What Are Multiple Chemical Sensitivities? (MCS)


AllerAir is supporting Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and Chemical Injury Associations worldwide in their effort to spread Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome awareness. Learn about our carbon test kit especially for those who suffer chemical injury or multiple chemical sensitivities.

 Can Air Purification Help People with Multiple Chemical Allergies
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities are very real; they affect people across the globe. Today advocacy groups, patients suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and legislators around the world are working to create awareness about Multiple Chemical Allergies and its chronic, debilitating effects.
 What are Chemical Allergies?

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities / Multiple Chemical Allergies refers to a medical condition that causes an allergy-like reaction to even low levels of chemical exposure. The onset of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity symptoms depends on either a single, highly toxic chemical encounter, or repeated low-level chemical exposures.

What makes it difficult for those suffering from Multiple Chemical Allergies is that, unlike other allergies, their sensitivities have been generally misunderstood. Those who suffer from Chemical Allergies experience severe symptoms that interfere with their day-to-day activities. Generally, symptoms include irritation of the respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems.

The unique dilemma faced by people suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities is that triggers are found in every-day products; including household cleaners, fragrances, furniture and outdoor air pollutants. Many of these triggers are ubiquitous in indoor air. Several studies suggest that chemical exposure can begin as early as the womb leading to behavioral and cognitive problems, and chronic disorders like chemical injury, asthma and cancer.

 So can an air purifier help someone suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities?

An air purifier is not a cure for Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, but yes, it will provide significant relief. The dangers of chemicals are far more frightening, and pose greater risks to human health than particle pollution. Chemicals like chloroform, benzene, formaldehyde and other Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) are released from stain-resistant furniture, flame retardant clothing, pressed wood products, carpeting and upholstery. These chemicals are recognized for their ability to cause liver, kidney and nervous system damage as well as cancer.

The EPA contends that as chemical exposure intensifies, the number of incidences as well as the severity of symptoms will increase (Approaches To Risk Assessment For Multiple Chemical Exposure). Employing the use of an air purifier, equipped with several pounds of activated carbon, and implementing greener habits will help improve your indoor air quality.

 Activated Carbon

The EPA also suggests that the porous surface of activated carbon has the ability to adsorb pollutants from both air and water. A single pound of activated carbon typically has a surface area of 125 acres.

Activated carbon is recognized as the most efficient way to treat gaseous pollutants and airborne chemicals. Carbon that is activated undergoes a process that opens millions of tiny pores and fissures to enhance the material's adsorbent properties. This process creates a very large internal surface area - the more surface area, the more gaseous pollutants it can adsorb. The actual 3.5" of carbon filter depth provides extended dwell time (the time air spends in the filter), which allows for greater adsorption of chemicals and other gaseous pollutants.

Those who suffer from Multiple Chemical Allergies require an air purifier manufactured with the most inert parts and many pounds of activated carbon to trap gaseous pollutants. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity air purifiers must have pre-filters that are 100% cotton, unbleached and pesticide-free. An air purifier should not off-gas the same harmful chemicals that it is expected to remove. As such, any company that offers Multiple Chemical Sensitivity air purifiers should provide a carbon test kit, so that individuals can select the carbon blend that is most tolerable. A good air purifier combines a hefty carbon filter with HEPA; however, to remove gaseous pollutants it is imperative to have several pounds of activated carbon rather than a film of spray-on carbon that is barely measurable. While HEPA will trap 99.97% of particle pollutants, nothing beats activated carbon when it comes to relief of gaseous pollutants.