Diagnosis of environmental sensitivities
In 1999, group of physicians and researchers published the criteria for diagnosis of MCS.
- Symptoms are reproducible.
- The condition is chronic.
- Low levels of exposure (lower than previously or commonly tolerated) result in symptoms.
- Symptoms improve or resolve when incitants are removed
- Responses occur to multiple chemically unrelated substances.
- Symptoms involve multiple organ Systems.
Reference: 1999 Consensus on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. Archives of Environmental Health, May/June 1999, Vol. 54, No. 3, based on: J. R. Nethercott, L. L. Davidoff, B. Curbow. “Multiple Chemical Sensitivities Syndrome: Toward a Working Case Definition.” Arch Environ Health, 1993; 48:19–26.
These diagnostic criteria were then validated by University of Toronto researchers, who also determined additional symptoms common in people with MCS.
- Having a stronger sense of smell than others.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Feeling dull or groggy.
- Feeling spacey.
Reference: McKeown-Eyssen, G. E., C. J. Baines, L. M. Marshall, et al. “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity:
Discriminant Validity of Case Definitions.” Arch Environ Health, 2001; 56(5):406–12
Also noted commonly in the international medical literature:
- Onset of ES most commonly reported after acute exposure to pesticides, solvents
- Pain and fatigue may be severely disabling
- If exposures are constant, sensitivities may be “masked” and not recognized until…
The Tipping Point
Cumulative contamination leads to tipping points. For example:
- we are surpassing the environmental tipping point with climate change
- human body burden and cellular/organ injuries build up over time
Multiple exposures can cause multiple effects, but until overloaded, a person may not feel ill
Sensitivities to various substances are individual, but may “spread” to more types of exposures.