MCS America News, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2008.
It was a busy year of activism in the multiple chemical sensitivity
community. Much progress was made in the awareness arena. Let's review a
few things that happened this year:
January saw the kick off to the proclamations season, when activists around
America began thinking about requesting proclamations from governors and
mayors in across the country.
January was also the month a researcher, Staudenmayer, attempted to prove
that litigants with Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance are malingering and
MCS America published a rebuttal.
February was the month that MCS America Petition to the AMA, CDC, WHO, and
NIEHS was mailed. It was the work of many individuals, both professionals
and community members, who came together to write and edit.
February also saw genetic research by Schnakenberg et al showing that
subjects who report chemical sensitivity are more often slow acetylators and
harbor deleted GSTM1 and/or GSTT1 genes.
March was the month that Carolyn Cooper, RN published her article in the
American Journal of Nursing, which expressed that although the cause and
diagnosis of MCS remain controversial, she is urging nurses to heed MCS
patient concerns when hospitalized.
March brought the first of many wonderful press releases about MCS in the
Real Estate: Scents May Not Make Cents
Study Finds Cologne Causes Acute Neurotoxicity and Air Flow Reduction
Studies Show Genetic Variations in MCS
Studies Show Air Fresheners May be Harmful
MCS America Seeks Recognition for Environmental Illness
April saw the opening of MCS America's first Cafe Press MCS awareness logo
shop, which now houses eight shops, and four in progress, with various
awareness t-shirts and gift items. These items are provided at wholesale
cost. MCS America's mark-up is 0%. MCS America provides the artwork and
maintenance of the stores on a volunteer basis to further the awareness of
MCS and to support the mission of MCS America.
The month of April also brought research from Monnet-Tschudi et al
confirming that neurotoxicant chemicals cause inflammation and injury to the
central nervous system.
April began the monthly publication of articles about MCS in the mainstream
May was celebrated as MCS Awareness and Education Month and Toxic Injury
Awareness and Education Month in 34 states with 37 proclamations issued by
governors and mayors across America.
May also brought Christiane Tourtet's library awareness display.
May brought the addition of a database of MCS and related scientific studies
to the research and resources provided by MCS America, which now houses 40
full text studies and over 2,000 abstracts.
May also brought the long awaited release of a new book by Dr. Martin Pall,
PhD, "Explaining Unexplained Illnesses".
June brought a face lift to MCS America's website, with new bold colors,
larger fonts, and more user friendly navigation. It also brought the
finalization of moving all the state subsidiary websites to the MCS America
In July, the news media was flooded with stories about Susan McBride, who
filed a lawsuit against her employer in Detroit to ban fragrances and
cigarette smoke in the workplace.
August saw the meeting of the Chemical Injury Information Network (CIIN)
case definition committee. Results are still pending publication.
August was the month that MCS America's Ready to Go Activist Website was
launched, providing community members with pre-designed letters for various
purposes for their personal activism. Many times we want to write a letter
to an establishment, individual, or other entity to educate them and request
they change their practices. The hardest part used to be writing the
letter, and often it never happened because there was no time. The addition
of these samples letters, which can be customized and printed by individuals
who would otherwise not be able to send a letter, has increased personal
August also brought a study by Prockop, which showed that neurotoxic injury
is not treatable.
September brought the addition of "perfume kills" activist items in MCS
America's Cafe Press Shops.
September got our attention when Boyd and Genius, researchers, published the
staggering economic costs of environmental illness in Canada.
October saw the release of MCS America's Position Statement, a fine point in
time when MCS America finally declared it's position on the etiology
(causation) of multiple chemical sensitivity. It states in part,
"Therefore, it is essential that MCS be immediately and fully recognized in
America as an organic physiological disorder induced by toxic environmental
insults. Environmental toxicants and irritants from perfumes, smoke,
pesticides, industry, and building materials must be reduced or effectively
regulated through legislation and enforcement to prevent injury to all
citizens. Immediate accommodation with a safe environment for school, work,
and housing should be granted to MCS victims who are still capable of
working, while those permanently injured should receive disability benefits.
The Americans with Disabilities Act must be enforced, to provide the same
rights to MCS patients as other disabilities, with protection from abuse,
harassment, and discrimination. As new information is published regarding
MCS, it is crucial that it be communicated to the medical and public
communities. Accurate, objective information which is free from conflicts
of interests, ties to the chemical industry, and connections to the
pharmaceutical industry must be rigorously researched and widely
disseminated. Funding is immediately and direly needed for additional
investigation into the etiology, treatment, and prevention of this costly,
devastating, and disabling disorder.... Sufficient clear and present
evidence is currently available to show that MCS is real and disabling, and
to justify, indeed to demand, immediate action."
October also confirmed that household cleaning chemicals contribute to
soaring asthma rates when Henderson et al published their study.
In November a new service was launched by MCS America known as MCSA Feeds.
It is an email list server with the purpose of distributing daily news and
research studies on multiple chemical sensitivity, chemical injury,
environmental concerns, and other related environmental illnesses and
December brought another new service from MCS America known as MCSA Safer
Salvage and Share, a "safer" version of freecycle. The purpose of this
program is to find and recycle needed "safe" or "safer" items. All items are
exchanged for free. Shipping costs are arranged between donor and recipient.
Items may include gift certificates for food, shelter, medications, and
other basic needs.
It's been a busy and successful year! Best wishes for a healthy and
Copyrighted © 2008 MCS America