Multiple Chemical Sensitivities – What Is It?

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome (MCS) is a condition that can cause an allergic-like reaction to everyday chemicals. The symptoms of MCS can vary from person to person and depend on the type of chemical they are allergic to. MCS sufferers are often sensitive to chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, pesticides, perfumes, paint fumes and other solvents - people with MCS should avoid exposure to these chemicals and products that may contain them.

Symptoms of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome is a hypersensitivity disorder that is triggered by exposure to chemicals. It is not a mental disorder, and it does not affect the brain – although this notion remains controversial as many in the medical community believe the symptoms to be physical manifestations of psychiatric illness as opposed to a primary medical illness. Then there are those in the medical community who along with certain organisations believe multiple chemical sensitivity to be a negative physical reaction to certain chemicals.

The symptoms of MCS vary from person to person. In general, people with MCS are sensitive to odours and chemicals from sources such as paints, solvents, cleaning supplies, pesticides and other common household products. They may also experience fatigue, headaches or nausea when exposed to these substances. All in all, the most common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Rashes
  • Asthma
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion

Treatment For Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome

The treatment for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome is an elimination diet or process. This diet removes all the things that might trigger an allergic reaction from your diet. It also includes taking supplements to help with the chemical sensitivities. Chemicals that may cause sensitivity include natural and synthetic substances found in:

  • Carpeting
  • Plastics
  • Perfumes
  • Plants
  • Paint
  • Cigarette smoke

Other chemicals include and are not limited to aerosol deodorant, after-shave lotion, asphalt pavement, diesel fuel, floor cleaner, hair spray, insect repellant, laundry detergent, marking pens, nail polish remover, shampoo and tile cleaners.

To deal with the symptoms and knowing their influences can come from a barrage of sources, patients usually alter their behaviour, and this itself can have social ramifications. For instance, some sufferers may withdraw from activities, friends, and family to mitigate chemical exposure. In one study conducted, findings revealed that some sufferers did the following:

  • Ceased activities outside of the home
  • Limited their travel activities
  • Limited their contact with friends
  • Left their jobs
  • Stopped using cleaning compounds
  • Removed home furnishings
  • Limited contact with family members
  • Stopped using fragrances
  • Changed their diet
  • Changed the type of clothing they wore

How Can A Mask Help?

Since MCS is partly due to exposure to chemicals, wearing a face mask can help one to mitigate the various influential factors while also allowing for more normalcy in one’s life. Many Cambridge Mask wearers with MCS have reported reduced symptoms when using our masks, mainly with regards to interaction with perfume, household cleaning products and other chemical smells.

“Cambridge masks are the best option for me to filter out environmental allergens. I’m wearing N95’s for indoor protection needs but the Cambridge bests them for my environmental protection against allergens like smog, pollen, second hand smoke and the like.
I’ve been using Cambridge masks since before 2020 and this purchase was to update my stash of masks after not using them much the last few years.” – 5 Star Trust Pilot Review from JennU


Cambridge Masks work by trapping small particles. This trapping occurs by size (it has been shown to block 99% of particles of size 0.3 microns and up), and by chemical charge. Depending on which chemicals are causing sensitivity problems, a mask may block them and reduce the associated symptoms.

Our PRO mask is the most suitable candidate for the job as it consists of a three-layered filtration system, the final filter of which is composed of activated carbon cloth originally designed by the UK military for usage in chemical, biological, and nuclear warfare. Designed to filter the majority of air pollution, viruses, and bacteria, the PRO mask is sure to assist those with MCS and allow for easier social and occupational mobility. For the best defence there is, look no further than Cambridge Mask.