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President of MCS America, Lourdes Salvador, has announced that May is MCS Awareness Month. What is MCS? MCS is something approximately 48 million Americans suffer from and it stands for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. This disease can be debilitating. Sufferers are often bedridden and simply afraid or too ill to venture out into the world. And often, MCS sufferers can’t even stand to be in their own homes.

MCS knows no boundaries. It can affect anyone no matter what the race, gender or age. It can also effect each individual differently. While one sufferer may be extremely sensitive to perfume fragrances, another may not. Though, generally, any substance with a strong odor has an effect on an MCS sufferer. Many people think it’s just an over-reaction to everyday items. However, MCS sufferers are physically and mentally affected by the air and objects around them. It is all about hypersensitivity, but not in a hypochondriac kind of way; these people are legitimately affected by the chemicals around them (from perfume to floor cleaners and even food coloring). Often suffering from respiratory diseases, reduced blood flow to the brain, auto-immune disorders, cardiac and airway diseases, and depression caused by isolation, MCS is a disease that physically and mentally eats away at a person; and the world needs to be made aware of its impact.

So, what can you do to raise awareness this month if you do not suffer from MCS?

Plenty!

First off, spread awareness by wearing yellow. Shouldn’t be too hard; spring is in the air and the warm weather is upon us, so wearing yellow will only lighten the mood of you and everyone around you. Yellow is the chosen MCS color. You can also purchase MCS t-shirts and merchandise with the MCS America logo in support of the foundation. You can also raise awareness where MCS individuals suffer most; and that might even be in  your own office. Propose a week without perfume and cologne in the office. Ask that harsh chemical cleaners be replaced with organic, natural, odorless cleaners in your local clinic. Propose an all-natural, organic BBQ fundraiser for MCS. Use all-natural food ingredients free of food dies, colors and preservatives.

Awareness is the key. Many people are unaware that so many people suffer from MCS, and by spreading knowledge and awareness that’s half the battle.

So, what can you do to raise awareness this month if you suffer from MCS?

Just as much!

MCS is no joke; and if you suffer from this illness, then you know that firsthand. Often, those who suffer from MCS are prisoners in their own homes. Afraid to venture out into the world for fear of encountering a place, person or thing that will cause a severe reaction, bed-rest often turns into a permanent state. This is not healthy, in any way, shape or form. And how will an MCS sufferer spread the word of their disease and how to help them if they are trapped in their own bedroom?

The first step to clearing the air, so to speak, is a proper air filtration system in your home. If you have MCS you already know the significance of this step. MCS is all about the air we breath and all the particles, chemicals, toxins and nasty bits that are in it. However, even this can harm someone who suffers from MCS. The carbon in proper filtration units can have negative effects. So it is extremely important to take a carbon test before purchasing a unit so you know how much carbon you can handle.  

The best place to put a proper air filtration unit (with medical-grade HEPA and activated carbon) to start is in your bedroom. You want to breathe well when you sleep and rest — when your body is recovering and rebuilding. From there, you can purchase multiple units for different rooms in your home. Different locations call for different needs, and so it’s important to research the possible chemicals associated with every part of your home.

Specialized units from Electrocorp and AllerAir are made to deal with the unique needs of MCS sufferers. Units for varying degrees of MCS severity exist, so a chat with one of our indoor air quality experts is essential before you purchase a unit.

Avoidance is one answer for those who suffer from MCS, but it is not the answer.

There is no cure for MCS, but there is the possibility for awareness and control; and the month of May is the perfect time to do just that.

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