Monday, May 31, 2010

Supporting Loved Ones with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome and Reducing Chemical Exposures

Seeking refuge from the many chemicals and toxins that threaten their health and well-being often forces people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome into isolation. A positive, supportive attitude can have a big impact on a friend or family member suffering with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome. Living with Environmental sensitivities can mean enduring rejection and life in quarantine. People suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome experience severe symptoms that interfere with their day-to-day activities, and so their goal is to reduce their chemical exposures.

For those suffering with Environmental sensitivities, finding a home that doesn’t make them sick can be overwhelming. Newer homes are built with materials that emit chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene, while air fresheners, plug-ins and a variety of toxic cleaning chemicals leave behind a toxic trail of over 400 airborne pollutants.

Older homes present other air quality problems like mold, lead, asbestos and radon. They also tend to have poor ventilation systems, so just imagine the chemical exposures. If finding a safe home presents such a unique set of challenges, how difficult must it be to venture into a world that is clueless about Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome and the dangers of chemical exposures?

In a world that glorifies the signature scent and equates cleanliness with the smell of pine, is it really necessary to question why an MCS sufferer finds his/her self in isolation? Central nervous system depressants and carcinogens are present in everyday products affecting indoor air quality in homes, schools and offices around the world.

People are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of chemicals and of how real chemical allergies really are. Once referred to as a “spurious disease,” the growing numbers of people suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome worldwide is sparking interest and support.

There are choices that we can make everyday to reduce chemical exposures and indoor air pollution. Firstly, we must begin by redefining the meaning of a clean home.

Help your loved one stay involved and active by following these simple rules.

  1. Put yourself in their shoes
  2. Find out which products your loved one can tolerate
  3. Try using dye and perfume free laundry detergent
  4. Try crystal stick deodorants
  5. Use an air purifier in your home

Avoid:

  1. Clothes washed with regular laundry detergent
  2. Wearing dry cleaned clothes
  3. Wearing clothes that have spent time next to items with any type of fragrance
  4. Wearing nail polish
  5. Wearing leather, suede, or any other material that requires protective sprays
  6. Anything that is scented (shampoo, hairspray, creams, perfumes, body sprays, etc.)
  7. Chewing gum, breath mints, etc.
  8. Cosmetics
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome is real. Chemical exposures can have a real impact on your health, eventually leading to environmental sensitivities and a life of discomfort. Showing compassion for a loved one with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome can even improve your quality of life, because it means reducing your chemical exposures. Seems worth it to me.

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