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Treat MSC seriously

Friday August 31, 2001


I appreciated your recent article about the scent issue and MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity), but want to make a few points. 

First, the language asking people not to wear scents at public meetings is referred to as a "warning." The word warning implies punishment or danger. The language is polite, uses the word please, and really amounts only to a request.  

Second, the city manager says that there was "extensive discussion" prior to the adoption of the present language, and therefore there is "no pressing need to re-open the discussion." For those of us who originally opened up the discussion because our health is compromised by the presence of these fragrances, there is a need to re-open it. The current language does not do what we need, which is to protect our health.  

Third and most importantly, I was quoted as saying that "those who suffer from (MCS) have little doubt that it exists," with no further elaboration. It is unfortunate that my words were not quoted in full. As cited, they might be seen as lending credence to the anti-MCS view that the condition is "all in our heads," which is the last thing I would in any way want to support.  

In fact, MCS is currently recognized as a legitimate disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act and by other entities including the U.S. Dept. of Justice, the U.S. President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, the U.S. National Council on Disability, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), among others.  

And there are both many physical findings which corroborate the existence of a medical condition, and many research studies which substantiate its existence. For more in-depth information on this, check out the Chemical Injury Information Network at 



Carol David