||The World Trade Center attack produced chemical exposures of almost unprecedented magnitude. Photo courtesy of Don Shapiro, Healthy Housing Coalition.
Welcome to the Chemical Sensitivity Foundation
The primary goal of the Chemical Sensitivity Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, is to raise public awareness about multiple chemical sensitivity. To this end, we are now enabling visitors to this site to play a short documentary produced/directed by Alison Johnson that is titled Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Short Introduction. This DVD includes footage of Dr. L. Christine Oliver, an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Harvard Medical School, CSF chair Alison Johnson, and Dr. Anne Steinemann, who speaks about her important prevalence studies and her recent study on the toxic ingredients in common fragranced products. The film also includes several MCS patients, among them veterans of the 1991 Gulf War and First Responders and others exposed to the World Trade Center toxins.
Click here to read the transcript of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Short Introduction
New CDC Policy Limits the Use of Fragranced Products in All CDC Facilities Nationwide
In June 2009, the CDC implemented a new indoor environmental quality policy for all its facilities. This policy prohibits, among other things:
- Incense, candles, or reed diffusers
- Plug-in or spray air fresheners
The policy also states: "[The] CDC encourages employees to be as fragrance-free as possible when they arrive in the workplace. Fragrance is not appropriate for a professional work environment, and the use of some products with fragrance may be detrimental to the health of workers with chemical sensitivities, allergies, asthma, and chronic headaches/migraines."
View the entire 13-page CDC policy.
Recent Research from Dr. Anne Steinemann
Dr. Anne Steinemann, formerly a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Public Affairs at the University of Washington, has recently published important research documenting the presence of a large number of toxic chemicals in widely used fragranced products, including detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, air fresheners, disinfectants, cleaning products, shampoos, and other household and personal-care products.
Read more about Dr. Steinemann's research
Useful information from publications by members of the CSF Board:
This is the first section of a booklet published by Ann McCampbell, M.D.
This is the first section of Chapter Four in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Survival Guide by Pamela Reed Gibson, Ph.D.
Visitors to Johnson’s website can play most of her documentaries and read excerpts from her books.
HUD Considers Multiple Chemical Sensitivity to be a Disability
Another goal of the Foundation is to call attention
to the housing problems faced by those with multiple chemical sensitivity.
There is a great need for housing that is constructed, remodeled,
or furnished in such a way as to minimize the use of building materials
and furnishings that contain and release formaldehyde and other
toxic chemicals that can cause severe problems for the chemically
sensitive. We also believe that it is important to educate landlords
about the effects that their pest-control or cleaning chemicals
can have on the chemically sensitive. In 2004 the Foundation provided
seed money to produce a DVD to raise awareness about chemical sensitivity
among landlords serving renters receiving funds from programs of
the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This
DVD contains an introduction from Bennie Howard, then Acting Deputy
Director for the Office of Disabilities at HUD, in which he stated
that HUD considers multiple chemical sensitivity to be a disability
under the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
here to read Bennie Howard's complete statement, a portion of
which appears in Chemical Sensitivity: A 15-Minute Introduction.
NIEHS Seminar: "Multiple Chemical Sensitivity"
A major milestone in the Chemical Sensitivity Foundation’s efforts to raise awareness about chemical sensitivity occurred in October 2010, when Chair Alison Johnson was invited to present a seminar titled “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Rapidly Growing Disorder” at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a branch of the NIH. This event was cosponsored by the NIEHS National Toxicology Program and the NIEHS Disability Advocacy Committee.
Click here for the article about the seminar appearing in the December issue of the NIEHS newsletter.
Ground Zero and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
The Chemical Sensitivity Foundation has engaged
in various activities to investigate and help publicize the probable
connection between multiple chemical sensitivity and the adverse
health effects being experienced by those living or working near
the World Trade Center, who were exposed to an unprecedented mixture
of potentially toxic chemicals after the collapse of the World Trade
Center Towers. We believe that knowledge about this potential chemical
sensitivity connection will help ill New Yorkers reduce their symptoms.
By raising public awareness that exposure to a chemical soup like
that encountered near Ground Zero can cause long-term health problems,
including sensitivity to everyday chemicals, we hope that in the
future public officials will be less cavalier about the risks involved
in exposure to toxic chemicals.
here to visit our World Trade Center page.
Chemical Sensitivity Bibliography
Our efforts to raise awareness about chemical
sensitivity include the distribution of a six-page selected bibliography
of studies and articles on chemical sensitivity published in peer-reviewed
journals. The amount of solid research on this subject is expanding
each year, and we believe it is important to alert physicians and
researchers to scientific information on this condition that is
as yet not always recognized or understood. One of our goals in
distributing this list is to stimulate other scientists to consider
launching research studies in this field.
here for the Selected Bibliography of Research Articles.