited to neurotoxicity, sensory irritation, pulmonary irritation, decreasing expiratory airflow velocity, and alterations of functional observational battery. What is absolutely clear is the evidence that pollution and toxicants affect the brain and central nervous system in a negative way and cost taxpayers billions of dollars. MCS is not new; it is simply unacknowledged mainly because a clear etiology has yet to be replicated. Many currently recognized conditions including chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), asthma, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and cancer have no clear etiology either. Yet they are recognized and their victims supported by social and medical services and research funding. MCS, which affects more of the population than any of the above, needs similar recognition, investigation, and support.

A New Paradigm

Members of the work force needed to support a healthy economy are being lost to the productive sector. It is critical to global economies and global well-being in the upcoming century to have practitioners, health care service administrators, and public health officials well-educated in the new chemical paradigm of illness, toxicology, and environmental medicine so that patients are treated and returned to the workforce. Indeed, while infectious disease was formerly the main threat to health, it has now been over compensated for in our zeal to kill germs with potentially toxic chemical disinfectants and pesticides. This has generated a new disease paradigm in which anthropogenic chemicals are becoming an increasingly ominous threat to heath as even more diseases are revealed to be of chemical origin or are chemically aggravated.

Dr. Martin Pall, PhD of Washington State University Department of Molecular Biosciences, regards MCS as being related to other multi-system diseases including chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which was recently recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who cites chemical sensitivities as a symptom of CFS. MCS substantially limits the ability of it's victims to live normal lives, work, attend school, shop, and socialize as a myriad of common items generally recognized as safe cause dangerous reactions. These items include fragrances found in perfumes, lotions, soaps, and laundry products as well as cleaners, pesticides, diesel, news print, new carpets, and many other items encountered in day to day living.

Patients need more qualified medical care, increased access to public facilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and support from family and friends once afflicted while doctors need additional training and scientists need more funding for additional research into the etiology of MCS. This is truly a crisis situation! MCS affects a person’s ability to earn a living, travel, socialize, and function in our modern world in which chemicals and fragrances are impossible to avoid. Learn all you can. You could be next!

For additional information e-mail MCS America, or visit

About the Author

Lourdes Salvador is a writer and social advocate based in Hawaii. She is the president of MCS America and a featured monthly writer for MCS America News at She is a passionate advocate for the homeless, having worked with her local governor to open new shelters and provide services to the homeless based on a presentation of her ideas. That passion soon turned to advocacy and activism for victims of multiple chemical sensitivity. For more information about Lourdes and her advocacy work, please visit:,, and

Copyrighted © 2007 Lourdes Salvador


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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

May 2007 MCS America News: Member Spotlight: Alan Moses

What, in your opinion, is the greatest health threat to humans right now?

The research that I do keeps coming up with chemical toxins that cause genetic mutations.

Are you or someone you know affected by MCS or a Toxicant Induced illnesses?

My two sons suffer from ASD and I am sure it is chemically and heavy metal induced. My daughter has allergies and asthma.

If so, how has this affected your life?

To say the least, it has made my life very difficult. At times I wonder how I will get by and make sure that my children will be okay. Other times I find answers and feel that better days are ahead.

What do you feel is most contributing to the Autism Epidemic we are seeing today?

This is a very controversial question. I believe that mercury from vaccines, the mother's amalgams and diet contributed along with the destruction of natural immunity by vaccines and antibiotics used when they were very young.

What do you want others to know about Autism, MCS and other related illnesses?

My main point is to share with all that we can stop this madness with alternative therapies for most and by eliminating the chemical toxins that plays a large role in this epidemic. It is here and only becoming worse,

What is the biggest issue you think the world faces regarding toxicant induced illnesses?

Denial by the very ones who we expect to protect or help in these matters.

What do you do to make others aware of MCS, Autism and related disorders?

I have been an advocate for Autism for the last 8 years and have just started with MCS when I realized the relationship. I write and have done a T.V. news spot locally. I also have a book "How to repair children damaged by Mercury, Medicine and Politics" co-authored with Dr. Michael Sichel from Australia due in May 2007.

