Anne Steinemann gets two articles published in the Building and Envirnonment magazine. January and February 2017

Ten questions concerning green buildings and indoor air quality

Ten questions concerning air fresheners and indoor built environments


Website for families of disabled students disappears. Feb. 2017

Washington State senator calls for website to be reinstated.

A Study on the Health Effects of Fragrances in Consumer Products

A study by Anne Steineman, PhD. on the prevalence and human health effects of fragrances in common products was published recently.
Fragranced consumer products: exposures and effects from emissions is available in PDF.

Fragranced consumer products, such as cleaning supplies, air fresheners, and personal care products, are a pri- mary source of indoor air pollutants and personal exposure. Previous research indicates that fragranced products can trig- ger adverse health effects, with implications for workplaces and public places. This is the first study to examine the mul- tiple dimensions of exposures related to fragranced products and effects in the US population. The study investigated the prevalence and types of fragranced product exposures, asso- ciated health effects, awareness of product emissions, and preferences for fragrance-free policies and environments. Data were collected using an online survey with a nationally representative population ( n = 1136) of adults in the USA. Overall, 34.7 % of the population reported health problems, such as migraine headaches and respiratory difficulties, when exposed to fragranced products. Further, 15.1 % have lost workdays or a job due to fragranced product exposure in the workplace. Also, 20.2 % would enter a business but then leave as quickly as possible if they smell air fresheners or some fragranced product. Over 50 % of the population would prefer that workplaces, health care facilities and professionals, ho- tels, and airplanes were fragrance-free. While prior research found that common fragranced products, even those called green and organic, emitted hazardous air pollutants, more than two thirds of the population were not aware of this, and over 60% would not continue to use a fragranced product if they knew it emitted such pollutants. Results from this study pro- vide strong evidence that fragranced products can trigger ad- verse health effects in the general population. The study also indicates that reducing exposure to fragranced products, such as through fragrance-free policies, can provide cost-effective and relatively simple ways to reduce risks and improve air quality and health.

Researchers estimate the United States economy takes a $340 billion hit annually as endocrine-disrupting compounds lower IQs, increase behavior problems and exacerbate health woes

Researchers estimate the United States economy takes a $340 billion hit annually as endocrine-disrupting compounds lower IQs, increase behavior problems and exacerbate health woes like obesity and diabetes.

October 17, 2016 By Brian Bienkowski, Environmental Health News

Exposure to chemicals in pesticides, toys, makeup, food packaging and detergents costs the U.S. more than $340 billion annually due to health care costs and lost wages, according to a new analysis.

The City of Detroit issues new guidelines regarding fragrance sensitivity accommodations

New ADA guidelines for fragrance sensitivity. The City of Detroit issues new guidelines regarding fragrance sensitivity accommodations. The Job Accommodations Network has educational materials about fragrance sensitivity.

Non-profits sue General Mills over false and misleading use of the word “natural”

Non-profits sue General Mills over false and misleading use of the word “natural”.

Researchers Discuss Acetylcholinesterase as a Biomarker for Toxic Exposure

Dr. Anne Steinemann has Compiled the Work of Dr. Stan Caress in Honor of His Memory

Click this link to read Dr. Stienemann’s rememberance of Dr. Caress, and find links to his research about the prevalence of MCS and Asthma.

Ontario Canada Organizes MCS Task Force

The Ontario government has set up a Task Force to look into the health needs of the chemically sensitive. It is a 3 year assignment that is to come back with recommendations for the government to implement. This is the first time that the these health conditions have ever been publicly acknowledged as valid by the Ontario government. Prior to this it was impossible to find these heath conditions on the Ontario government’s web sites. One aspect of this that is very encouraging is that it is being done under the umbrella of Public health. Five of the fifteen Task Force members are people with MCS.

New Study Shows Limonine in Scented Candles Converts to Formaldehyde.


MCS Friends hosted a public conference about Housing for MCS people on Tuesday June 21st, 2016.

To listen to the recording of this call, dial 712-770-4019 access code 735-129# reference number 2#.
We had a presentation about buying land in Canada, by someone who is looking for a land buying partner, or intentional neighbor in Canada.

There was a presentation about yurts as MCS housing by someone looking for land or community in Montana.

We also had a section on how to find safer housing, including a list of current housing ad venues.

We then had an update from the Canary Housing Cooperative in New York State.

If you have a housing project or concept you would like to share about on a future conference, please contact us.

Researchers at Northwestern University are running a survey designed to gather information about those who suffer from chronic multisymptom illness, such as ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, toxic mold illness, chronic Lyme, CIRS, MCS, POTS, MS, autism and other similar diseases.

As well as on “adults”, they are also asking about the effects of the illness on children born to chronically ill parents.

There is more information at:

The survey questions are available to read before taking the survey:

You can take the survey at: 

The survey closes on 30 July 2016, and one must be over 18 to participate.
European Commission Fails to Push Through Glyphosate Re-Approval

MCS Friends hosted a public conference call May 17th, 2016 on the topic of applying for Social Security Disability. We had presentations by staff members of Allsup who are aware of MCS. They spoke for about 25 minutes and then took questions from the audience. One of our members recently was successful in applying for SSD, but choose not share details.

