Levels-Stages of Severity

The levels of severity vary from person to person suffering from MCS. It tends to be progressive; and although the chart below shows the limitations imposed on an individual with MCS, early diagnosis and life-changing measures can deter and/or defer the disability that can ensue. The following chart is not a complete reflection of the symptoms an MCSer can experience in each stage of progression. (Compiled by Pamela Reed Gibson, James Madison University (http://www.mcsresearch.net/papers.htm).)Toxic-chemical-exposure

Though held as a hypothesis, it is almost difficult to deny that a systemic breakdown in response to pollution (i.e., exposure to everyday products containing  synthetic chemicals) is the cause.   To quote Gibson, “To many, it makes sense that humans would become weaker in the face of increased environmental contamination. This is the canary down the mineshaft theory. It suggests that increasing numbers of people will experience MCS and other toxic injuries as more and more people are subjected to chemical contamination. This is a generalized hypothesis and does not specify exactly how people’s bodies break down and become damaged or hypersensitive. But nervous system damage figures prominently in a number of theories. Claudia Miller has given a name to this theory – Toxic Induced Loss of Tolerance – and believes that the loss of ability to tolerate poisons is the mechanism for the development of many modern diseases. She has postulated that the shift to understand toxics [toxins] as causes of illness may be as important as it once was for science to understand germ theory (Miller, 1997). ”

MILD

• Able to work.
• Frequently has many symptoms, some of vague nature.
• May find petrochemicals and other environmental exposures–such as auto exhausts cigarette smoke, and cleaning materials–to be unpleasant or to produce uncomfortable feelings, but is able to work effectively.

MODERATE

• Able to work at home or with controlled environment at work place.
• May have to use gas mask or charcoal mask and air purifier filter system.  Exposure to inciting agents causes acute symptoms which may alter functional capacity (severe headache, muscle pain, poor concentration, memory loss, or the like).
• May have to change job or work conditions if environmental pollution is severe enough.

SEVERE

• Unable to work effectively even with environmental control, using avoidance, masks or filters.    Some workplaces become hostile towards the affected individual.
• On some days, may be able to work 30-to-60-minute shifts several times a day if in a very controlled environment. Reacts to chemicals such as insecticide, phenols, chlorine, formaldehyde, perfume, petro-chemicals, or the like.
• Has mental and physical symptoms which may or may not clear.
• Cannot tolerate public places where there is toxic chemical  exposure such as at church, post office, theatre, or shopping, parks, including neighborhoods due to dryer vents.
• Visitors to home must clean up significantly.
• Can usually care for self in a home situation.
• May be able to drive if automobile made free of inciting agents, sealed, and has charcoal air filters or is outgassed.
• Has difficulty with other family members or guests who bring into the house aggravating fragrances on clothing, printed material, hair, or the like.
• Adversely reacts to many medications.
• May have to move out of the neighborhood if existing home has uncontrollable outdoor pollution, is new, has not outgassed, or has other significant problems of mold, flooring, or other incitants.
• Requires a clean room, carpet-free, cleared of inciting agents, special heating and air filtering.
• Must wear natural fiber clothing specially laundered.

DISABLED

• Unable to work effectively even with environmental control, using avoidance, masks or filters, or not at all where there is no fragrance-free policy or not effectively enforced due to unaccommodating employees.  Some workplaces become hostile towards the affected individual.
• On some days, may be able to work 30-to-60-minute shifts several times a day if in a very controlled environment. Reacts to chemicals such as insecticide, phenols, chlorine, formaldehyde, perfume, petro-chemicals, or the like.
• Has severe mental and physical symptoms which may or may not clear.
• Public exposures such as church, post office, movie or shopping are not tolerated.
• Visitors to home must clean up significantly.
• Can usually care for self in a home situation albiet some with difficulty.
• May be able to drive if automobile made free of inciting agents, sealed, and has charcoal air filters.
• Has difficulty with other family members or guests who bring in aggravating exposures on clothing, printed material, hair, or the like.
• Adversely reacts to many medications.
• May have to move if existing home has uncontrollable outdoor pollution, is new, has not outgassed, or has other significant problems of mold, flooring, or other incitants.
• Requires a clean room, carpet-free, cleared of inciting agents, special heating and air filtering.
• Must wear natural fiber clothing specially laundered.

 

 

 

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

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