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For many, it’s hard enough to get up in the morning and go to work; add to that the fear that your work will make you ill, and getting out the door on time becomes even more difficult.

Those who suffer from MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities) are often not taken seriously. It’s extremely difficult to diagnose MCS because there are so many causes and contributors to the illness; from perfume to household cleaners, someone with MCS is going to react differently to each. MCS is as unique as the person who has it.

Often seen as an “allergy” to chemicals, MCS can be debilitating. We’re not talking itchy eyes and a bit of sneezing; this is a full-blown reaction from anaphylactic shock to swelling, hives, and respiratory issues. MCS is no joke and is not merely in a person’s head (as it was often diagnosed in the past).

If you’re an employer who has an employee who claims to suffer from MCS, take note. Listen to your employee and what they have to say. MCS in the workplace is a common occurrence these days and must be taken into consideration.

As an employer, there are certain measures you can take to improve your workplace or at least make it easier for your MCS employee to do their job and miss less work:

First and foremost, ventilation is key. Your MCS employee should be working in a well-ventilated area with working windows and proper air flow, preferably with a proper air filtration and purification system.

HEPA is often not enough to combat ambient air pollutants, so make sure your purifier is equipped with carbon and even UV. However, it is also extremely important to note that carbon can be harmful for MCS sufferers, and so they should have a unit specially made for them.

Each MCS unit by AllerAir is made to suit the needs of a single person and their MCS symptoms. So, if your MCS employee requests an air purifier, take the time to research companies out there who specialize in air filtration units such as Electrocorp or AllerAir and then have your MCS employee speak with an IAQ and MCS specialist about units like the AirMedic from AllerAir.

If your business deals with machinery like heavy copy machines or even industrial-grade machines, make sure to properly ventilate and extract the fumes. Again, a source capture air purifier is recommended. Do your research and find the unit that best suits your needs; your MCS employee and your other employers will breathe much more easily and thank you for it.

If the need for a building renovation or upgrade is in the near future, make sure you give your MCS employer ample warning of when and where the renovations will take place. Also consider doing your renovations with non-toxic materials (lead-free paint, PVC-free materials and formaldehyde-free furnishings).

If at all possible, stay away from carpets and replace flooring with real wood or ceramic and use non-toxic materials to lay and seal the floor as well. While this might be a more expensive route, it will keep your employees (MCS and non) happy and healthy and working more days throughout the year. It will also help your building be more ecologically and environmentally friendly, and may even have you in the standings for a LEED certification.

On the exterior of your building, consider stopping the use of pesticides for lawn care. You might get a few weeds, but the air flowing in through your open office windows will be much cleaner.

Finally, allow for work options for your MCS employee. Working from home or at another location that is free of ambient air pollutants may mean your MCS employee is able to work more days and accomplish more. Understand the need for cleaner, fresher air and respect your MCS employee’s requests for an air purification system. Change the cleaning products used in your office to organic, toxin-free. And try to encourage your other employees to not wear cologne, perfume or strong-smelling aftershave.

Whenever possible, remember that all MCS sufferers really want is clean air. And your first step towards gaining that is a proper air purification system.

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