- Contact ASEHA
- ASEHA Leaflet Series
- Air Quality and Health Effects
- Allergy and Allergy Like Health Conditions
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
- Disability and Medical Issues For MCS and Allergy
- Children's Health Issues
- Web Links
- Search ASEHA
- ASEHA Press Releases
- ASEHA Submissions
A survey of individuals with MCS in Australia, 2011 - Conclusion and Resources
|MCS - ASEHA MCS Publications|
|A survey of individuals with MCS in Australia, 2011|
|Part A Medical Information|
|Part B Social Aspects|
|Part C Services Needes|
|Conclusion and Resources|
MCS is a chronic disease with an average of 22 years duration and carries with it a high degree of disability and isolation. We found a high degree of unmet needs in the MCS community most prominent of which is the barriers to accessing services
Individuals with MCS disability have no opportunity to improve their lives, their health or take part in society AND are often unable to work to support themselves. They lose the support from family and friends and can become isolated. Income support from welfare services is insufficient to provide for their special needs in housing, disability aids, medical aids. Food and nutrient support is often required as food allergy/intolerance is often a coexisting factor along with inability to take many medications. Some need extensive home modifications made to reduce levels of mould and VOCs in the home environment. Disability accommodations need to be made safe for the chemically sensitive. This applies to hospitals and other health care facilities, in-home services, emergency services, aged care facilities and the workplace to allow disability access without discrimination. This may be as simple as making a fragrance free environment by engaging in education of staff that fragrances are solvent based products, can be dangerous and can significantly contaminate indoor air.
MCS is a hidden disease. Sufferers are often isolated from friends, family and community by their illness. I hope that by gathering and disseminating information that highlights these problems it will raise awareness of these issues and the unmet needs of those with MCS.
UNMET NEEDS - THE WAY FORWARD
Targeted educational programs are required to promote awareness of MCS amongst service providers including Complementary Medicine practitioners about the need for safe non-perfumed environments. There is also the need for education regarding the dangers of exposure to commonly used chemicals and the relevance of these to a MCS person’s life.
One of the most important issues at the moment is to determine the number of individuals with MCS to demonstrate a need in the community. Political change requires numbers, hard facts and real figures. When negotiating with the government and/or government departments, they need to know how many people are affected. The more facts we can provide, the easier it will be for decisions to be made.
The formation of an Australian national register will illustrate the need for change with actual numbers. Lucinda Curran, Dr Ian Buttfield and myself, Sharyn Martin, have made available a website where such data can be collected www.anres.org . The data collected by ANRES will kept private and secure.
Finding a practitioner.
Physicians. At the moment the difficulty faced by GPs is that there are no guidelines on diagnosis, treatment or management of environmental sensitivities. There is limited knowledge of MCS and other related conditions such as CFS, fibromyalgia and food sensitivities and they are not covered in main stream medical school training or Continuing Medical Education programs. However there are a number of practitioners who have undergone ACNEM (Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine) post-graduate courses and workshops in the application of the principles of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine.
Complementary medicine practitioners can also help with the condition without the use of medications. It is a matter of finding a modality that best suits you.
Australian Site: www.acnem.org The Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) has an Australian & New Zealand referral list. There are a few overseas listings for Hong King, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands and Singapore. This site lists GP's, Dieticians, Pharmacists, Dentists, Chiropractors, Naturopaths as well as some other health care professionals.
www.aaem.com The referable physicians listed on this American site are members of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM). There are lists for US states and some other countries - Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Puerto Rico, Singapore and Switzerland.
www.mcsrr.org/ MCS Referral & Resources Website. This American Website is maintained by a non-profit organization engaged in professional outreach, patient support and public advocacy devoted to the diagnosis, treatment, accommodation and prevention of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity disorders. The organisation is based in Baltimore MD.
www.ciin.org Chemical Injury Information Network. CIIN is a non profit organisation based in White Sulphur Springs, MT. CIIN provides Doctor referrals to their members.
www.mcsurvivors.com This website has links for American medical treatment centres.
Diagnostic Aide : The Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) from http://drclaudiamiller.com/QEESI/
Chemical Intolerance Screening questionaries. Diagnosing a person with MCS requires a detailed medical and environmental history. The Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) is a standardised and validated screening questionaries that is readily available for download. It can be employed to obtain a profile of a patients’ self reported symptoms and intolerances. The Inventory provides information on a patients Symptom Severity, Chemical intolerances, Other intolerances and Life impact. The Inventory can be used as a diagnostic tool and as a baseline to monitor a patients’ progress over time.
This investigation is readily available, easy to administer and interpret. It can be downloaded from the link shown in the slide or search for QEESI on a search engine. Individuals with symptoms of chemical intolerance can take the completed inventory and the interpretation sheet to their doctor.
It can also be used to observe and note down when exposures and symptoms occur in different settings and conditions. Exposures between home, work or other environments (holidays) can then be compared.
It is also legal to use for medical practitioners. The QEESI may be downloaded from http://drclaudiamiller.com/QEESI/
Australian Hospital guidelines for MCS. There are currently four - available in SA, WA, Vic and the ACT.
Australian MCS Hospital Guidelines can be found from the following links
South Australia 2010: http://www.sacfs.asn.au/news/2010/07/07_24_mcs_guidelines_for_sa_hospitals.htm
Disability and Employment Issues in Australia
Australian Occupational Health and safety Union Reps :http://www.ohsrep.org.au/hazards/chemicals/multiple-chemical-sensitivity
Disability employment. The Australian government website for disability Employment access website is http://jobaccess.gov.au/content/multiple-chemical-sensitivity-syndrome
Australian Disability Clearing House on Education and Training. www.adcet.edu.au
Letters or paperwork that can be provided by GP or specialist to assist with non-medical issues
GPs can assist by providing letters or paperwork required for services such as social and disability welfare.
- In-home support
- Unemployment benefits
- Sickness benefits
- Disability support. In Australia, we are struggling to have MCS/ES recognised as a physical condition. Our Human Rights Commission recognises MCS/ES and fragrance sensitivity as a disability if it can be shown that an individual has the problem.
- Compensation payments for workplace injury
- Referral to specialists, physiotherapists and OTs etc – MCS patients are likely to have other chronic health issues that require specialist care or other type of intervention.
- Government Housing suitable for allergy/MCS patients (sample letter for housing on www.asehaqld.org.au website)
- Home schooling
- Disability parking
- Assistance with medical aids e.g. wheel chair, oxygen at home
- Aged care or respite services
- Pain management services
- Chronic illness/loss/grief counseling
- Social workers
- Ambulance transport services
Last Updated (Monday, 27 June 2016 03:38)