Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: Could Your Home Be Making You Sick?
In our progressively green-focused world, there's a lot of talk about eliminating harmful products in order to protect the planet. That may be one of the reasons you're researching the use of low VOC paint for your home. But discontinuing your use of those toxic products can actually improve your own health, as well. For many people, the harmful effects from VOCs can manifest into serious physical issues. In some cases, prolonged or extreme exposure can result in long-term health damage. In today's post, we'll take a closer look at a condition called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, learn how to recognize the symptoms, and the steps you can take to eliminate these harmful chemicals from your home, office, and life in general.
What is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity?
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, also known simply as MCS, is thought to be a medical disorder that's triggered by exposure to chemicals or other environmental factors. MCS can materialize after a more serious but short-term chemical exposure or after being exposed to low-level triggers over a long period of time.
If you have developed MCS, it's likely that your symptoms could be exacerbated by exposure to everyday products that contain small amounts of fragrances or chemicals, likes soaps and detergents, cosmetic items, smoke, or products that contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Unlike a conventional allergy, chemical sensitivities aren't caused by your body attacking anything; they're thought to be the result of an irritant that aggravates your respiratory system. Frustratingly for many people who suffer from this condition, not all medical experts agree on whether this condition actually exists. But thankfully, there are those in the medical community who do understand the harm these chemicals can do.
What Are the Symptoms of MCS?
One of the many challenges of MCS is that each individual may experience slightly different symptoms. A lot of people who believe they suffer from chemical sensitivities may experience:
- Asthma or sinus issues
- Headaches or migraines
- Rashes or itchy skin
- Muscular and joint pain
- Stinging or burning eyes
- Runny nose
- Light and sound sensitivity
- Sore throat
- Coughing or wheezing
- Sleeping difficulties
- Memory loss
It's possible that you could struggle with MCS even if you don't experience many of these symptoms -- or that you could be misdiagnosed with another condition if you do. Until the medical community can catch up, it's often up to the individual to make lifestyle changes -- like using only health-focused paints or cleaning products that contain no toxic ingredients -- in order to improve symptoms on their own.
How Can I Reduce Chemical Sensitivities?
Even if you are not diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or other respiratory issues, data shows that indoor toxins can impact just about anyone. A recent study found that when participants spent six full work days in an environmentally controlled space with reduced VOC levels, their cognitive scores were a staggering 101% higher than those tested in conventional workspaces.
It's clear from this data that you don't necessarily need to have an established illness to be negatively impacted by these chemicals. What's more, even those without extreme respiratory issues can benefit from eliminating these chemicals from their homes. By exploring alternative building materials, using only low VOC paint for your home, and making an effort to embrace green and healthy cleaning products, personal toiletries, and other everyday items, you may be able to reduce the frequency and/or severity of any negative health consequences you might otherwise experience.
If you want to reduce the number of harmful chemicals in your environment, you'll need to explore options for using low VOC paint for your home, as well as other everyday products. By investing in low VOC paints and non-harmful products, you may be able to avoid the negative effects of this condition. At work, you may not always have total control, but you'll still need to make adjustments. You can, for example, appeal to your employer and coworkers to avoid the use of perfumes, to position your desk away from photocopiers, and to ensure you have access to windows for fresh air. By being diligent about your exposure to these contaminants, you can lead a healthier and more comfortable life.
To learn more about using low VOC for your home and other non-toxic products, please contact us today.