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Below is the recapping of five “Remarks…”, archived in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD in October 1998 about Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and is comprehensive and of historical value:



The following text reflects five separate remarks by Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent of Vermont), addressing MCS in October 1998, and published in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD where all proceedings and debates of the U.S. Congress are archived.

The research done by his Staff is commendable.

scroll-pen-illustration-12231273Extensions of Remarks [Pages E1992-E1994]

From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


HON. BERNARD SANDERS of Vermont in the House of Representatives

Thursday, October 8, 1998

Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to discuss the issue of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity as it relates to both our civilian population and our Gulf war veterans.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or MCS is a chronic condition marked by heightened sensitivity to multiple different chemicals and other irritants at or below previously tolerated levels of exposure.  Sensitivity to odors is often accompanied by food and drug intolerance, sensitivity to sunlight and other sensory abnormalities, such as hypersensitivity to touch, [[Page E1993]] heat and-or cold, and loud noises. MCS is often accompanied by impaired balance, memory and concentration.

As a member of the Human Resources Subcommittee, which has oversight jurisdiction for the Veterans’ Affairs, I have been involved in the issue of Gulf war illness and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. I have been concerned for many years about the role that chemicals may be playing on human health, not only in Gulf war veterans and their families, but in civilian society as well. I have talked to many people who are suffering symptoms not dissimilar from the symptoms that our Persian Gulf veterans are experiencing because of chemicals in their homes or workplaces.

As has been well-documented, the military theater in the Persian Gulf was a chemical cesspool. Our troops were exposed to chemical warfare agents, leaded petroleum, widespread use of pesticides, depleted uranium and burning oil wells. In addition, they were given a myriad of pharmaceuticals as vaccines. Further, and perhaps most importantly, as a result of a waiver from the FDA, hundreds of thousands of troops were given pyridostigmine bromide. Pyridostigmine bromide, which was being used as an anti-nerve agent, had never been used in this capacity before. In the midst of all this, our troops were living in a hot, unpleasant climate and were under very great stress.

The Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs have downplayed the presence of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity in Gulf war veterans. In the very beginning, the Defense Department and Veterans’ Affairs actually denied that there was any problem whatsoever with our veterans’ health. Then, after finally acknowledging that there was a problem, they concluded that the problem was in the heads of our soldiers–of psychological origin. The DOD and the VA responded very poorly to our veterans’ concerns. Tragically, our veterans were discounted. They were called malingerers.

Ever so slowly, the truth about chemical exposure in the Persian Gulf has begun to surface. On July 24, 1997, the Defense Department and the Central Intelligence Agency gave us their best estimate–that as many as 98,910 American troops could have been exposed to chemical warfare agents due to destruction of “the Pit” in Khamisiyah, an Iraqi munitions facility.

Not waiting for the DOD and VA, many other Federal, State, and local government agencies have recognized the existence of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. I want to submit for the Record the latest “Recognition of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity” newsletter which lists the U.S. Federal, State, and local government authorities, U.S. Federal and State courts, U.S. workers’ compensation boards, and independent organizations that have adopted policies, made statements, and-or published documents recognizing Multiple Chemical Sensitivity disorders.

Recognition of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or MCS is a chronic condition marked by heightened sensitivity to multiple different chemicals and other irritants at or below previously      tolerated levels of exposure. Sensitivity to odors is often accompanied by food and drug intolerances, photosensitivity to sunlight and other sensory abnormalities, such as      hypersensitivity to touch, heat and/or cold, and loud noises and impaired balance, memory and concentration. MCS is more common in women and can start at any age, but usually begins in one’s 20’s to 40’s. Onset may be sudden (from a brief high-level toxic exposures) or gradual (from chronic low-level exposures), as in “sick buildings.” The syndrome is      defined by multiple symptoms occuring in multiple organ systems (most commonly the neurological, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and musculoskeletal) in response to multiple      different exposures. Symptoms may include chronic fatigue, aching joints and muscles, irritable bowel, difficulty sleeping and concentrating, memory loss, migraines, and     irritated eyes, nose, ears, throat and/or skin. Symptoms usually begin after a chronic or acute exposure to one or more toxic chemical(s), after when they “spread” to other      exposures involving unrelated chemicals and other irritants from a great variety of sources (air pollutants, food additives, fuels, building materials, scented products, etc.). Consistent with basic principles of toxicology, MCS usually can be improved, although not completely cured,      through the reduction and environmental control of such      exposures. Many different terms have been proposed in medical literature since 1869 to describe MCS syndrome and possibly related disorders whose symptoms also wax and wane in      response to chemical exposures.

Alternate Names Proposed for MCS

Acquired Intolerance to Solvents, Allergic Toxemia, Cerebral Allergy, Chemical Hypersensitivity Syndrome, Chemical-Induced Immune Dysfunction, Ecological Illness,      Environmental Illness or “EI,” Environmental Irritant Syndrome, Environmentally Induced Illness, Environmental Hypersensitivity Disorder, Idiopathic Environmental     Intolerances or “IEI,” Immune System Dysregulation, Multiple Chemical Hypersensitivity Syndrome, Multiple Chemical Reactivity, Total Allergy Syndrome, Toxic Carpet      Syndrome, Toxin Induced Loss of Tolerance of “TILT,” Toxic Response Syndrome, 20th Century Disease.

Disorders Associated With Single or Multi-Organ Chemical Sensitivity

Akureyri Disease (coded as EN), Asthma, Cacosmia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Disorders of Porphyrin Metabolism, [Benign Myalgic] Encephalomyelitis, Epidemic Neuromyastenia (EN), Fibromyalgia Syndrome, Gulf War Syndrome, Icelandic Disease (coded as EN), Mastocytosis, Migraine, Neurasthenia, Royal Free [Hospital] Disease, Sick Building Syndrome, Silicone Adjutant Disease, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Toxic    Encephalopathy.

Listed alphabetically below are the U.S. Federal, State,  and local government authorities, U.S. Federal and State courts, U.S. workers’ compensation boards, and independent      organizations that have adopted policies, made statement, and/or published documents recognizing MCS disorders under one name or another as a ligitimate medical condition and/or disability. An introductory section summarizes recognition or MCS in peer-reviewed medical literature, and the last section lists upcoming MCS conferences as well as past conferences sponsored by Federal Government agencies.

The exact meaning of “recognition” varies with the context as each listing makes clear. Recognition by a court of law, for example, usually refers to a verdict or appeal in favor of an MCS plaintiff, while recognition by government agencies varies tremendously–from acknowledgement of the condition in publications and policies to research funding and legal protection of disability rights.

Recognition of MCS by 25 Federal Authorities

U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry in a unanimously adopted recommendation of the ATSDR’s Board of Scientific Counselors, which calls on the ATSDR to “take a leadership role in the investigation of MCS” [1992, 24 pages, R-1]. To coordinate interagency research into MCS, the ATSDR co-chairs the Federal Work Group on Chemical   Sensitivity, which it convened for the first time in 1994 (see below). The ATSDR has helped organize and pay for three national medical conferences on MCS: sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences in 1991, the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics in 1991, and the ATSDR in 1994. The combined proceedings of these three conferences are reprinted in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, A Scientific Overview, ed. Frank Mitchell,      Princeton NJ: Princeton Scientific Publishing, 1995 (609-683-4750 to order). ATSDR also contributed funding to a study conducted by the California Department of Health      Services to develop a protocol for detecting MCS outbreaks in toxic-exposed communities via questionnaires and diagnostic tests (see entry below on California Department      of Health Services). Officially, however, ATSDR has not “established a formal position regarding this syndrome” [1995, 1 page, R-2].

U.S. Army, Medical Evaluation Board on US Army Form 3947 (from the U.S. Army Surgeon General), Army Medical Evaluation Board certified a diagnosis of “Multiple Chemical      Sensitivities Syndrome” for a Persian Gulf veteran on 14 April 1993 [1 page, R-3]. MCS is defined on this form as  “manifested by headache, shortness of breath, congestion, rhinorrhea, transient rash, and incoordination associated with exposure to a variety of chemicals.” The Board’s report further recognizes that this patient’s particular MCS condition began approximately in April 1991 (while the patient was serving in the Gulf and entitled to base pay), that the condition did not exist prior to service, and that it has been permanently aggravated by service. At least five other active duty Persian Gulf veterans have been diagnosed by the Army with MCS, as reported by the Persian Gulf      Veterans coordinating Board in “Summary of the Issues Impacting Upon the Health of Persian Gulf Veterans,” [3 March 1994, 4 page excerpt, R-4]. The Army Medical Department also has requested funding for a research facility to study MCS (reported in an Army information paper on “Post Persian Gulf War Health Issues,” 16 November 1993).

