Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Evaluation and Management

Limited information is available on effective control measures, exposure assessments, and regulations dealing with multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS). However, OSHA does regulate exposures to specific chemical hazards. For additional information, see OSHA's Safety and Health Topics Pages for Chemical Hazards and Toxic Substances and Ventilation.

Many physicians are uncertain how to approach the evaluation and care of persons who have multiple symptoms attributed to low-level chemical exposure. The identification of MCS is based largely on the patient's description of the symptoms and the relationship of these symptoms to environmental exposures. The following references provide information about the clinical evaluation process and management of MCS.

  • Case Studies in Environmental Medicine: Taking An Exposure History (PDF). Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), (May 12, 2008). Helps increase the primary care provider’s knowledge of hazardous substances in the environment and to promote the adoption of medical practices that aid in the evaluation and care of potentially exposed patients.
  • Magill, M. and A. Suruda. "Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome." American Family Physician 58(3):721-728, (September 1, 1998). Provides a description of MCS and its symptoms. It also presents recommendations for physicians' evaluation and management of the syndrome.
    • Dehart, R. "Editorials: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity." American Family Physician 58(3):652-654, (September 1, 1998). Provides critique and commentary on the article above.