(Last Updated On: March 24, 2023)

Most people have never heard of MCS… which makes them very fortunate! For those that are familiar with MCS, it is often because they or a loved one are afflicted by this socially debilitating and often unexplained disorder.

In the eyes of the medical community, it is still debatable as to whether Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is considered a true medical condition or simply a sensitivity. However, for the people who suffer from this condition, it can be one of the most frustrating and disruptive conditions with which to live.

What is MCS?

MCS is an extreme sensitivity to many different everyday chemicals. This can include anything and everything from paint fumes, building materials, aerosol sprays, hair-styling products, perfumes, and even air fresheners. It is nearly impossible to avoid all of these chemicals on a daily basis without trapping yourself indoors. You can’t prevent your co-workers from wearing perfumes or colognes. You can’t stop grocery stores from cleaning and sanitizing their floors. Everywhere you go there is a potential source of irritation and those suffering from MCS often feel the symptoms every day.

What are the Symptoms and Treatments of MCS?

Symptoms of MCS include itchy and watery eyes, dizziness, sore throat, and even nausea. For MCS sufferers, the only hope for relief is to create a safe haven at home. This requires removing any and all traces of chemicals from their home’s indoor environment and indoor air. With a chemical-free home, MCS sufferers can experience what the rest of us take for granted every day: a day without constant irritation.

Can an Air Purifier Help with MCS?

Air purifiers are designed specifically to remove allergens, chemicals, and VOCs from the air. This makes air purifiers an essential tool in the fight against MCS and any afflictions caused by airborne irritants.

Choosing the Right Air Purifier for MCS

Choosing an air purifier can be a confusing process even for the basic allergy suffer. However, it becomes significantly more challenging for those suffering from MCS and airborne chemicals. Here are several of the key criteria you should consider when making a purchase.

Mostly Metal Construction or Premium Plastics:
Certain types of plastics and low-quality plastics can off-gas and cause some irritation even while the air purifier itself is filtering chemicals out of the air.

High Volume of Carbon:
In order to effectively remove a large volume of airborne chemicals and to do so for an extended period of time, you will need an air purifier with a large volume of activated carbon. However, the type of carbon used can also become an issue.

Untreated Activated Carbon:
There are two broad categories of carbon: treated and untreated. Untreated activated carbon is the most common type of carbon used to remove most types of chemicals from the air. However, because untreated activated carbon cannot remove certain chemicals from the air (such as formaldehyde), manufacturers will treat it with additional additives.

These additives will help make the carbon more adsorptive, or reactive, to the chemicals that it does not inherently do a good job of removing. However, these additives can sometimes be detected by extreme MCS sufferers. Therefore, choosing units with treated carbon may be a double-edged sword. The treated carbon may be necessary to remove the specific chemical that is irritating you, but you may also be irritated by the treated carbon.

Premium HEPA Filter:
Low-quality HEPA-type filters can use glue or fiberglass components that can be detected by MCS sufferers. Premium HEPA filters will minimize the use of glues and will be made from a paper-based material.

Recommended brands:

We recommend air purifiers from Airpura, AllerAir, and Austin Air for MCS concerns.

We’ve helped thousands of people breathe better and live more enriched lives through the use of a high-quality air purifier. Although the number of MCS cases we see is small compared to the more pervasive concerns such as allergies and asthma, we’re here to do everything in our power to help you get this serious condition under control. If you or a loved one is suffering from MCS, please don’t just “add to cart” an air purifier and check out anonymously. Please give us a call at 1-800-497-8263 and work with one of our air quality specialists.

An Example of our Commitment:

We once had a situation where an individual with the extreme chemical sensitivity required going through six different air purifiers before we found one that significantly improved his situation. With each unit, he was able to sense that something was better, but that everything wasn’t completely right. He would use the air purifier in his home for a week and then call us back to say “I’m not feeling this one” or “it helped with my main sensitivity, but the unit itself is creating a small new irritation for me”. So we exchanged the unit for another one. We performed an exchange six times until the perfect solution was identified for his unique sensitivities.

In a situation such as this, you’ll want a specialist that gets to know you by name and understands your issues and sensitivities. One that can take notes regarding what is working for you, and what is not and that can contact the various manufacturers directly to identify all of the chemical removal additives, blends of carbon, or even the materials used to construct your air purifier.