U.S. Congress in a VA/HUD Appropriations Bill for FY1993 signed by President Bush in 1992 appropriating “$250,000 from Superfund funds for chemical sensitivity workshops.”      These funds were used by the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (see above) to co-sponsor scientific meetings on MCS with various other organizations [1992, 3   page excerpt, R-5] and support an MCS study (see California State Department of Health Services below). For FY 1998, Vermont Congressman Bernard Sanders proposed and Congress appropriated $800,000 to start a new 5-year civilian agency research program into MCS among Gulf War veterans. Congress also requested that the administration report back by January 1998 on how it planned to spend the funds (text of appropriations is quoted in report; see below: U.S. Department of Health Services, Agency for Health Care Policy    and Research).

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, American Lung Association, and American Medical Association (jointly) in a jointly published booklet entitled Indoor Air Pollution [[Page E1994]] An Introduction for Health Professional [US GPO 1994-523-217/81322] under the heading “What is `multiple chemical sensitivity’ or `total allergy’?, these organizations state that “The current consensus is that in cases of claimed or suspected MCS complaints should not be dismissed as psychogenic, and a thorough workup is essential.” The booklet is prefaced by the claim that “Information provided in this booklet is based upon current scientific and technical understanding of the issues presented . . .“ [1994, 3 page excerpt, R-6]

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service in its Final Environmental Impact Statement on “Gypsy Moth Management in the United States: a cooperative approach”, people with MCS are mentioned as a “potential high risk group” who should be given advance notification of insecticide treatment projects via “organizations, groups and      agencies that consist of or work with people who are chemically sensitive or immuno-compromised.” MCS also is discussed in an appendix on Human Health Risk Assessment     (Appendix F, Volume III of V) under both “Harzard Identification” and “Groups at Special Risk” [1995, 11 page excerpt and 1 page cover letter from John Hazel, the USDA’s EIS Team Leader, to Dr. Grace Ziem of MCS Referral & Resources, R-130].

U.S. Department of Education in the enforcement by its Office of Civil Rights of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which requires accommodation of persons with “MCS Syndrome” via modification of their educational environment, as evidenced by several  `agency letters of finding” (including San Diego (Calif) Unified School District, 1 National Disability Law Reporter, para. 61, p. 311, 24 May 1990; Montville (Conn.) Board of Education, 1 National Disability Law Reporter, para. 123, p. 515, 6 July 1990; and four letters (along with an individualized environment management program) in the case of the Arminger     children of Baltimore County, MD [in 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994; 20 pages total, R-7]. These accommodations also are required under the terms of Public Law 94-142, now known as      the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (34 CFR Part 300). The Department of Education as a whole, however, has no formal policy or position statement on the accommodation of students with MCS.

U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in being the lead sponsor of the 11th Annual Life Sciences Symposium on “Indoor Air and Human Health Revisited.” This    1994 conference was co-sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency and Martin Marietta Energy Systems’ Hazardous Waste Remedial Action Program. The proceedings are   published in Indoor Air and Human Health (Gammage RB and Berven BA, editors, Boca Raton FL: CRC Lewis Publishers, 1996) and contain several peer-reviewed papers of critical relevance to MCS by DoE, EPA and other federally funded researchers. (4 page excerpt with table of contents, R-175)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Agency for Health Care Policy and Research in a “Report to Congress on Research on Multiple Chemical Exposures and Veterans with Gulf War Illnesses” by agency administrator Dr. John Eisenberg (who is also the acting Assistant Secretary for Health). Dr. Eisenberg proposes spending $300,000 in 1998 for a “consensus building” and research planning conference, $400,000 for research into the health effects of chemical mixtures, and $100,000 for an Interagency Coordinator in the Office of Public Health and Science [January 1998, 7 pages including MCS R press release, R-168]. Congress requested the report in 1998, as part of an $800,000  appropriation for a new civilian research into MCS (see U.S. Congress, above).

U.S. Dept. of HHS, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders in the funding of MCS-related olfactory research by its Chemical Senses Branch since NIDCD’s creation in 1988; including $29,583,000 in fiscal year 1998. The Chemical Senses Branch supports both basic and applied research, with most of its funds going to just five “chemosensory research centers”: the Connecticut Chemosensory Clinical Research Center (860-679-2459), Monell Chemical Senses Center (215-898-6666), Rocky Mountain Taste and Smell Center (303-315-5650), State University of New York Clinical Olfactory Research Center (315-464-5588), and University of Pennsylvania Smell and Taste Center (215-662-6580). Free information is available from NIDCD Information Clearinghouse, 800-241-1044.

U.S. Dept. of HHS, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in “Issues and Challenges in Environmental Health,” a publication about the work of NIEHS, research      priorities are proposed for “hypersensitivity diseases resulting from allergic reactions to environmental substances” [NIH 87-861, 1987, 45 pages, R–8]. It is not clear from the context if this statement was meant to include or exclude MCS, since the condition was still thought by some at the time to be an allergic-type reaction. In 1992, the director Dr. Bernadine Healy responded in detail to an inquiry from Congressman Pete Stark about the scope of NIEHS research into MCS: “It is hoped that research conducted at NIEHS will lead to methods to identify individuals who may be predisposed to chemical hypersensitivities. . . . NIH research is directed toward the understanding of the effect of chemical sensitivities on multiple parts of the body, including the immune system.” [1992, 3 pages, R-9]. In 1996, director Dr. Kenneth Olden wrote US Senator Bob Graham that “NIEHS has provided research support to study MCS. . . .NIEHS has also supported a number of workshops and meetings on the subject.” [15 April 1996, 2 pages, R-101]. Dr. Olden also states that  `Pesticides and solvents are the two major classes of chemicals most frequently reported by patients reporting low level sensitivities as having initiated their problems.”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Library of Medicine . . . in the 1995 Medical Subject Headings (MESH) codes used to catalog all medical references,     which started using Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (and its variations) as a subject heading for all publications indexed after October 1994 [3 pages excerpt, R-10].

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) . . . in the final report by the Regional Director (of Region VI) regarding OCR’s investigation of an ADA-related discrimination complaint filed by a patient with MCS against the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for failing to accommodate her disability and thereby     forcing her to go elsewhere for surgery. Prior to completion of the investigation and the issuance of any formal “findings,” the OCR accepted a proposal from the Univ. of Texas to resolve this complaint by creating a joint subcommittee of the cancer center’s Safety and Risk Management committees. This subcommittee’s three tasks (as approved by the OCR) are to “identify a rapid response mechanism which could be triggered by any patient registering a complaint or presenting a special need which is environment related; develop a `protocol’ outlining steps to be taken to resolve environmental complaints by patients . . . ; and inform the medical staff through its newsletter of the mechanism and the protocol so  that they will better understand how to address such questions or concerns.” The OCR has placed the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center “in monitoring” pending completion and documentation of these changes, but it may initiate further investigation if M.D.     Anderson fails to complete this process within the 13 months allowed. [27 March 1996, 11 pages, R-99]

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration . . . in enforcement of the Social Security Disability Act (see Recognition of MCS by Federal     Courts, below), and in the SSA’s Program Operations Manual System (POMS), which includes a section on the “Medical Evaluation of Specific Issues–Environmental Illness”    stating that “evaluation should be made on an individual case by case basis to determine if the impairment prevents substantial gainful activity” [SSA publication 68-0424500,      Part 04, Chapter 245, Section 24515.065, transmittal #12, 1998, 1 page excerpt, R-11].