What words of wisdom would you like to share with others about Autism and/or MCS?

We must not give up as our children and loved ones deserve our help. You will never be heard by keeping silent, use any avenue available to you to get the word out. There is hope. We just need to lead the way, as nobody cares until it happens to them. Today we add many more in numbers that will begin to care and need our leadership due to the denials. If it doesn't stop, we will outnumber them soon enough.

Editors Note: Alan was interviewed by Kathy Houghton

Copyrighted © 2007 MCS America

May 2007 MCS America News: Sal's Place - Psychiatric Diagnoses are Not Based on Science

I recently read a news article entitled "Prominent Psychiatrist Forced to Finally Concede that Psychiatric Diagnoses are Not Based on Science". My first thought was AMEN to that!

Then the topic began to bug me. I began to think that we can't call MCS "science" because there is no clinical test and it's diagnosed based on subjective observation and patient reported symptoms. However, psychiatric disorders (or otherwise "normal behavior" in most cases) are called "science" yet there are no clinical tests and diagnosis is based on subjective observation and patient reported symptoms.

This reminds me of an eye opening observation when I was at the beach park yesterday. I had returned to my van where I saw a bird and it was following me around the van, no more than 2 feet away from me, as I moved about drying off and fixing my hair. I figured it was a brave bird and probably very hungry so I dug up some quick oats from the van and scattered them around the ground and soil for the bird to eat. Soon, dozens were there partaking in the "feast".

I watched with apt curiosity as they moved around each other, never touching, pecking as fast as they could at each oat without any fighting. One bird with a red cap of another species pecked much faster than the others and I soon realized it was not eating the oats, but holding them in it's mouth to carry away and feed it's hatchlings housed in a nest in the tree I parked next to.

I had not realized I was standing so still, motionless, until I moved and all the birds instantly retreated several feet farther from me and stopped eating. I again stood still and they slowly, nervously returned to eat as fast as they could with an ever watchful eye on me. Each time I moved, they scattered again, so I eventually moved to the other side of the van and allowed them to enjoy their feast in peace.

I bring this up because it struck me as a "normal" instinctual behavior to protect the species from predators, that psychiatry would label as a "phobia" of humans or motion.

It also struck me that, like the birds shared, I shared. The birds did not know when their next feast would be or when they might happen upon food again. Yet they did not fight over the food. Like them, I did not think twice about giving them a whole serving of oats that should have been my breakfast one morning even though I'm very low on food and have no errand runner or prospects for one in the near future. I, like them, do not know if there will be food in a few days. Yet I shared it with a hungry bird.

Isn't humanity fascinating when we stop trying to label others and appreciate how human nature is normal and has an inherent biological purpose? We need each other to survive in community, so we feed each other. Birds need to be wary of predators in the wild so they scatter and run when there is motion near them or another species approaches. These are normal, instinctual behaviors, not psychiatric disorders. The birds don't have general anxiety disorder or people phobia any more than I have "feel sorry for hungry birds syndrome". We're just normal creatures feeling, operating, and doing as our creator made us. Emotions are normal occurrences. To say otherwise would say the whole flock of birds was mentally ill... a far fetch. Yet, that is exactly what psychiatry has done to humans with a push to sell expensive and dangerous psychopharmaceuticals. We are taught our emotions are wrong and that we should be numb. How and why have things gone so wrong?

Copyrighted © 2007 MCS America

May 2007 MCS America News: Healing Modalities: Massage

Massage involves the application of pressure and motion through touch to the soft tissues of the body, including lymphatic to achieve a beneficial response. While many enjoy massage as a simple means of relaxation, it is also touted to increase lymphatic drainage and increase blood flow, bringing oxygen and nutrients into the tissues. Massage has also been shown to improve autistic behavior, relieve anxiety and depression, increase healing after surgery, improve growth in premature infants, increase attention and focus, reduce muscle tension, and reduce blood pressure.