To listen to the recording of this conference dial 712-770-4019 access code 735-129. It is reference #1.

Here are some links to background information on Allsup’s website:
·        SSDI Literacy/SSDI Benefits

·        SSDI fact sheet

·        General SSDI guidelines

In the News (May 2016):

Toxic Substances Control Act:

Update to chemical control legislation falls short, according to some. Weakening the States’ ability to regulate chemicals and underfunding are among potential problems.

Environmental Working Group’s breakdown of the new bill.

Opinion article by the head of Greenpeace about the new bill.

FDA to Regulate Electronic Cigarettes and Cigars

The e-cigarette industry says the regulations will all but kill their business.  Click here for the story by USA Today.

Johnson and Johnson to Face Multiple Lawsuits over Cancer-Causing Talc Powder.

A South Dakota cancer survivor was awarded $55 Million by jury, after jury concluded that Johnson and Johnson knew about the cancer risk from it’s Baby Powder. Here’s more on this story by Bloomberg News.


 City of Boston Moves to Allow Flame Retardant-free Furniture

Last month, thanks to the incredible work done by the Silent Spring Institute, the Boston City Council passed a bill to modify the existing fire code in buildings with sprinklers. Boston was the only major city in the U.S. that had to comply with flammability standard TB133. Thanks to this amendment, furniture used in schools, hospitals and hundreds of public buildings will be able to be free of toxic flame retardant chemicals. You can find the press release from SSI here:

New Format for Global Map of MCS People

Hello to 856 map members! This is to invite all those who had joined my Persons With MCS Map to please now join the much improved MCS map at! I hope you will all click on that link and join us on the new map. I think you’ll really love the new features.

The old map will stay live, but is now frozen, and won’t be updated. I can’t automatically migrate everyone who was in the old map to join the new one, so you’ll have to add yourself.

The new map is still non-profit, ad-free, respects your privacy, and shows the world that we exist, while allowing complete anonymity if you choose. However, this map lets you connect within the map if you enable that option!

See you on the new map! -Katya

(MCS Friends is not affiliated with the Map of MCS People, but we are the first organization to appear on the Map!)

3/3/16 The Intercept: “A Chemical Shell Game: How DuPont Concealed the Dangers of the New Teflon Toxin.”

This article does far more than only expose the toxicity of alternatives to “teflon” being unleashed on American consumers.
Even for a reasonably well-informed person, this well-researched report provides a heart-breaking, shocking, & accurate indictment of the EPA’s failure to comply with even existing weak law; in addition to indicting the deplorably weak “regulation” of more than 17,000 toxic chemicals injected into consumer products, & America’s air/land/water. It is NOT an exaggeration to say that, as a practical matter, currently there is NO effective regulation to protect public health from most toxic substances in America.
Via an MCS Friends member

A Special Topic on Carbon Monoxide Posioning

Albert Donnay, of MCS Referral & Resources (, was be our guest Sunday, March 6, at 2 pm Eastern time, for a talk called “Do-it-yourself screening, testing and detox of Multi-Sensory Sensitivity, the hallmark of MCS, CFS, and FM cases caused by chronic carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Re-Scheduled Webinar on “Mobile Device for Measuring Ambient Chemical Exposure”

You are cordially invited to the next NIEHS Exposure Science and the Exposome Webinar Series event on March 8, 2016, featuring Dr. Kim Anderson from Oregon State University.

Title: Mobile Device for Measuring Ambient Chemical Exposure, Location and Respiratory Health Robustness and Comparisons with Conventional Technologies

Date: Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM.- 12:30 PM EST

Accommodations for Disabilities
Individuals with disabilities who need accommodation to participate in this webinar should contact Yuxia Cui at voice telephone: 919-316-4756 or email: TTY users should contact the Federal TTY Relay Service at 800-877-8339. Requests should be made at least 5 days in advance of the event.


Disability News

Good news! The federal budget that passed late last year included fully funding Social Security Disability payments through about 2022, by borrowing from the retirement fund.

The federal government is now allowing the states to offer special “Able” savings deposit accounts with balances up to $14,000 for people who were disabled before age 26. Money that people or their friends deposit in these accounts may be used for special housing, education or transportation. So far 35 states have passed legislation to set up these savings accounts, which will be in addition to, and separate from, the current $2,000 limit on disabled people’s savings accounts.

Pamela Gibson Studies Senior MCS Women

Pamela Gibson, Phd. is conducting a survey of chemically or electrically sensitive women over the age of 65. The study asks how their needs are being met as they age. To get a paper version of the study call (540)-568-6195 and leave your name and address.
Or write to: Dept. of Pyschology, 91 E. Grace Street MSC 7704, James Madison University, Harrisonburg VA 22807.
The study is also on-line at

In the News

  • Objective Biomarkers found for MCS and EHS

    Reliable disease biomarkers characterizing and identifying electrohypersensitivity and multiple chemical sensitivity as two etiopathogenic aspects of a unique pathological disorder.