In 1997, the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts required Acting SSA Commissioner John      Callahan to spell out the agency’s position on MCS in a formal memo to the court (31 October 1997, 2 pages, R-164;  see Creamer v. Callahan below, under Recognition of MCS by US Federal Court Decisions). With this memo, SSA now officially recognizes MCS “as a medically determinable impairment” on an agency wide basis. MCS is also recognized in several “fully favorable” decisions of the SSA’s Office of Hearing and Appeals: in case #538-48-7517, in which the administrative law judge, David J. Delaittre, ruled that      “the claimant has an anxiety disorder and multiple chemical sensitivity,” with the latter based in part on the fact that `objective [qEEG] evidence showed abnormal brain function when exposed to chemicals” [1995, 7 pages, R-12]; in case #264-65-5308, in which the administrative law judge, Martha Lanphear, ruled that the claimant suffered severe reactive airways disease secondary to chemical sensitivity and that this impairment prevented her from performing more than a limited range of light work [1996, 8 pages, R-120]; in case #239-54-6581, in which the administrative law judge, D. Kevin Dugan, ruled that the claimant suffered severe impairments as a result of pesticide poisoning, including “marked sensitivity to airborne chemicals,” which prevent her from “performing any substantial gainful activity on a sustained basis [1996, 4 pages, R-135]; in case #024-40-2499, in which the administrative law judge, Lynette Diehl Lang, recognized that the claimant suffered from severe MCS and could not tolerate chemical fumes at work (as a result of overexposure to formaldehyde in a state office building), as a result of which he was awarded both disability benefits and supplemental security income [1995, 8 pages, R-140]; in case #184-34-4849, in which administrative law judge Robert Sears ruled that the claimant suffered from “extreme environmental sensitivities,” and particularly “severe intolerance to any amount of exposure to pulmonary irritants” [11 June 1996, 7 pages, R-156]; and in case #256-98-4768, in which the administrative law judge, Frank Armstrong, classified the claimant’s “dysautonomia triggered by multiple chemical sensitivities” as severe and said it “prevents the claimant from engaging in substantial gainful activity on a sustained basis” [18 March 1997, 8 pages, R-157].


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Exscroll-pen-illustration-12231273tensions of Remarks of October 9, 1998 on MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY: https://www.congress.gov/crec/1998/10/09/CREC-1998-10-09-pt1-PgE1992-4.pdf



scroll-pen-illustration-12231273[Extensions of Remarks][Pages E2151-E2153] from the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY                           

HON. BERNARD SANDERS of Vermont in the House of Representatives

Tuesday, October 13, 1998

Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to discuss the issue of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity as it relates to both our civilian population and our Gulf War veterans. I continue the submission for the Record the latest “Recognition of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity” newsletter which lists the U.S. federal, state and local government authorities, U.S. federal and state courts, U.S. workers’ compensation boards, and independent organizations that have adopted policies, made statements, and/or published documents recognizing Multiple Chemical Sensitivity disorders for the benefit of my colleagues.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development    In a letter from HUD Assistant Secretary Timothy Coyle to Senator Frank Lautenberg, confirming HUD recognition of “MCS as a disability entitling those with chemical sensitivities  to reasonable accommodation under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973” and also “under Title VIII of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988” [26 October 1990, 2 pages, R-13]. This was followed by a formal guidance  memorandum from HUD Deputy General Counsel G.L. Weidenfeller to all regional counsel, detailing HUD’s position that MCS and environmental illness “can be handicaps” within the meaning of section 802(h) of the Fair Housing Act and its implementing regulations [1992, 20 pages, R-14]. Also recognized in a HUD Section 811 grant of $837,000 to develop an EI/MCS-accessible housing complex known as “Ecology House” in San Rafael, CA, consisting of eleven one-bedroom  apartments in a two-story complex. This grant was pledged in 1991 and paid in 1993. [2 pages, R-15] (See also Recognition of MCS by Federal Courts, Fair Housing Act, below.)

U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service    In response to a disability rights complaint filed against the Baltimore County Parks and Recreation Department (BCPRD) by Marian Arminger on behalf of her three children, which the National Park Service (NPS) accepted for review pursuant to both Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of   the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Acting Equal Opportunity Program Manager of the NPS ruled that “the BCPRD must accept the determination of disability by the Baltimore     County Public Schools [BCPS, see US Department of Education, above] regarding the children and their disability of MCSS [MCS Syndrome]. This will eliminate possible retaliation with a different conclusion by the same public entity.” [Case #P4217(2652), 1996, 4 pages, R-102]. The NPS further ruled that “With the determination that these children are individuals with a disability (MCSS), it is necessary to make reasonable modifications to program facilities. It appears that discontinuing, temporarily or permanently, the use of outside or inside pesticide application and toxic cleaning   chemicals is the basic reasonable modification necessary in this case. . . . Therefore, we believe that steps should be taken by the BCPRD to provide the necessary communication     with other affected agencies such as the BCPS and develop, in consultation with the parents and others deemed appropriate, a plan for the reasonable modification of the program     environment for these children.”

U.S. Department of Justice   In its enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, under the terms of which MCS may be considered as a  disability on a case-by-case basis, depending–as with most other medical conditions–on whether the impairment   substantially limits one or more major life activities. The Office of the Attorney General specifically cites “environmental illness (also known as multiple chemical sensitivity)” in its Final Rules on “Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services” (28 CFR 35) and “Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities” (28 CFR 36), as published in the Federal Register, Vol. 56, No. 144, pages 35699 and 35549 respectively [26 July 1991, 2 pages, R-16]. “Environmental illness,” also is discussed in the ADA Handbook, EEOC-BK-19, 1991, p. III-21 [14 page excerpt, R-17], jointly published by the Department and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The ADA Handbook describes environmental illness as “sensitivity to environmental elements” and, although it “declines to state categorically that these types of allergies or sensitivities are disabilities,” it specifically asserts that they may be:  “Sometimes respiratory or neurological functioning is so severely affected that an individual will satisfy the requirements to be disabled under the regulations. Such an individual would be entitled to all the protections afforded by the Act.”

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs    In recognizing MCS as a medical diagnosis (although not as a “disability”) in the case of at least one Persian Gulf  War veteran [Gary Zuspann, October 1992, 3 pages, R-18]. [[Page E2152]].  It is impossible to know exactly how many other Persian Gulf veterans may have been diagnosed with MCS as the diagnostic data recorded in the VA’s Persian Gulf Registry are based on the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9CM), which does not yet include a specific code for MCS.

In June 1997, VA released its “Environmental Hazards Research Centers’  Annual Reports for 1996.” These included preliminary data  from the New Jersey EHRC showing that, of the 1161 veterans randomly selected from the VA’s Persian Gulf Registry (living in NJ, NY, CT, MA, MD, DE, IL, VA, OH or NC) who completed  the center’s questionnaire, 12.5% “endorsed symptoms compatible with a conservative definition of MCS” [1997, 5 page excerpt, R-144]. When the NJ EHRC published its first report on this study, however, in an abstract entitled `Preliminary prevalance data on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity,” it said 26% of 104 veterans randomly selected from the VA Register “were especially  sensitive to certain chemicals, and 4% reported that this sensitivity produced at least 3 of 4 lifestyle changes . . .suggesting that something about serving in the Gulf substantially increased the risk of developing CFS and MCS” [1996, Journal of CFS, 2(2/3): 136-137; R-177]

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pollution, Prevention and Toxins, Health Effects Division, Occupational and Residential Exposure Branch, Special Review and Registration Section  In a peer-reviewed memorandum entitled “Review of Chlorpyrifos Poisoning Data” from EPA’s Jerome Blondell,  PhD, MPH, and Virginia Dobozy, VMD, MPH, to Linda Propst, Section Head, Reregistration Branch. The memo discusses data from several sources on acute and chronic health effects, including MCS, associated with exposure to Dursban and other chlorpyrifos-containing pesticides, and recommends many changes (subsequently agreed to by DowElanco, the manufacturer) in the use and marketing of these products, including the phase out of all indoor sprays and foggers, consumer concentrates, and all pet care products except flea collars. Most significantly, the memo documents that of 101 cases of unambiguous chlorpyrifos poisoning reportedly directly to EPA in 1995, 38 had chronic neurobehavioral  effects (including 4 who also had peripheral neuropathy),  while 50 “reported symptoms consistent with multiple chemical sensitivity” [1977, 70 pages, R-145].

