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Canadian Statistics

Frequency of Associated Diagnosis with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

2005 National Survey of the Work and Health of Nurses 3.6% of all Canadian nurses experienced chemical sensitivities

MCS commonly overlaps with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM)

Statistics Canada – January 2007

  • In 2003, 5% of Canadians (1.2 million people) have been diagnosed with at least one of these disorders.
  • Of the 5% of Canadians diagnosed 2.4% reported MCS, 1.5% FM and 1.3% CFS.
  • Among these individuals, at least 14% had two of the three conditions.
  • Overall incidence rose with age from 1.6% at ages 12 to 24 to 6.9% at ages 45 to 64

Close to a million Canadians being diagnosed with MCS represents a
large, unnecessary and avoidable tragedy, as well as a drain on society
and the economy.


  • Significant differences were found in the capacity to function and health care usage between people in the general population with and without a diagnosis of MCS.
  • Percentage of people with a MCS diagnosis who needed help with housework, preparing meals, errands, appointments – 22%
  • Medical Interventions – People with MCS who:
  • Visited the family doctor more than 10 times – 17%
  • Visited specialists – 43%
  • Visited alternative practitioners in the previous year – 33%

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)

Social and Economic Impact in Québec

The following information was extracted from the Statistics Canada datafile for the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey.

An estimated 171,000 Quebecers have been diagnosed with MCS. Just over half were between the ages of 40 and 64, a quarter were younger than 40, and the remainder were 65 years old or older. 71% were female, and 29% were male.

In 2010, the number of diagnosed cases of MCS in Québec were 179,000. In Canada, there was a 34% increase between 2005 and 2010.

Quebecers with MCS showed a higher than normal degree of activity limitation:


Quebecers with MCS also experienced socio-economic disadvantage:


There are gaps in service to Quebecers with MCS:

The Environmental Health Association of Québec has informed the Government of Québec that urgent help is required for recognition, support services and adequate health care for people suffering from MCS.

The above data, provided by the Government of Canada, proves us to be right.

MCS is a medical condition which has been recognized by the Canadian Human Rights Commission as a disability. This medical condition has a significant impact on the lives of MCS sufferers. Most people suffering from MCS fall through the cracks and do not have any support systems that they can depend on.

About the Canadian Community Health Survey
The Canadian Community Health Survey is a major survey designed by Canadian health authorities to identify and monitor health issues affecting Canadians aged 12 and up. There were 6,500,000 Quebecers in scope for the survey. Over 29,000 Quebecers were interviewed.

The Environmental Health Association of Quebec is a non-profit, registered charity working to support people suffering from MCS and to educate on ecological solutions for everyday living. To learn more, please visit our website at:

These tables were compiled with the help of Margaret Parlor, President, National ME/FM Action Network. Ms Parlor recently retired from a 30 year public service career where she worked as a statistician, policy analyst and manager.

For more statistics from the Canadian Community Health Survey, go to

Canadian community health survey 2005