Even though millions of people are sensitive to certain chemicals, some members of the medical establishment have long viewed multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) with skepticism.
At a physicians’ conference last year, one immunologist told me that MCS is “all in their heads.” At the same conference, another physician told me that he has suffered from MCS ever since medical school, when he was exposed to high levels of formaldehyde during dissections.
I know that MCS exists because I have suffered from it. When I was a child with severe allergies, my mom picked up one of my friends on the way to school every morning. My friend wore perfume (quite a bit of it), and every time she got in the car, I got a headache and started sneezing. I often had to roll down my window to avoid the chemical odor.
Even though some doctors still think it’s “all in your head,” several years ago Martin Pall, professor of biochemistry at Washington State University wrote a paper that describes mechanims of MCS. Read more about the mechanisms of multiple chemical sensitivity