March 2018 Study Finds That One in Four Americans Suffer When Exposed to Common Chemicals

I get so excited when I find out about new studies! The medical nerd in me jumps up and down. Why all the excitement? Well, today I received an email from Dr. Anne Steinemann telling me about a new study that just came out on the prevalence of multiple chemical sensitivities in the United States. The study found that the prevalence of diagnosed MCS has increased over 300% in the past decade which is astonishing but expected given our excessive use of chemicals on a daily basis.

Research for this study was conducted by Anne Steinemann, Professor of Civil Engineering and Chair of Sustainable Cities from the University of Melbourne School of Engineering, and published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.  To view the study and related information please review the information below provided by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Source

“Multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) is a medical condition characterized by adverse health effects from exposure to common chemicals and pollutants, from products such as pesticides, new carpet, and paint, renovation materials, diesel exhaust, cleaning supplies, perfume, scented laundry products, and air fresheners.1,2
MCS can cause a range of acute, chronic, multiorgan, and disabling health effects, such as headaches, dizziness, cognitive impairment, breathing difficulties, heart palpitations, nausea, mucous membrane irritation, and asthma attacks.3 Individuals with MCS may not receive a diagnosis but nonetheless exhibit the condition of chemical sensitivity. Previous studies have found that MCS often co-occurs with asthma,4 as well as fragrance sensitivity,5 characterized by adverse health effects from exposure to fragranced consumer products.6
While MCS is perhaps the most common term, the condition is also known by other terms, such as chemical intolerance or environmental illness (specific to chemical exposures).3 ” Source

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), its co-occurrence with asthma and fragrance sensitivity, and effects from exposure to fragranced consumer products.

Methods: A nationally representative cross-sectional population-based sample of adult Americans (n = 1137) was surveyed in June 2016.

Results: Among the population, 12.8% report medically diagnosed MCS and 25.9% report chemical sensitivity. Of those with MCS, 86.2% experience health problems, such as migraine headaches, when exposed to fragranced consumer products; 71.0% are asthmatic; 70.3% cannot access places that use fragranced products such as air fresheners; and 60.7% lost workdays or a job in the past year due to fragranced products in the workplace.

Conclusion: Prevalence of diagnosed MCS has increased over 300%, and self-reported chemical sensitivity over 200%, in the past decade. Reducing exposure to fragranced products could help reduce adverse health and societal effects. Source 

Article on the Prevalence of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities in the US
Steinemann A 2018. National Prevalence and Effects of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Obtain a Copy of the Article

Check out the March 2018 Media Release about this study by clicking here. Below are a few important snippets from the media release:

1. “MCS is a serious and potentially disabling disease that is widespread and increasing in the US population,” Professor Steinemann said.

2. The study found that, when exposed to problematic sources, people with MCS experience a range of adverse health effects, from migraines and dizziness to breathing difficulties and heart problems. For 76 percent of people, the severity of effects can be disabling.

3. An estimated 22 million Americans with MCS have lost work days or a job in the past year due to illness from exposure to fragranced consumer products in the workplace. Source

Need to know what MCS is? Click here. 

Need to know about Hidden Chemicals in Everyday Personal Items and Cosmetics? Click here

Need to share Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about MCS with friends and loved ones? Click here

Check out these helpful tips when visiting someone who has chemical sensitivities, MCS or TILT (Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance)

4 thoughts on “March 2018 Study Finds That One in Four Americans Suffer When Exposed to Common Chemicals

  1. Thank you for this! While saddened at the results, I hope they are recognized and changes made to help pave the way to better health for all of us.

  2. Changes need to be implemented to stop the billion dollar toxic fragrance industry! These aren’t the same products we used in the 70s! (And those were already synthetic and would be offensive to us with MCS but nowhere near as today’s noxious garbage!) These are loaded with HIGHLY TOXIC synthetic chemicals (look up PHTHALATES, not to mention BPA!) whose minute atoms ATTACH themselves EVERYWHERE THEY WAFT! Someone visited me yesterday who wore fragrance. I wanted to throw her out because I said “oh you’re wearing perfume” and she starts denying it. WTF?? It reeked and when she left those atoms where attached everywhere. I had to douse my place in vinegar spray.

    People LIE! People play mind games when they know very well that body spray, cologne, EDT, after-shave, oils etc.. is the same as perfume! It’s fragranced, it’s PERFUME! And it’s synthetic-toxic. (Idiots also play mind-games on forums when they say “even water has chemicals/everything is a chemical”. These morons need to be schooled that “chemical” is abbreviation for “toxic synthetic man-made offensive allergenic/carcinogenic chemical”!)

    It’s time to LOBBY to have PHTHALATES, BPA & other highly allergenic/dangerous chemicals REMOVED from fragrances RIGHT AWAY!! Why does some idiot need to show up at work dressed like a hooker and with migraine-inducing perfumes that lasts 12 hrs!? What is going on with the perfume industry? When everything (computers, washing machines, fridges) these days are made to EXPIRE fast, why would they make perfumes that one toxic, nausea-inducing, noxious spritz lasts 12 hrs!? Surely, there’s some kind of agenda going on here, because they stand to profit more if it evaporates after 20 min, so they reapply more!! (Some forums mention “global depopulation” but then if you explore that, come to conclusions and pointed that out, they would use that to call you a nutcase.)

    CAN YOU PEOPLE START THE BALL ROLLING HERE, PLEASE?? WE NEED TO LOBBY FOR PHTHALATES, BPA & other toxic/allergenic/dangerous chemicals to be REMOVED FROM FRAGRANCES ASAP!!! This crap is even in laundry soap and fabric softeners etc! QUIT MANUFACTURING AND PROBLEM SOLVED. Right now people are individual polluting factories, spreading their stench wherever they walk. We are confined at home! This ain’t right!

    PS: did you know that the fragrance industry, since the 1990s, has altered classic perfumes compositions claiming that OAK MOSS couldn’t be used due to 0.00000000000001% of the population allergic to it!? That’s right. All French designer perfumes aren’t the same since the 1990s as they were in the 70s! But they made legal all these TOXIC CRAP CHEMICALS THAT 1 IN 4 PEOPLE ARE ALLERGIC TO! Where is common sense!??????????? Don’t tell me this is not designed to profit Big Pharma, doctors, hospitals, coroners, morticians etc! Since the 1990s tons of natural essential oils and plant extracts have been banned by the perfume industry (I forgot the acronym for it, starts with an I. Anybody knows?) And they made legal the toxic fumes that are in air/car “fresheners” (pollutants really!) and laundry soap, beauty products. Etc. The world has become unlivable for many of us. I hope all these manufacturers vomit their guts out and die of cancer! Sorry for the rant.

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