May is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Month. I had never heard about MCS until I started developing symptoms myself.

MCS is a condition in which a person develops severe and debilitating symptoms from exposure to chemicals and fragrances. Some of the products that cause these reactions include perfumes and colognes; fragranced laundry detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets; fragranced soaps and shampoo; tobacco and wood smoke; air fresheners; and cleaning products made with harsh detergents or fragrances.

MCS is increasingly prevalent in today’s society because we manufacture our products and conduct our industries using incredibly hazardous chemicals. We choose convenience and the dollar bill over people and health. MCS is caused by chronic exposure to these chemicals; MCS didn’t exist before we began using them.

Many people with MCS become chronically ill and have to isolate themselves from friends, family and society to be well. And although some people do recover, it takes an incredible amount of time, research, money and diligence to do so. Sadly, there have been many deaths and suicides as well.

MCS is a societal disease, meaning it is man-made. If we created it, we also have the power to put an end to it.

Every person who stops using fragranced products makes a difference. Every organization that makes an effort to detoxify its workplace or make healthier products makes a difference.

One by one, people have to start caring enough to make changes in their lives. For many, these changes require very little effort, yet have an incredibly large effect.

To learn more about MCS and how to go fragrance-free to protect your own health, please check out

Carrie Johnston


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