A study entitled Perceived Treatment Efficacy for Conventional and Alternative Therapies Reported by Persons with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, in which Gibson et al (2003) found that fifty-nine percent of subjects felt that massage helped with the symptoms of multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS). This is reasonable considering that massage increases nutrients and oxygen in the tissues which would likely reduce fatigue and brain fog. Additional blood flow helps to cleanse the body and possibly relieve some of the body burden of toxins carried.

Since endorphins (natural pain killers) are released during massage, it is also a useful therapy for pain reduction and may be useful for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. The combination of relaxation, endorphins, nutrients and oxygenation is likely to produce a positive effect in most subjects.

Massage is popular, not for these effects, but for the sheer pleasure of touch being used to reduce tension and relax muscles. However, as we discovered, massage is not only pampering and rejuvenating, but also highly therapeutic!

See you on the massage table!


Gibson, PR, Elms, NM, & Ruding, LA (2003). Perceived Treatment Efficacy for Conventional and Alternative Therapies Reported by Persons with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. Environmental Health Perspectives. 111(12):1498-1504.

Copyrighted © 2007 MCS America

May 2007 MCS America News: Living in a Toxic World. Do You Know What Counts?

Often times we are trusting beyond belief. But when does trust become dangerous? Try this quiz:

What year is your car?

What make is your car?

What model is your car?

What color paint is on your car?

How many cylinders does it have?

What kind of gas do you put into your car?

How many miles are on the odometer?

How many miles to the gallon does your car get?

How often should you change the oil in your car?

What kind of tires are on your car?

What kind of interior does your car have?

What color is the interior of your car?


What is in the vaccination that the doctor is about to inject into your child?

What is in the amalgam filling the dentist is about to put in your child's mouth?

The Autism Society of America (2007) defines autism as a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Both children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities.

Autism currently affects 1 in 150 children according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2007) and is one of five disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) which include: Autistic Disorder, Asperger's Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD), Rett's Disorder, and PDD-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).

Parents across the world have come forth blaming their children's autism on the MMR vaccination or vaccinations which contains thimerosal, a form of mercury. Though it is controversial whether there is any connection, the reality is that the symptoms of autism are nearly identical to those of mercury poisoning (Bernard et al, 2000). Further, it may well be a form of toxic injury, or multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).

Slimak performed a study of in 49 autistic children. "Elimination of food-related reactions entirely allowed effects of environmental chemicals to be thoroughly studied indefinitely in the absence of food-related symptoms. Initially unaffected by social contexts, the autistic subjects acted out the ways they were affected by their environment without the altering effects of societal influences; and severity of the adverse effects made observation and study easier. There was a strong correlation (P<.000) between environmental exposure levels and autistic symptoms and behaviors. There appeared to be nothing inherently wrong with autistic children studied. The children in the program (universal diet and clean room) returned to normal physically, in temperament, in awareness of surroundings and others, in emotions and empathy, and in ability to learn. Based on the results of the present study, a broad spectrum of severe and chronic autistic symptoms appear to be environmentally based, apparently caused by chronic exposure to volatile organic compounds, and appear to be fully reversible in the proper environment" (Simak, 2003, Abstract).

MCS America suggests that parents take the time to learn about autism and research vaccination safety. There is too much coincidence in the increase of autism and other neurodevopmental disorders since the inception of vaccinations. These conditions were virtually unheard of before vaccines become commonplace. This is truly an epidemic situation. Autism is now known in every race, every income level, every education level, and both genders.

The new webpage located at:


Autism Society of America. Retrieved on April 8, 2007 from:

Bernard, S, Enayati, A, Binstock, Roger, H, Redwood, L, & McGinnis, W. Autism: A Unique Type of Mercury Poisoning. ARC Research. 2000.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved on April 8, 2007 from:

Slimak, K. 2003. Reduction of autistic traits following dietary intervention and elimination of exposure to environmental substances. In Proceedings of 2003 International Symposium on Indoor Air Quality and Health Hazards, National Institute of Environmental Health Science, USA, and Architectural Institute of Japan, January 8-11, 2003, Tokyo, Japan, 2:206-216.

