Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MCS: Housing accommodations for those with chemical sensitivities

Chemical sensitivity affects 16% of
the population: Experts
Chemical sensitivities are on the rise – and many organizations and individuals are taking notice.

In a recent presentation given at the NCIL Annual Meeting by Mary Lamielle with the title “Accommodating Consumers and Staff with Chemical Sensitivities,” the National Center for Environmental Health Strategies, Inc. pointed out different ways and policies to make those suffering from MCS more comfortable.

What is MCS?

People affected by multiple chemical sensitivities react to low levels of everyday chemical exposures, although individual tolerances vary.

The NCEHS estimates that 16 percent of the population may be affected by chemical sensitivities and that up to 6 percent are chronically ill and disabled due to their chemical sensitivity.

A lack of accessible and affordable housing that is healthy and non-toxic forces many people suffering from debilitating forms of MCS to live in tents or makeshift homes, or to suffer in their contaminated homes.

Better IAQ a must for MCS

The presentation stressed the importance of indoor air quality when it comes to chemical sensitivities, especially since 90 percent of Americans spend 95 percent of their time indoors – either at home, at work, in school or in the car.

Combine that fact with a growing number of indoor air pollution sources, a lack of fresh air as well as new or reformulated products and substances,  and it is no wonder that MCS is on the rise.

The Center’s recommendations included:
  • Integrated pest management (IPM) to avoid pesticide exposure
  • Electronic rather than gas appliances
  • Hardwood floors instead of carpeting
  • Windows that can be opened
  • Clean ductwork
  • Tolerable or less toxic construction and retrofitting materials
  • No smoking policy
  • No idling policy
  • Non-discrimination policy
  • Non-toxic cleaning products
  • No air fresheners or scented products
  • Notifying tenants of cleaning or renovation projects
  • Educating staff and tenants about chemical sensitivities

People affected by MCS may also want to use charcoal masks and activated carbon air filters, the presentation concluded.

Source: National Center for Environmental Health Strategies, Inc.

Charcoal air purifiers for MCS
Carbon (charcoal) filters can remove
airborne chemicals, gases and odors.

A HEPA filter alone is simply a dust collector – it is not designed to remove airborne chemicals and odors.

Chemical sensitivities require a deep-bed activated carbon or charcoal filter, which is the most efficient and trusted filtration media to remove chemicals and gases that may affect people’s health and well-being.

But not every charcoal filter is made alike.

AllerAir has developed air purifiers for people affected by MCS, which come with the following features and bonuses:

  • An MCS test kit to find the most tolerable carbon type or blend
  • Organic unbleached cotton pre-filter
  • A deep-bed activated carbon filter with many pounds of activated carbon
  • Super-HEPA particle filter that contains no glue, binders and Polyamide
  • Metal housing and metal carbon canisters to prevent off-gassing
  • Powder-coated finishes
  • Burnt-in motor to reduce the new motor smell
  • Positive and negative pressure configurations
  • HVAC-compatible components

Some of AllerAir’s most popular models for chemical sensitivities are the 5000 D MCS Supreme and the AirMedic D MCS.

Contact AllerAir for more information or to place your order.

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