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Radiation & Indoor Air, Indoor Air Division   In its August 1989 Report to Congress on Indoor Air  Quality, entitled Assessment and Control of Indoor Air Pollution (EPA/400/1-89/001C), the Environmental Protection     Agency’s Indoor Air Division describes MCS as “a subject of considerable intra professional disagreement and concern (Cullen, 1987). While no widely accepted test of physiologic function has been shown to correlate with the symptoms, the sheer mass of anecdotal data is cause of concern.” [14 page excerpt from Vol. 2, R-19]. In 1991, the Indoor Air Division asked the National Research Council to sponsor a scientific workshop on “Multiple Chemical Hypersensitivity Syndrome” the proceedings of which are published in Multiple Chemical Sensitivities: Addendum to Biologic Markers in  Immunotoxicology [National Academy Press, 1992].

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research & Development Describes “chemical sensitivity” as an “ill-defined condition marked by progressively more debilitating severe reactions to various consumer products such as perfumes, soaps, tobacco smoke, plastics, etc.” in The Total Exposure Assessment Methodology (TEAM) Study, Summary and Analysis:  Volume 1, by L. Wallace, Project Officer, Environmental     Monitoring Systems Division, EPA Office of Research and Development [1987, 2 page excerpt, R-20].

The Office of  Research and Development (ORD)  ORD began conducting human subjects chamber research at its Health Effects Research  Branch in Chapel Hill (NC) in 1992 to identify possible diagnostic markers of MCS.  (See also joint entry under U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, above.)  In the justification for its fiscal year 1998 budget, ORD devotes one paragraph to MCS in the section on Air Toxins, saying that it plans to release “information comparing individuals who identify themselves as belonging to a particular subgroup (multiple chemical sensitivity) against established norms for a variety of health-related endpoints,” and will make “recommendations for follow up to evaluate the potential relationship between the signs/symptoms reported by these individuals and objective/quantitative health endpoints”  [1997, 3 page excerpt, R-160].

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission    In the ADA Handbook EEOC-BK-19 [1991], 14 page excerpt, R-17], jointly published by the EEOC and the Department of     Justice (see above) and in a Determination Letter signed by Issie L. Jenkins, the director of the Baltimore District  Office, recognizing MCS as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act requiring workplace accommodation, consisting in this case of a private office with an air filter, Mary Helinski v. Bell Atlantic, No. 120 93 0152, 17 May 1994 [2 pages, R-22].

Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology, Subcommittee on Risk Assessment, Working Party on Neurotoxicology    In its Final Report: Principles of Neurotoxicology Risk  Assessment, published in the Federal Register by the US EPA’s     Office of Health Research [17 August 1994, 45 pages for entire report, R-161, or 3 page excerpt, R-162], which says in Section 2.5.1 on “Susceptible Populations” that:   “Although controversial [Waddell 1993], recent evidence suggests that there may be a subpopulation of people who have become sensitive to chemicals and experience adverse     reactions to low-level exposures to environmental chemicals [Bell et al 1992].” The report is “the result of the combined efforts of 13 Federal agencies comprising the ad hoc     Interagency Committee on Neurotoxicology,” including ATSDR, the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Center for Biologies Evaluation and Research, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Dept of Agriculture, Dept. of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for Toxicological Research, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, and the National Toxicology Program.

Federal Interagency Workgroup on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity  Formed in 1994 to review and coordinate the role of federal agencies involved in research on multiple chemical   sensitivity [1 page agenda from 9/14/94 meeting, R-91].  The Work Group is so-chaired by Dr. Barry Johnson, Assistant Surgeon General and Assistant Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and Dr. Richard Jackson, Director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Other agencies represented include the Departments of Energy, Defense, and Veterans’ Affairs, the Environmental Protection Agency and two other institutes within the Department of  Health and Human Services: the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Draft report is expected to be released by ATSDR in September 1998 for a 60-day public comment period.

National Council on Disability (an independent federal agency)   In ADA Watch–Year One, its “Report to the President and Congress on Progress in Implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act,” which recommends that Congress and the Administration “should consider legislation to address the needs of people with “emerging disabilities,” such as those. . . “with environmental illness who are severely adversely affected by secondary smoke or other pollutants in public places” [5 April 1993, 8 pages, R-23].

President’s Committee on Employment of People With Disabilities  In its report to the President, entitled “Operation People  First: Toward a National Disability Policy,” which recommends that the federal government “develop, refine and better communicate methods of `reasonable accommodation,’ in particular, the accommodation needs of people with . .. chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple chemical sensitivity” [1994, 5 pages, R-24]

Canada [Au?]  Encouraging the Deputy Ministers of  Housing, Health Community and Social Services “to begin a consultative process and help to establish some guidelines” spelling out exactly what services and benefits are available to provincial residents with MCS, including possible admission to treatment facilities in the United States [27 October 1989, 2 page letter and 2 pages of press coverage  from the Globe & Mail, R-158].

Recognition of MCS by 28 U.S. State Authorities   

Arizona Technology Access Program, Institute for Human development, Northern Arizona University   In a report written for the general public entitled Topics: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity with sections on What is MCS,  Symptoms of MCS, People Diagnosed with MCS, What Can Cause MCS, Treatments, MCS and the Medical Community, MCS is Now     Recognized as a Disability, Accommodating Individuals with MCS in the Workplace, MCS is Preventable, and a list  organizations and government agencies to contract for Help and Information. Funding for this document was provided by the US Dept of Education National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), grant #H224A40002, but a   disclaimer notes that the content does not necessarily reflect the views of the US government [October 1996,  11pages, R-129].    

Arizona Department of Economic Security, Rehabilitation Services Administration, and Statewide Independent Living Council   In RSA’s Interim Fiscal Year 1995 State Plan for     Independent Living, specifying that “Services Related to Housing” include “modifications to accommodate people with  EI/MCS” [Attachment 12, 1 October 1994, 7 pages, R-31] and in an administrative review decisions issued 22 June 1992 in the case of a vocational rehabilitation client determined to be “severely disabled” by “environmental illness, allergies.” In addition, training on MCS was presented to both Vocational Rehabilitation and ILRS counselors at the 1994 state staff conference. [[Page E2153]]

Attorney General of California   In the final report of the Attorney General’s Commission on Disability, recognizing environmental illness as a disabling condition [1989, 8 page excerpt, R-33].                      

Attorneys General of New York    Backed by 25 other Attorneys General from AL, AZ, CT, FL, IA, KS, MA, MN, MO, ND, NJ, NM, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WI, WV.)     In a thoroughly documented petition to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, requesting the issuance of safety standards and warning labels governing the sale of carpets,  carpet adhesives and paddings suspected of causing MCS and other illness [1991, 1 page excerpt, R-32a, 350 pages total].    

California Department of Health Services, Environmental Health Investigations Branch        In its extensive final report on “Evaluating Individuals Reporting Sensitivities To Multiple Chemicals,” funded by the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry under Cooperative Agreement No. U61/ATU999794-01 [September 1995, 6 page excerpt including abstract, advisory panel  members, and table of contents, R-34]. A cover letter sent by the EHIB to the project’s Advisory Panel members notes the extraordinary preliminary results obtained from an annual survey of random Californians to which questions about MCS   were added for the first time in 1995. Of the first 2,000 people surveyed, 16% reported suffering from MCS symptoms while 7% (“certainly far higher than any of us may have   expected”) claim they have been diagnosed with MCS by a physician. [3 October 1995, 2 pages, R-100]. Citing personal communication with Dr. R. Kreutzer, the acting chief of the   EHIB (also confirmed with Dr. Kreutzer by MCS R), Dr. Ann McCampbell reported the study’s final results in a letter to the editor published by Psychosomatics (38(3): 300-301, May-June 1997): of 4,000 people surveyed, 15.9% reported chemical sensitivity and 6.3% said they had been given the diagnosis of MCS by a physician [1997, 1 page, R-141].                       

California Energy Commission    In its report on California’s Energy Efficiency Standards and Indoor Air Quality (#P400-94-003), which says of MCS that “Its increasing incidence is suggested as accompanying the increasingly wide-spread use of products manufactured with potentially toxic chemical constituents.  Available information points to this condition as an acquired disorder usually resulting from prior sensitization to chemicals in the environment” [1994, 2 page excerpt, R-35].    

