People who are sensitive to chemicals face many challenges. The Austin Air filters are designed with the chemically sensitive in mind. Creating a safe environment free with pure air is critical and after extensive research, I found the Austin Air filters to be the best choice for my healthy home. I have MCS and have been helped by using them.
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is a growing problem in our world. It affects people of all ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, races, and genders. It can have a sudden or slow onset. The symptoms are varied and can come and go. Many health professionals are unfamiliar with MCS. There is no simple treatment. Understanding MCS is important in determining the best course you can take to protect your health.
What is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity? It is also called environmental illness, chemical intolerance. People with MCS become ill when exposed to chemicals most people seem to tolerate. They often react to minute amounts of commonly encountered substances, such as fragrances, pesticides, new carpets, vehicle exhaust, and cleaning supplies. People with MCS react to chemicals at levels that are generally considered to be safe for most people. There is a wide variety of reactions that range from mild to life threatening. These reactions may be different from typical toxic reactions.
This illness has become more prevalent in the twentieth century due to the introduction of thousands of new chemicals into our environment in the last 50 years. Many chemicals have been inadequately tested for their effects on the central nervous system, endocrine system and immune system. A clear definition for this illness in the medical community is needed for developing protocols for testing, diagnosis and treatment.
What causes MCS?
Exposure to chemicals is generally associated with the symptoms of MCS
1. This condition can be the result of a single exposure, such as a chemical spill. People have been previously healthy, and have a sudden onset of symptoms
2. It can be the result of chronic cumulative exposures, such as using chemicals at the workplace. There can be a series of low-level multiple exposures to different substances resulting in a gradual decline of health
3. There is no easily identified cause but people experience symptoms when exposed to common chemicals.
What can be associated with onset of MCS?
Some people become ill by working or living in a “sick” building
1. Pesticides – This class of chemicals is the most common cause of initiating chemical sensitivity.
2. Petrochemicals, tar fumes, inorganic solvents, natural gas and propane
3. Renovations at the workplace, remodeling at home, new building materials, paints
4. Formaldehyde, new furnishings
6. Industrial emissions
7. Fragrances, personal care products, air fresheners, fabric softener
8. Diesel and vehicle exhaust
9. Carbonless copy paper, copy machine and laser printer toner
10. Workplace chemicals, laboratory sterilization solutions, dry cleaning chemicals
12. Tobacco smoke
14. Cleaning supplies
15. Mold mycotoxins
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms may be mild to severe, they may be persistent or come and go in relation to exposure
The symptoms may affect many organs in the body
Different exposures may cause varied reactions
Symptoms may occur immediately, often within minutes, or hours or even days later
Fatigue, weakness, sleep disturbances, muscle aches, joint pain, muscle spasms
Headache, dizziness, migraines
Gastrointestinal problems, nausea, food intolerance, irritable bowel, yellowish skin
Heart palpitations, arrhythmia, rapid heartbeat
Respiratory difficulties, asthma, shortness of breath, allergy symptoms such as sinusitis, nasal congestion., hives and rashes, dark circles under eyes
Altered brain chemistry can cause seizures, tremors, anxiety, panic, depression, emotional outbursts, and behavioral problems
Cognitive problems, “Brain fog”, a term that refers to symptoms affecting mental function including difficulty concentrating, memory loss, clouded thinking, dyslexia/learning difficulty, aphasia (difficulty expressing oneself and/or understanding others)
Feeling intoxicated or sensing an abrupt shift in the way you normally feel, tingling
Eye, ear, throat irritation
Burning tongue, metallic taste in mouth, heightened sense of smell
Edema or bloating anywhere in the body, swollen lymph nodes, red cheeks and ears
How is MCS treated?
At this time there is no known cure . More research is needed to understand the underlying physiological mechanisms that cause this illness.
Avoidance of the chemicals and triggers that cause symptoms is the most consistently positive treatment that has been documented. While this may be very difficult, it is critical if your health is severely affected. It is important to recognize what is causing your symptoms in order to know what to do about it instead of getting sicker and sicker.
Substances that commonly trigger MCS symptoms
Pesticides: a common initiator of MCS, mothballs, herbicides, insecticides
Petroleum products: natural gas, propane, diesel, auto fuel, solvents
Fragrance products: perfume, cologne, personal care products, aftershave, lotions, laundry soaps, fabric softener, nail polish, air fresheners, aroma therapy,
Cleaners: dry cleaning solvents, ammonia, pine sol, chlorine
Building products: formaldehyde, paint, adhesives, roofing materials, carpets, sealants and finishes, particle board, plywood, new furniture, plastics
Fabrics: synthetics, wrinkle resistant treatments
Office products: copy machines, printers, fresh newspaper ink, permanent markers, carbonless copy paper
Plastics: new wiring on electronic equipment, vinyl, latex, new appliances
Outdoor air pollution: smoke, smog, industrial emissions, vehicle exhaust and traffic
What features of the Austin Air filters are important for multiple chemical sensitivity ?
The Austin Air filter is designed to remove a wide range of contaminants. You need a combination of HEPA filtration and carbon filtration to address the many substances that can affect someone with MCS.
They are generally very well tolerated, especially the Health Mate Series. Some people need an air out period.
The entire body of the air cleaner is made of solid steel, which has been welded together to prevent any rattles. The paint used is powder coating, baked at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. This process eliminates any odor or off-gas emissions while enhancing durability. The only plastic components in the air cleaner are the fan blade, wheels or feet and the control knob on the front of the unit. Varnish is not used to coat the motor winding. There are no glues used in the filters. Some other HEPA filters use chemicals in the filtration media and manufacturing, making offgassing harmful. There is no toxic ozone emitted by these filters.
When you have chemical sensitivities, creating a safe environment at home can allow your body to recover from daily exposures. The quality of filtration for the money is excellent. With MCS simple is best and there are no added features that can make the filter harder to tolerate. The Austin Air filters have changed the quality of life for many