Remember the whiff of “new car smell?” The tang of newly installed carpet? The biting scent of mothballs? For more and more people today, these odors no longer carry pleasurable associations. They are not scents, but saboteurs-literally poisons floating in the air.
For some people-especially those who are continually exposed, suffer an extreme exposure, or have other immune challenges chemicals provoke extreme fatigue, rashes, respiratory disturbances, impaired memory, and other debilitating symptoms. This syndrome is called multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), environmental illness, or idiopathic environmental intolerance (IDI).
People with these symptoms must limit their exposure to a wide variety of irritants, usually including cigarette smoke, omnipresent dyes and perfumes, and the glues, paints, sealers, adhesives, and finishers used in most conventional home construction and furnishings. Those with extreme symptoms may have to remodel, retrofit, or rebuild from scratch.
Check out the July/August 2000 issue of Natural Home for more about multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), including:
· Creating a Healthy Home
· Non-toxic Building Techniques