California Legislature, Senate Subcommittee on the Rights of the  Disabled   In its final report on Access for People with Environmental Illness/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Other Related Conditions, chaired by Senator Milton Marks, that summarizes four years of investigations by the subcommittee, [30 September 1996, 26 pages, R-109]. The report addresses common barriers to access in public buildings, transportation, institutions, employment, housing, and present detailed suggested solutions, both those required under law and others recommended. It covers the work of the subcommittee, its outside Advisory Panel, and its MCS Task Forces (on Building Standards and Construction, Environmental Illness, Industry, Medicine and Health).                        

Florida State Legislature   In legislation that created a voluntary Pesticide Notification Registry for persons with pesticide sensitivity or chemical hypersensitivity, as long as their medical condition is certified by a physician specializing in occupational medicine, allergy/immunology or toxicology [Florida Statute 482.2265(3)(c), 1989, 7 pages, R-38]. The legislation requires lawn-care companies to alert registry members 24 hours in advance of applying chemicals within a half-mile of their home. Note that pesticide sensitivity registries also have been adopted in CO, CT, LA, MD, MI, NJ, PA, WA [1992, 6 pages, R-149], WV and WI, but these do not refer specifically (by any name) to MCS-type illness, and   most require notification only of adjacent properties.       


scroll-pen-illustration-12231273[Extensions of Remarks][Pages E2187-E2189]

From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


HON. BERNARD SANDERS of Vermont in the House of Representatives

Thursday, October 15, 1998

Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to discuss the issue of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity as it relates to both our civilian population and our Gulf War veterans. I continue the submission for the Record the latest “Recognition of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity” newsletter which lists the U.S. federal, state and local government authorities, U.S. federal and state courts, U.S. workers’ compensation boards, and independent organizations that have adopted policies, made statements, and/or published documents recognizing Multiple Chemical Sensitivity disorders for the benefit of my colleagues.

Governors of Connecticut, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina and Washington in (independently) adopting resolutions declaring May 11-17 (July 13-17 in Washington) as MCS Awareness Week.

In Washington, the governor issued a second proclamation after rescinding the first on the advice of his General Counsel, just 8 days after it was adopted with approval of the state     toxicologist [1998, 7 pages including both Washington versions, R-178].

Maryland State Legislature  In Senate Joint Resolution No. 32 directing the Maryland    Department of the Environment (MDE) to carry out a study of Chemical Hypersensitivity Syndrome [1988, 3 pages, R-40]. The MDE commissioned a state-of-the-art review from Rebecca  Bascom, M.D., entitled “Chemical Hypersensitivity Syndrome  Study” [1989, 132 pages, R-41].

Massachusetts Operational Services Division, Environmentally Preferable Product Procurement Program    In its final bid document for the procurement of Environmentally Preferable Cleaning Products by state agencies for use in state facilities, which “will not    replace the cleaning products already on contract; they will be offered as alternatives.” The product specifications developed by the Massachusetts Executive Office of     Environmental Affairs, Office of Technical Assistance, include “desirable” (as distinct from “mandatory”) criteria that products contain as few volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as possible and not contain any added dyes or fragrances. These are justified in Appendix N of the bid  document on the grounds that “A lower VOC content . . . is     especially important for sensitive individuals” and “The Commonwealth recognizes that many sensitive individuals prefer cleaning products without added dyes and fragrances.”     [1998, 30 page excerpt including Appendix N, R-181] [[Page E2188]]

Missouri Department of Social Services, Division of Aging  In a detailed response to a request from Dr. Grace Ziem for workplace accommodation of an employee with MCS, the agency agreed to (among other things): make changes in the work schedule; provide a private work area with floor to ceiling walls; provide multiple carbon-fiber air filtration machines; conduct staff education on MCS; adopt and post voluntary fragrance free policy governing all employees; request maintenance staff use cleaning products only from an approved list; and clean the carpet. [3 pages, 1 April 1996, plus 1 of follow-up, R-98]

New Jersey Department of Health    In a comprehensive review of chemical sensitivity with   recommendations for state action commissioned from Nicholas Ashford, Ph.D., J.D., and Claudia Miller, M.D., entitled “Chemical sensitivity: a report to the New Jersey Department of Health” [1989, 176 pages, R-45].

New Mexico Department of Education, School Health Unit   In a brochure on “Multiple Chemical Sensitivities” describing the illness and nine “steps schools can take to   promote environmental safety.” Also lists resource persons and materials [1997 (undated), 2 pages, R-139].

New Mexico Department of Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources, State Park & Recreation Division  In a letter from the director outlining steps the division is taking to reduce barriers to access for individuals with EI/MCS [10 January 1994, 1 page, R-46]. These include prohibiting smoking in restrooms, temporarily discontinuing the use of certain cleaning and disinfectant chemicals upon special request of EI/MCS individuals, and switching to least toxic/allergenic cleaning and pesticide products.

New Mexico Department of Health, Community Health Systems Division, Emergency Medical Services Bureau  In an editorial from Barak Wolff, MHP, chief of the EMS Bureau, entitled “ `Scared to Death’ of Having to call 911” and an accompanying article by Dr. Ann McCampbell entitled “First . . . Do No Harm: The Challenge of Patients with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities,” both published in the state’s Focus on Emergency Medical Services newsletter [Vol. 15, No. 3, October 1996, 4 pages, R-117]. The editorial and article discuss the need for emergency service personnel to accommodate people with MCS and they make several specific recommendations for 911 operators, emergency responders and   hospital staff.

New Mexico Governor’s Committee on Concerns of the Handicapped   In sponsoring and financing a day-long “Town Hall Meeting on Multiple Chemical Sensitivities” on 24 June 1996 with the full support of the governor, despite his earlier veto of a legislative proposal for additional funding (see next entry).  Described as “A public forum to discuss the problems faced by chemically sensitive New Mexicans and to propose state level solutions,” this was the first state-wide effort to bring together a panel of representatives from state agencies to “hear from persons with MCS and other interested parties on the issues of Housing, Employment, Health Care,  Pesticides, Schools, and Access to State Facilities and  Services.” [Brochure, program and detailed fragrance free policy, 24 June 1996, 3 pages, R-96]. Based on the testimony received at the Town Meeting, the Governor’s Committee then issued a “Report to the Legislature on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity,” including a “Suggested Public Meeting Policy on Accessibility for Persons with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity [27 August 1996, 8 pages, R-104]. The report recommends six actions “be taken now,” including funding the state Office of Epidemiology to study the prevalence of MCS within the general population”; directing all hospitals to “establish written protocols for providing barrier free environments for the use of persons with MCS admitted for any reason”; directing all ADA coordinators of public facilities in New Mexico to adopt public meeting policies “to allow attendance by persons affected by MCS”; creating an “MCS information and assistance” program within State government to “provide ADA coordinators, housing officials, hospitals and other decision makers with the most complete and up-to-date information on MCS as well as . . . providing individual    assistance to affected persons via an “800” telephone number”; and “conducting a study of the housing needs of persons affected with MCS.”

New Mexico State Legislature    In a “Joint Memorial Requesting the Governor’s Committee on Concerns of the Handicapped to Study Issues Related to Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.” The resolution specifies that the study focus on “issues of health care, insurance,  public benefits and services, access to government, legal services and environmental regulation” [Senate Joint Memorial 10-House Memorial 6, Second Session, 1996, 3 pages, R-91]. A follow-up amendment to the General Appropriation Act  of 1996 requesting $50,000 in funding for this “Memorial” also was passed by the legislature (House Bill 2 on 15 February 1996) but then vetoed by the governor on 4 March 1996.

New York State Department of Health  In a $100,000 grant given to the Mt. Sinai Occupational Health Clinic for MCS research, part of a larger annual grant to the clinic in 1993 [4 page excerpt, R-47]. The report, including a review of MCS cases seen at eight occupational clinics in New York State, originally was supposed to be completed in late 1994 but is now expected in 1997.

Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission  In a decision (upheld on appeal to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania) finding that a landlord must make reasonable   accommodation for a tenant who suffers from MCS, including giving tenant prior notification of painting and pest treatments (see Recognition of MCS by State Courts, below, for reference).