Copyrighted © 2007 MCS America

May 2007 MCS America News: Book Sale

Three brand new and off-gassed copies of

Defining Chemical Sensitivity

by Bonnye L. Matthews. valued at $39.95 each

will be sold as part of our MCS Awareness month fundraiser and celebration!


Section One expertly reviews the research and treatment strategies on MCS. In Section Two the author examines the legal recourses available to MCS sufferers, including workers' compensation claims and product liability suits. Section Three discusses and demonstrates how medical opposition to MCS is common, yet unfounded. The editor, an MCS sufferer, details her own case in Section Four.

Bonnye L. Matthews lives in Wasilla, Alaska and developed chemical sensitivity from low-level toxic exposure. She is also the author of Chemical Sensitivity (1992).

$39.95 plus $4.05 shipping

To purchase go to:

Enter "" for the recipient.

Enter $44.00,

Select "goods" for the purchase type.

Put your mailing address in the notes section and proceed to checkout..

We will reply via email when the book is shipped.

If you have any questions, contact us at

All proceeds will go to support the mission of MCS America.

Copyrighted © 2007 MCS America

May 2007 MCS America News: Points to Ponder: A Parent's Worst Fear

In the good 'ol days we had nothing to fear but fear itself! When a child goes to school, most parents fear:





School shootings

Getting Involved with the wrong crowd

Drugs & Alcohol


However, in our fast paced enlightened age of technology and chemicals, parents worst fears are changing. Now we must worry that our child is sitting in a toxic classroom all day, many of which contain mold, fragrances, new carpeting, petroleum floor waxes, industrial strength cleaning chemicals, fragrance emitting devices, and chemical residues that have made teachers ill. And then there is the diesel school bus, full of many of the same toxicants that may cause chronic illness.

Growing up we rarely heard of asthma or autism. Now, they are very common and frightening realities we see in a disproportionately large amount of children. Clearly something is wrong and many parents blame the environment and consider autism and asthma environmentally induced illnesses. Indeed the facts and timing of the onset of these illnesses fit with increased vaccinations, strong cleaning chemicals, more synthetic fragrances than ever. Could it be that toxicants will be added to the list of guns, knives, bullies, and drugs in the face of this new crisis situation?

Copyrighted © 2007 MCS America

May 2007 MCS America News: Scientific Studies: Odor Processing in Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Researchers at the Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Occupational Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden just published a study in March entitled Odor processing in multiple chemical sensitivity (Hillert et al, 2007).

The researchers set out to determine whether subjects with MCS could have an increased odor-signal response in the odor-processing neuronal circuits. They used odor as the trigger and carried out positron emission tomography (PET) activation studies with various odors on 24 subjects consisting of 12 males and 12 females. The researchers were looking to see if there was a significant increase in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) during smelling of the respective odorant compared to smelling of odorless air. There was no change in the baseline rCBF.

It is interesting to note that the MCS subjects activated odor-processing brain regions less than controls while experiencing decreased respiratory frequency and amplitude and heart rate variations as recorded R wave intervals (RR) on a surface electrocardiogram.

MCS subjects did show an increase in activation of the anterior cingulate cortex (a part of the brain situated in the medial aspect of the cortex ) and cuneus-precuneus (a structure in the brain located in the parietal lobe) when subjected to the odors, indicating that the subjects with MCS processed odors differently. There were no signs of neuronal sensitization. These patterns were only present in response to odor signals leading researchers to hypothesize that the observed pattern of activation in MCS is a top-down regulation of odor-response via cingulate cortex.

Hillert L, Musabasic V, Berglund H, Ciumas C, Savic I. Odor processing in multiple chemical sensitivity. Hum Brain Mapp. 2007 Mar;28(3):172-82.

Copyrighted © 2007 MCS America

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