Isolated Illness: Characteristics and Issues of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
The social damage from MCS is basically similar to that from other environmental-pollutant-related diseases, as indicated by previous studies: loss of income, strain on family relationships, and forced life changes. However, in our research conducted by Prof. Ryoichi Terada, extreme damage from MCS was observed; this was related to the impossibility of identifying and avoiding the causative substances, being diagnosed by doctor, defining the patients’ situation, pursuing the company and persons responsible, and uniting patients and their supporters. These characteristics are brought about by the medical ambiguity and extensiveness of MCS. In short, patients are isolated both socially and medically.
In conclusion, recovery from MCS is defined as not only chemical detoxification and the ability to live in a clean environment, but also restoration of the patient’s social life and ability to live with others. In the broader context, it is essential to establish transboundary research cooperation and to share chemical regulation throughout East Asia, because chemicals are transferred to, and pollute, environments across borders.