Washington State Board of Health   In its 1994 Washington State Public Health Report, which says“Several hundred Washington residents have reported a condition diagnosed by some physicians as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity” and goes on to discuss common MCS symptoms and sensitivities. [December 1993, 3 page excerpt, R-55].

Washington State Departments of Health and Labor & Industries  In the joint “Final Inter-Agency Report on Chemically Related Illness” issued by the Secretary of the Department     of Health and the Director of the Department of Labor and  Industries, which acknowledges that “MCS has become a focus of increasing public health concern in Washington state and elsewhere,” cites the 1987 Cullen definition, and says“Public agencies are increasingly recognizing a need to address the public health aspects of the MCS syndrome, without necessarily waiting for conclusive answers from scientific research” [June 1995, 5 page excerpt including table of contents, R-54].

Washington State Chemically Related Illness Advisory Committee   In its final report, in an appendix devoted to MCS, the committee says MCS is “characterized as a condition in which individuals experience symptoms following exposures at low levels to multiple chemical substances. It is a chronic condition that is reproducible with challenge, and which resolves when incitants are removed” [June 1995, 3 page excerpt, R-95]. The committee included representatives of  state government, affected business and labor organizations, the medical community, and MCS patients. Its final report also is included as an appendix in the Washington State Final Inter-agency Report on Chemically Related Illness (see entry  above).

Washington State Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and  Employment    In a booklet entitled “Reasonable Accommodation: A Guide  for Employers, Businesses and Persons with Disabilities,” signed by the governor and the commissioner of the State’s   Employment Security Department, which discusses MCS/EI in detail in a section on “Reasonable Accommodation for Persons with Hidden Disabilities” [March 1992, 34 pages, R-53].

Recognition of MCS by 14 U.S. Local Authorities

Berkeley (CA) Department of Public Works, Commission on Disability   In voting on 30 April 1996 to require a statement about “odor sensitivity” in all City-sponsored event and meeting notices, followed by a memo from the City Manager on 8 August 1996 urging “staff who attend meetings to assist the City in accommodating the needs of persons with sensitivities and to respect those needs in their own use of personal products,” and finalized on 13 November 1996 with the adoption of detailed “Procedures to Implement Clean Air Practices for Meetings” for use by city and commission staff [6-page memo     from Commission on Disability to the Mayor and City Council, 14 January 1996, R-111].

Chicago (IL) Transit Authority   In its Paratransit Operations Newsletter, people with     disabilities who use the Chicago Transit Authority’s Special Services and Chicago Taxi Access Program are asked to “assist people with EI by practicing the following   suggestions: Keep scented personal care products to a  minimum; Never smoke in a Special Services vehicle and refrain from smoking near the vehicle; [and] If possible, please accommodate an EI person’s request to sit by an open window in a Special Services vehicle if it doesn’t inconvenience other customers who may be sensitive to hot or cold air.” [6th edition, Winter 1995, 2 page excerpt, R-36].

Contra Costa (CA) MediCal Advisory Planning Commission   In all public meeting announcements, which include the following notice: “Please help us accommodate individuals with EI/MCS and refrain from wearing scented products to this hearing” [1994, 1 page excerpt, R-37].

Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools   In a detailed 7-page report from the Director of the Office of Human Relations to Dr. Grace Ziem documenting the accommodations that the school system was willing to provide for a teacher with MCS, including changes in her school assignment and the elimination or control of a wide variety of aggravating exposures, from the art clay used in her classroom to custodial use of cleaning fluids, pesticides,  carpets, air fresheners, paints, glues, adhesives & other remodeling materials. They even offered to [[Page E2189]] provide a special parking space to limit her exposure to vehicle exhaust. [26 April 1996, 7 pages, R-97]

Jefferson City (MO) Public schools  In an accommodation plan provided under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, adopted for a 6th grade student with MCS asthma and allergies, specifying that (a) “classmates will be solicited for cooperation in providing a   scent-free environment,” (b) student “will be allowed to self-limit activities that involve running or other strenuous exercise,” and (c) if student misses more than two days in a    row, “she can request after school help from her teachers to  review missing work” [1996, 1 page, R-138]. List of  reasonable accommodations upheld upon review in 1997 [15     August 1997, 1 page, R-153]. On 19 November 1997, the school basketball supervisor wrote the Central Missouri Officials      Association asking coaches, players and officials to refrain from wearing perfumes and colognes to games at which this student would be playing [1 page, R-171]

Minneapolis Advisory Committee on People With Disabilities    In a letter to the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (see below) about the “expressed need for proper living conditions for people with Environmental Sensitivities” [1994, 2 pages, R-42]

Minneapolis Housing Finance Agency   In awarding a $6,500 grant from its Capacity Building Grant Program to Twin Cities HEAL to establish an office to better serve the needs of those seeking MCS-accessible housing in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro Area [1993, 2 pages, R-43]

Minneapolis Public housing Authority    In letters to Twin Cities HEAL and the U.S. Department of  Housing and Urban Development expressing “an interest in working with HEAL to assist in the development of suitable housing for persons with chemical sensitivity disabilities” [1994, 3 pages, R-44].

Northwest Air Pollution Authority (Island, Skagit and Whatcom Counties, WA                          In a “Dear Resident” letter from Terry Nyman, Air Pollution Control Officer, to neighbors of “an individual with a disabling condition related to chemical sensitivities [who] has moved into your area. This individual is extremely sensitive to smoke and a health care provider has requested that we send you information about outdoor burning, heating with wood and the health impacts of breathing wood smoke.”  [21 September 1996, 1 page, R-105]. The letter notes that the  NWAPA is empowered to enforce under the WA State Clean Air Act “to secure and maintain levels of air quality that protect human health and safety, including the most sensitive members of the population” (RCW 70.94.011, italics in the   original) and says “We want you to be aware of this situation and ask that you read the enclosed literature to  see if you can minimize potential smoke impacts caused by these activities.”

Oakland (CA) City Council  In the City’s “Access Policy for People with Environmental    Illness/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity” which requires city departments to “make reasonable efforts to accommodate persons with EI/MCS” in city programs, activities and   services. [Administrative Instruction #138, 1995, 9 pages, R-48].

Santa Fe (NM) City Council   In resolution E#1998-35 “Adopting a moratorium on the use   of herbicides, rodenticides and insecticides on City of Santa Fe property until such time that an ordinance is adopted to regulate the use of such chemical pesticides.” The resolution notes that exposure to pesticides “can cause very severe symptoms and prolonged relapses in chemical or pesticide sensitive people, which the New Mexico Department of Health estimates to be seventeen percent of all New Mexicans” [27 May 1998, 4 pages, R-176].

San Francisco (CA) Board of Supervisors  In a resolution requesting citizens attending public meetings “to refrain from wearing perfume or other scented products to allow individuals with environmental illness and MCS to attend” [1993]. Although the formal resolution was subsequently rescinded under pressure from industry opponents, the following notice is still included in all published announcements of public meetings as required by Chapter 66 of the City’s Sunshine Ordinance:  “In order to assist the City’s efforts to accommodate persons with severe allergies, environmental illnesses, MCS or related disabilities, attendees at public meetings are reminded that other attendees may be sensitive to various chemical based products.  Please help the City to accommodate these   individuals” [Section 66.15(d), as amended 2 August 1993, 2      pages, R-49].

Santa Clara (CA) City Council   In the city’s “Public Services Self-Evaluation/Transition     Plan” (required by the Americans with Disabilities Act), which includes several provisions for accommodating individuals with “MCS, also known as environmental illness,     resulting from acute or chronic chemical exposure” [1993, 6 pages, R-50]. The comprehensive plan requires “whenever possible, purchase and use of less toxic, hypoallergenic and non-fragrance materials”; reasonable accommodations for   “employees and persons doing business with the City [who] may have this illness”; and the posting of notices at entrances to public buildings warning of “construction,     remodeling or toxic cleaning activities.” The City also includes a notice in all City Council agendas and other public program notices, stating that “Individuals with  severe allergies, environmental illness, multiple chemical sensitivity or related disabilities should contact the City’s DA office at (408) 984-3000 to discuss meeting accessibility.  In order to allow participation by such individuals, please do not wear scented products to meetings at City facilities” as revised by the Santa Clara’s ADA Committee [March 1994, 6      pages, R-51].

