Substances reported to act as Initiators and Triggers of MCS. Although a variety of chemicals and chemical combinations may serve as initiators and/or triggers of MCS, certain substances have been reported to play a more significant role than others. This is especially true with regard to pesticides and the onset (initiation) of MCS. Substances that trigger MCS symptoms vary from person to person. These are only partial lists.
- Some industrial solvents
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- New carpeting
- Office/building renovations
- Diesel exhaust
- Suspected Triggers
- Nail polish/remover
- Tobacco smoke
- Dry-cleaned clothing
- Hair care products
- Off-gassing of paint
- Caffeinated products
- Some cleaning agents
- Off-gassing of office products
Symptoms can occur after inhaling, touching, or ingesting these or other substances. Reactions to scented products can occur even in people who cannot smell them. Because people with MCS react to chemicals at levels that ordinarily do not affect others, chemical sensitivity is similar to an allergy, but the symptoms and mechanism are not the same as those of traditional allergies to pollen, animals, and dust.
Many of the above substances can make anyone sick at high concentrations, but chemically sensitive people can be harmed by exposures to even minute amounts. While some of the symptoms reported by people with MCS are similar to known toxic reactions (such as those listed on Material Safety Data Sheets which doesn’t list all the ingredients (claiming the mix proprietary)), they can occur at exposure levels considered safe for the general population. Additionally, many chemically sensitive people experience symptoms that are vastly different from typical toxic reactions. This individual variability and exquisite sensitivity can be so pronounced many scientists and doctors find it hard to accept as real.
Check out “Diseases Results” from the NIH Haz-Map database on “chemical sensitivities”: http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/search?search_query=chemical+sensitivities