    WASHINGTON D.C. Today, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro joined Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy in Alexandria, VA to announce a proposed rule to make the nation’s public housing properties entirely smoke-free. HUD’s proposed rule would require more than 3,100 public housing agencies (PHAs) across the country to implement smoke-free policies in their developments within 18 months of the final rule.

    Under HUD’s proposed rule, PHAs must implement a policy prohibiting lit tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars or pipes) in all living units, indoor common areas, administrative offices and all outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and administrative office buildings. This rule does not apply to HUD section 8 voucher rentals or privately owned housing units. HUD is seeking public comment on this proposed rule for the next 60 days [until January 19, 2016].

    To get more information or submit a comment, visit the proposal document at Comments submitted online are visible by the public. (One of MCS Friend’s members was able to submit a comment that addressed the smoking ban, as well as mentioning the need for progress against chemical pesticide, herbicide, and scented candles.)

  • Pesticide Exposure Linked to Lower Lung Capacity in Children. University of California, Berkeley


Notes from 11-4 MCS Friends conference about heating systems.

One of our members shared their experience having a hydronic heating system installed in their house. It is the first phase of what could be a larger project including in-floor PEX (plastic) water pipes that circulate hot water under the floor. More than one wall radiator could be heated by the same water tank.

The purpose of hydronic systems is (1) to eliminate fans, dust, and air circulation with forced air systems and (2) to remove the EMF of the heating element from the radiator itself, so EMF sensitive people can be near the radiator. The water heating element could even be installed outside in a shed and use wood, propane, or electricity, but in that case the water pipes have to be buried and insulated.

What the member is currently using with success is:

  1. An electric water heater tank in the basement. (Like the regular hot water tanks for hot tap water.)
  2. A small circulation pump near the water tank to move the hot water through:
  3. PEX (plastic) water pipes to:
  4. A stove enamel coated, wall mounted radiator purchased from Quincy Hydronics.

The member purchased the largest radiator available at a cost of $350. The total system including a new electrical circuit for the water heater was approx. $3000. This includes labor which was done by a local Heating and Air Conditioning contractor who was also a plumber.

The PEX pipe needed off-gassed for 6 months. Copper pipes could have been used but were twice the cost of PEX.

The wall radiator itself, Eco Style, coated with stove enamel, was immediately tolerable to this member. They reported no paint smell or oily coating.


  • Quincy Hydronics 800-501-7697

Space heaters mentioned by other members:

  • Delonghi (Ceramic and mica panel heaters) 800-934-9194
  • King Electric (Baseboard and portable heaters without fans) 206-762-0400
  • Envi ceramic wall heater. (plugs in to outlet, easy to install) 281-516-1577


In the News



    • The Meat Industry Is Licking Its Chops Over Obama’s Massive Trade Deal | Mother Jones

      She points to another concern with the deal: the infamous Investor-State Dispute Settlement clause, which would allow corporations within the TPP zone to challenge regulations imposed by member governments in a binding international court. For instance, a company could protest against health and safety regulations if it felt they restricted its business. (Here’s a blistering critique of the ISDS clause from Sen. Elizabeth Warren.) Two foreign companies—Brazil’s JBS and China’s Shuanghui—now control nearly half of US pork production. Neither Brazil nor China is in the TPP, but nothing’s stopping either from opening a subsidiary in, say, Australia or Japan, and then filing an Investor-State Dispute Settlement suit to stifle some state regulation on factory-scale livestock farming, says Karen Hansen-Kuhn, director of international strategies for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

      “The few tools that impacted communities have remaining to protect themselves from CAFO [concentrated animal feeding operations] pollution could be in jeopardy if those regulations are seen as a barrier to trade with the potential to impact corporate profits,” Kimbirauskas adds.

    • How Many Deaths Did Volkswagen’s Deception Cause in the U.S.? | The New York Times

      The chemicals that spewed illegally from the Volkswagen diesel cars — known as nitrogen oxides or NOx — have been linked to a host of respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, as well as premature deaths. Nitrogen oxides are a byproduct of burning fossil fuels at high temperature, whether in cars, power plants or other machines like industrial boilers. The chemicals can be harmful to humans, and in warm, sunny conditions, they can also turn into ground-level ozone, or smog, and unhealthy particle pollution.

      Nitrogen dioxide and ozone irritate the lungs, increasing airway inflammation, coughing and wheezing, and can lower resistance to respiratory illness like influenza, especially with long-term exposure. The chemicals can also worsen the suffering and risk of serious illness or premature death for those with conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Older people, who are more likely to have these ailments, are particularly vulnerable.

    • Workplace Issues: Offending Scents In The Office | NPRNPR Listeners respond to this story unfairly painting a boss with chemical sensitivities as unreasonable. NPR follows up with What’s That Smell?! When Workplaces Try Fragrance Bans | NPR.
MCS Friends is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Michigan.