Santa Cruz (CA) City Council   In a resolution of the City Council (#NS21,285) establishing a Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan (as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act). The comprehensive plan includes provisions requiring “smoke and fragrance-free environments for public meetings, the elimination of chemical air fresheners/fragrance emission devices” in all city-owned and managed restrooms and workstations, the use wherever possible of the least toxic maintenance products and application methods in public buildings, and signage warning of the use of hazardous materials in public areas [1993, 6 pages, R-52].

scroll-pen-illustration-12231273Extensions ofRemarks][PagesE2244-E2245]From the Congressional Record online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]                        


HON. BERNARD SANDERS of Vermont in the House of           Representatives

       Tuesday, October 20, 1998

Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to discuss the issue of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity as it relates to both our civilian population and our Gulf War veterans. I continue the submission for the Record the latest “Recognition of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity” newsletter which lists the U.S. federal, state and local government authorities, U.S. federal and state courts, U.S. workers’ compensation boards, and independent organizations that have adopted policies, made statements, and/or published documents recognizing Multiple Chemical Sensitivity disorders for the benefit of my colleagues.

Recognition of MCS in 8 U.S. Federal Court Decisions 

In decisions affirming MCS (by this or another name) as a real illness, handicap or disability under:  Daubert: Kannankeril v. Terminix Internationals Inc. Third Circuit Court of Appeals (CA 3), No 96-5818 [17 Oct. 1997, 5 pages, R-148], overturning a lower court’s summary judgement for the defendant (District of NJ, No 92-cv-03150) on a Daubert motion, saying it had “improperly exercised its gate keeping role by excluding” the plaintiff’s medical expert,  Dr. Benjamin Gerson, and his testimony on causation–     specifically his view that the plaintiff developed MCS as a result of overexposure to chlorpyrifos. [Terminix had sprayed  Dursban in the plaintiff’s home 20 times in 17 months.]  The court described MCS as becoming “sensitized to multiple other chemicals” and said “It is an acknowledged scientific fact that chlorpyrifos, the active ingredient in Dursban, is harmful to humans and can cause the very symptoms displayed by Dr. Kannankeril,” which included headaches, fatigue, numbness, memory and concentration problems, sleeplessness, nausea, and skin rashes. Even though Dr. Gerson had not     examined the plaintiff or written about the toxic effects of organophosphates, the court said his “opinion is not a novel scientific theory” and “is supported by widely accepted     scientific knowledge of the harmful nature of  organophosphates.”

Fair Housing Act: United States v. Association of Apartment   Owners of Dominis West et al, Case No. 92-00641 (D. Ha.) 25 August 1993 [19 pages, R-61], in which a consent order won by     the Department of Justice’s Housing and Civil Justice  Enforcement Section requires the management of an apartment complex in Honolulu to take several steps to accommodate a tenant with MCS.

Rehabilitation Act: Vickers v. Veterans Administration, 549 F. Supp. 85, W.D. Wash. 1982 [4 pages, R-56], in which the plaintiff’s sensitivity to tobacco smoke was recognized as   handicap by the VA and the court, but his request for totally  a smoke-free environment was denied on the grounds that the  VA had already made sufficient reasonable efforts; Rosiak v.   Department of the Army, 679 F. Supp. 444, M.D. Pa. 1987 [6 pages, R-57], in which the court, although finding the plaintiff “not otherwise qualified” to continue working, implicitly recognized his MCS disability, as did the Army, which the court found had made sufficient reasonable (albeit  unsuccessful) efforts to accommodate the plaintiff’s chemical   sensitivity.

Social Security Disability Act: Slocum v. Califano (Secretary, HEW), Civil No. 77-0298 (D. Haw.) 27 August 1979 [9 pages, R-60], in what is believed to be the earliest decision of any court recognizing MCS, the US District Court of Hawaii awarded disability benefits to a plaintiff whose pro se claim of “chemical hypersensitivity” dated from 1  May 1968; Kornock v. Harris, 648 F.2d 525, 9th Cir. 1980 [3 pages, R-59]; and Kouril v. Bowen, 912 F.2d 971, 974, 8th Cir. 1990 [7 pages, R-58]; Creamer v. Callahan, Civil No. 97-30040-KPN (D. Mass.), 5 November 1997, [7 pages, R-150] reversing and remanding the decision of the SSA Commissioner,  who agreed that the administrative law judge’s “analysis was flawed with respect to MCS.” The court ordered the Commissioner to file a supplemental memorandum on SSA’s “position with respect to MCS,” which he did–specifically stipulating that SSA “recognizes multiple chemical sensitivity as a medically determinable impairment” (31    October 1997, 2 pages, R-164).

Recognition of MCS in 21 U.S. State Court Decisions

In decisions affirming MCS illness (by this or some other name) as a handicap or injury in cases regarding:

Housing Discrimination: Lincoln Realty Management Co. v. Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, 598 A.2d 594, Pa. Commw. 1991 [47 pages, R-62].  Employment Discrimination: County of Fresno v. Fair      Employment and Housing Commission of the State of California,  226 Cal. App. 3d 1541, 277 Cal. Rptr. 557 Cal App. 5th Dist. 1991 [11 pages, R-63]; and Kallas Enterprises v. Ohio Civil      Rights Commission, 1990 Ohio App. 1683, Ohio Ct. App. May 2,   1990 [6 pages, R-64].

Health Services Discrimination: Ruth, Barbara; June P. Hall; Cricket J. Buffalo; Susan Molloy; and Cathy Lent v.  Kenneth Kizer/Molly Coe, Director, CA. Department of Health Services, No. 665629-8, 1989 [1 page, R-65], in which the plaintiffs won the right to receive oxygen treatments for MCS  by successfully appealing to the CA Superior Court of Alameda County which overturned the prior ruling of an administrative law judge.

Negligence/Toxic Tort: Melanie Marie Zanini v. Orkin Exterminating Company Inc. and Kenneth Johnston, Broward County Circuit Court, No. 94011515 07, verdict of 7 December 1995 and final judgement of 28 December 1995 [4 pages, R-92], in which the jury ruled that the pesticide applicator’s  negligence in applying Dursban was the legal cause of damage  to the plaintiff, who was awarded a total of $1,000,000 in damages by the jury. This was subsequently reduced to $632,500 in the final judgement.; Ruth Elliott, et al., v. San Joaquin County Public Facilities Financing Corp. et al., California Superior Court, San Joaquin County, No. 244601, 31 October 1996 [2 page verdict report, R-112] in which a public lease-back corporation was held responsible for 14 awards of  partial to permanent disability based on MCS and various other health complaints that started after extensive renovations were inadequately ventilated (half the roof air  conditioners did not work). Awards ranged from $15,000 to   $900,000 each (total $4,183,528); Linda Petersen and Eleni Wanken v. Polycap of California, California Superior Court, Alameda County, No. H7276-0, 1 April 1988 [1 page verdict report, R-143], in which plaintiffs were awarded $250,000 and $13,000, respectively, for MCS they developed after a polyurethane roofing material was installed at two school buildings where they worked. These jury awards led to prompt settlement of a dozen other cases against the same defendant.

Tort of Outrage and “Deliberate Intention” Exception to  Workers Compensation: Birklid et al v. The Boeing Company, Supreme Court of the State of Washington, 26 October 1995, No. 62530-1, in which the court issued an EN BANC ruling in response to a question it “certified” from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. By unanimous 9-0 decision, the WA   Supreme Court found sufficient evidence of Boeing’s deliberate intent to harm its employees from chemical exposure that the 17 workers who claim they were physically   and/or emotionally injured as a result (including those with MCS) can sue the company for civil damages in addition to their workers’ compensation benefits. (This “deliberate     intention” exception was last allowed by the court in 1922).  The court also found that the chemically-injured workers had a claim under the Tort of Outrage for recovery of damages   arising from Boeing’s intentional infliction of emotional distress. The matter now returns to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington for a jury trial. [25 page decision with a 2 page background paper from Randy Gordon, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys., R-66]. [[Page E2245]]

Workers’ Compensation Appeals (State Courts only, others follow):  Arizona: McCreary, Robert v. Industrial Commission of Arizona, 835 P.2d 469, Arizona Court of Appeals 1992 [1 page,  R-70];  California: Kyles v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board et al, No. A037375, 240 Cal. Rptr. 886, California Court of Appeals 1987 [9 pages, R-68]; Menedez v. Continental Ins. Co., 515 So.2d 525, La. App. 1 Cir. 1987 [6 pages, R-69]; Kansas: Armstrong, Dan H, v. City of Wichita, No. 73038, 907 P.2d 923, Kansas Court of Appeals [9 pages, R-185]; Nevada: Harvey’s Wagon Wheel, Inc. dba Harvey’s Resort Hotel v. Joan Amann, et al, No. 25155, order dated 25 January 1995, Nevada Supreme Court [4 pages, R-93], in an order dismissing the casino’s appeal of a district court ruling that reversed the decision of an appeals officer in favor of a group of 23 claimants. The Supreme Court agreed with the lower court’s finding that the officer had “overlooked substantial evidence offered by the [23] claimants that    clearly supported a causal relation between their work place injuries [due to pesticide exposure] and their continuing disabilities.”

