MCS/ES Awareness Month 2017

Here we go again!

MCS Awareness days, weeks, and months, along with government proclamations have been going on since at least 1998!

It has taken a lot of effort from a lot of people over a lot of years, and for some of us, it doesn’t seem to have made a great deal of difference in our daily lives.

The world is even more fragrance contaminated than ever, so many other products and materials are more toxic than ever, safe and affordable housing is even harder to find, and now wireless devices are everywhere filling our spaces with unprecedented of amounts of radiation on a 24/7 basis.

We canaries are still waiting for actions that allow us to live life without being subjected to health and ability harming exposures all the time.

Yet, there is more awareness about the need for safer products and materials, and more are being developed, although not specifically for the communities who are more “sensitive” than others and can detect undeclared contaminants.

I am looking forward to the day when we don’t have to keep having awareness days, weeks, or months, because everyone will know what causes MCS/ES, and how to prevent MCS/ES, along with how to address the needs of people who have already developed MCS/ES.

(Hint: We were not designed to be polluted on a 24/7 basis)


If you are up to it, and feel so inclined, please post any 2017 Awareness actions you are aware of into the comments!

We will not be silenced!
Our voices together have the power to create healthy change!


6 responses to “MCS/ES Awareness Month 2017

  1. Ah, May. Lots of awareness! I love this canary meme so much!

  2. Here’s something that everyone who knows anyone who has MCS/ES can do (or do even if you don’t know any of us personally)

  3. Here are some images you can print off and tape to any accessibility barriers you encounter when you are out and about!

    Some resources to help spread the word that #MCS exists and has for a while. You can help us make this the last year we…

    Posted by Memes For Inconvenient Disabilities on Monday, May 1, 2017

  4. In the 1998 link, you can find the following:

    US Congressman Bernie Sanders
    (Independent, VT)

    on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

    The Congressman read the following remarks regarding Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) into the Congressional Record on October 9, 1998.

    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, 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 an unpleasant climate and were under very great stress.

    The Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs have downplayed the presence 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.

    Congressman Sanders then read into the Record the August 1998 paper ‘Recognition of MCS’ from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Referral & Resources, Inc.

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