Chemical sensitivity: It's a 'bizarre existence'
POULSBO There are two things Joan Walz says people usually notice about her. The first is her bright red hair. The second: her purple gas mask.
Without the latter, she says, "it's hold your breath and run."
Walz suffers from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), sometimes referred to as Environmental Illness, which renders those in its grasp susceptible to the most basic of household and societal chemicals. Darting through parking lots to avoid car exhaust, eschewing cigarette smoke and skirting past the aromas of perfumes, dryer sheets and building materials, to name a few, is a part of what Walz describes as a "bizarre existence" for those with MCS.