New Hampshire: Appeal of Denise Kehoe (NH Dept. of Labor Compensation Appeals Board), No. 92-723, Supreme Court of New  Hampshire 1994, 648 A.2d 472, which found that “MCS Syndrome” due to workplace exposure is an occupational disease compensable under NH’s workers’ compensation statute and remanded to the Compensation Appeals Board “for a   determination of whether the claimant suffers from MCS and, if she does, whether the workplace caused or contributed to the disease” [3 pages, R-71, see also]; (2nd) Appeal of     Denise Kohoe (NH Dept. of Labor Compensation Appeals Board), No. 95-316, Supreme Court of New Hampshire 13 November 1996, in which the Court again reversed the Compensation Appeals Board, finding both that the claimant had MCS (legal causation) and that “her work environment probably contributed to or aggravated her MCS” (medical causation) [5     pages, R-127]; Oregon: Robinson v. Saif Corp, 69 Or. App. 534; petition for review denied by 298 Ore. 238, 691 P.2d 482 [5 pages, R-67]; Saif Corporation and General Tree v. Thomas F. Scott, 824 P.2d 1188, Ore.App. 1992 [6 pages, R-89]; South Carolina: Grayson v. Gulf Oil Co, 357 S.E.2d 479,  S.C. App. 1987 [6 pages, R-88]; West Virginia: Arlene White v. Randolph County Board of Education, No. 93-11878, 18 November 1994 decision of Administrative Law Judge Marshall Riley, Workers’ Compensation Office of Judges, reversing denial of MCS claim     for temporary total disability and medical payments by Workers’ Compensation Division [7p, R-131]; Julie Likens v. Randolph County Board of Education, No. 93-14740, 4 April 1995 decision of Chief Administrative Law Judge Robert J. Smith, Workers’ Compensation Office of Judges, reversing denial of MCS claim for temporary total and medical disability by Workers’ Compensation Division [8p, R-132]; and Barbara H. Trimboli v. Randolph County Board of Education,      No. 92-65342-OD, 10 June 1996 decision of Administrative Law Judge Terry Ridenour, Workers’ Compensation Office of Judges, reversing denial of MCS claim for temporary total disability and medical payments by Workers’ Compensation Division [5 pages, R-133].

Recognition of MCS in 14 Workers’ Compensation Board Decisions

In decisions affirming MCS illness (by this or some other name) as a work-related injury or illness in:  Alaska: Hoyt, Virginia v. Safeway Stores, Inc, Case  9203051, Decision 95-0125, Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board 1995 [21 pages, R-73].  Connecticut: Sinnamon v. State of Connecticut, Dept. of Mental Health, 1 October 1993 Decision of Nancy A. Brouillet,   Compensation Commissioner, Acting for the First District,  Conn. Workers’ Compensation Commission. [10 pages, R-106].   The commissioner, citing testimony from Dr. Mark Cullen, among others, found “the great weight of medical evidence supports the diagnosis of MCS syndrome causally related to the Claimant’s exposure while in the course of her   employment” in state office buildings with poor indoor air quality. She ordered payment of temporary permanent disability benefits as well as payment “for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment of the Claimant’s MCS syndrome.”; O’Donnell v. State of Connecticut, Judicial  Department, 22 May 1996 Decision of Robert Smith Tracy,   Compensation Commissioner, Fourth District, Conn. Workers’ Compensation Commission. [5 pages, including cover letter from plaintiff’s attorney, R-107].  The commissioner  recognized MCS “caused by numerous exposures to pesticides at work . . . and exacerbated by repeated exposure to other odors and irritants at work” in a Juvenile Court building.  Because “this claimant has been given special accommodations since March 1992 when she was granted an isolated office and the stoppage of spraying of pesticides” that allowed her to continue working full-time, no monetary benefits were   awarded.   Delaware: Elizanne Shackle v. State of Delaware, Hearing No. 967713, Delaware Industrial Accident Board in and for New Castle County, December 1993 [21 pages, R-142] awarding total  temporary disability benefits and “one attorney’s fee” based on the IAB’s finding that the claimant’s work exposure (in a state correctional facility built by prison labor) had “caused her present respiratory symptoms” and that this “has sensitized her to other odors.”  Maryland: Kinnear v. Board of Education Baltimore County, No. B240480, Md. Workers’ Compensation Commission, 28 June 1994 [1 page, R-75]. Massachusetts: Sutherland, Karen v. Home Comfort Systems by Reidy and Fidelity & Casualty Insurance of New York, Case No. 023589-91, 8 February 1995 decision of Mass. Department of Industrial Accidents [21 pages, R-74]; Steven Martineau v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co, Case No. 9682387, 15 May 1990 decision of Administrative Judge James McGuinness, Jr., Mass.    Industrial Accident Board, ordering that the employer pay for disability benefits as well as “all costs, including transportation, lodging and meals, incurred or to be incurred in the course of seeking and obtaining reasonable medical and related care . . . including treatment rendered by and at the Center for Environmental Medicine.” [18 pages, R-125];   Elaine Skeats v. Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Case No. 02698693, 24 October 1996, decision of Administrative Judge James McGuinness, Jr., Mass. Industrial Accident Board, ordering that the employee “compensate the employee for expenses incurred in the course of satisfying the historic and prospective prescriptions of Doctors . . . prompted by her industrial injury and relative to: intravenous therapy, vitamin and nutritional supplements, message therapy, air conditioning, air purification, air filtration, masking, water filtration, allergy bedding, laboratory testing and mileage travelled.” [14 pages, R-126];  New Mexico: Elliott, Erica v. Lovelace Health Systems and Cigna Associates Inc, No. 93-17355, 8 November 1994, decision of Rosa Valencia, Workers’ Compensation Judge, finding that MCS was triggered by glutaraldehyde and Sick Building Syndrome for which employer had been given timely notice.  Also supported Elliott’s refusal to return to work in the buildings that made her sick buildings as “reasonable under the circumstances.” Decision granted 3 months of temporary total disability pay followed by permanent partial disability for “500 weeks or until further order of the Court” [15      pages, R-113]; New York: Crook v. Camillus Central School District #1, No. W998009, 11 May 1990, decision of Barbara Patton, Chairwoman, NY State Workers’ Compensation Board specifies “modify accident, notice and causal relationship to multiple chemical sensitivity” and awarded continuing benefits of $143.70 per week [1 page, R-108];  Ohio: Saks v. Chagrin Vly. Exterminating Co Inc., No. 97-310968, 18 September 1997 [2 pages, R-151], decision of District Hearing Officer Arthur Shantz, recognizing claim of chemical sensitivity; and Kelvin v. Hewitt Soap Company, No. 95-599131, 5 June 1996 [2 pages, R-152], decision of District Hearing Officer Steven Ward, recognizing claim of multiple  chemical sensitivity as “occupational disease” contracted “in the course of and arising out of employment.”   Washington: Karen B. McDonnel v. Gordon Thomas Honeywell,  No. 95-5670, 22 October 1996 decision of Judge Stewart, WA State Board of Industrial Appeals, recognizing “toxic encephalopathy” as an acceptable diagnosis for MCS-induced permanent partial disability [2 p, R-118].


From a Yellow Canary of the 21st century, living in our disabling biosphere

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