Monday, October 17, 2011

Chemical sensitivity lingers for 'San Antonio Seven'

More research into MCS and ES is needed,doctors warn
Environmental sensitivities are on the rise, experts say

A group of Southwest Airlines employees who got sick working at the airline’s San Antonio reservations center in the 1990s are still experiencing the health impact 18 years after the fact.

They say they developed a rash of symptoms they attributed to the building’s indoor air quality, including mold problems, pesticide use, bacteria in the air vents and more.

As the San Antonio Seven, they sued the airline, but lost their case.

Recently, they spoke out, drawing attention to the fact that multiple chemical sensitivities, or environmental sensitivities, are difficult to manage and once triggered, unlikely to ever go away completely.

The airtight design of the building and the serious case of black mold that was growing behind ceiling tiles, carpeting, insulation and in the HVAC system affected the workers health in a way that they started experiencing severe reactions to chemicals outside of the workplace.

MCS not well understood by the public and healthcare professionals

The condition is still not well understood, as there is no official definition accepted by the medical community.

Petrochemicals are a common ingredient
in most household products.
MCS can affect a multitude of areas in the body, including the nervous system, the endocrine system and the immune system.

The lack of research and experts on the topic and the multitude of possible symptoms often leads to misdiagnosis for patients, who may be unsure of what caused their ailments.

“People were overlooking the fact that this is a two-step mechanism. There’s this initial exposure event, the loss of tolerance, and then people start being triggered by things,” Dr. Claudia Miller, an allergist and immunologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center’s School of Medicine, told the Current in an in-depth article on the subject.

“They often don’t even realize the fragrances that are now triggering their symptoms are not the cause of their illness, necessarily. It may be pesticides in their home, it may be the sick building, their home or workplace.”

Low-level exposures affect everyone

According to Miller, people nowadays are exposed to petrochemical toxins in their environments – from VOCs in sick buildings that are outgassing from construction materials, adhesives, cleaning agents and other building features to the many pollutants that are lurking in their own homes.

Airtight construction often leads to higher concentrations of pollutants within their walls.

Read the entire article in the Current here.

AllerAir’s MCS Air Quality Program

Air cleaners for MCS with carbon
and Super-HEPA filters
AllerAir is committed to help people with MCS get relief, by offering information-based webinars, a library of related articles, an an air quality program that includes a carbon test kit, a custom-made air purifier with the most inert materials on the market to prevent off-gassing, additional information and consultations with an air quality expert and more.

The air purifiers for MCS from AllerAir feature a deep-bed activated carbon filter to remove a wide range of irritating and harmful odors, chemicals, gases, fumes and vapors from the ambient air, a Super-HEPA or micro-HEPA to remove 99% of particles at 0.1 microns, organic unbleached cotton pre-filters to capture larger particles and prolong filter life and a variety of other options designed to improve air quality.

Recommended MCS air purifiers include:

Contact AllerAir for more information.