Informed Choices, a support group for the chemically injured, is urging individuals to contact their U.S. Senators and Congressmen requesting their support in obtaining a case definition for MCS by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in addressing the need for MCS research and education. In addition, we ask that CDC warn the general public of the dangers from pesticides and other everyday chemicals that may cause MCS and other devastating health conditions.
The U.S. Interagency Workshop on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issued a draft report on MCS in 1998 and cited the lack of a case definition as a major problem in investigating MCS. Yet in 2004, lack of a case definition remains a major obstacle to obtaining research funding, to recognition of the illness by courts and insurers, and to recognition -- and accomodation -- on the part of the general public.
Approximately 12.6% of the population suffers from MCS, a condition in which they experience reactions from exposure to low concentrations of common chemicals, according to a study published in the September 2003 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP). Of those reporting such hypersensitivity, 13.5% (or 1.8% of the entire sample) reported losing their jobs because of it. Extrapolated to a U.S. population of 290 million, EHP's study means as many as 36.5 million Americans are suffering from MCS, and more than 5.2 million may lose jobs as a result. This is a significant public health issue. Refer to http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/press/12pop.html
Many U.S. residents carry toxic pesticides above "safe" levels according to a report entitled "Chemical Trespass: Pesticides in Our Bodies and Corporate Accountability" released on May 10, 2004 by the Pesticide Action Network. The report is an analysis of pesticide-related data collected by the CDC in a study of levels of chemicals in 9,282 people nationwide. The report reveals that government and industry have failed to safeguard public health from pesticide exposures.
Last month the Ontario College of Family Physicians released its study showing a consistent link between exposure to pesticides with serious health threats. The link between common household pesticides and fetal defects, neurological damage and the most deadly cancers is strong enough that family doctors in Ontario are urging citizens to avoid the chemicals in any form. These reports along with other information can be found at http://www.wtv-zone.com/infchoice/mcsawareness.html.
Informed Choices will have an educational MCS booth for the public on Thursday, May 27 through Sunday, May 30, 10 - 4 pm, at 1301 Howze Beach Road, Slidell, located south of Fritchie Park next to Oak Harbor's golf course. Our MCS booth will be an expansion of our booth for Earth Day Northshore http://www.wtv-zone.com/infchoice/patrol.html. Health professionals, teachers, public officials and news media are encouraged to visit. Free handbook for doctors on the Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisonings.
May 17, 2004 - States Can Be Liable for Not Making Courthouses Accessible States that fail to make their courthouses accessible to people with disabilities can be sued for damages under federal disability law. http://www.wtv-zone.com/infchoice/news/series.html