Barb Wilkie's EHN Website
Last updated 2008

EHN Board President Barb Wilkie was very ill from chemically-induced kidney disease for several years. She passed away May 31, 2011. EHN presents this site both as a tribute and as valuable information. Many links and references will be out of date but Barb's research holds up over time. We will be transferring the site page by page, with updated details, to EHN's main site. If you would like to reach an EHN staff person, please contact us directly.


Approved by NEJAC Executive Council - May 26, 2000
[National Environmental Justice Advisory Council]



WHEREAS, people throughout the world have developed a chronic condition, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), in response to a single massive exposure or repeated low level exposures to one or more toxic chemicals and other pollutants in the environment; and

WHEREAS, there is no known cure for MCS and symptoms recur reproducibly with exposure to offending chemical(s). The symptoms of MCS involve multiple organ systems and include asthma and allergies, chronic fatigue, muscle and joint pains, memory loss and inability to concentrate, gastrointestinal disturbances, respiratory and neurological problems; and

WHEREAS, MCS can cause major health, financial, employment, housing, and social consequences for people who have this disability; and

WHEREAS, in 1994, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, American Medical Association, American Lung Association, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission stated a consensus opinion on MCS and, in 1999, researchers and clinicians reached a consensus definition of MCS; and

WHEREAS, MCS is recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act, Social Security Administration, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as well as other state and national government agencies and commissions that support the health and welfare of the chemically injured; and

WHEREAS, reasonable accommodations, information about and recognition of MCS can provide opportunities for people with this disability to enjoy access to work, schooling, public facilities and other settings where they can continue to contribute their skills, ideas, creativity, abilities and knowledge; and

WHEREAS, people with MCS need the support and understanding of family, friends, co-workers and society as they struggle with their illness and adapt to new life styles; and

WHEREAS, the health of the general population is at risk from chemical exposures that can lead to illnesses and conditions that may be preventable through reduction or avoidance of chemicals in the air, water, and food in both the indoor and outdoor environments;


NEJAC urges EPA to work with other agencies to:


  1. Establish disease registries and make MCS a ├Čreportable condition├«. Investigate and report the prevalence and incidence of MCS in minority communities, low income communities and tribes, especially those heavily impacted by environmental pollutants;


  2. Provide funding and programs to support increased understanding, education and research that will aid in identifying causes, diagnosis, treatment, accommodation and the prevention of MCS;


  3. Include MCS as a factor when setting standards and establishing regulations, especially with regard to multiple exposures and cumulative effects from environmental chemicals;


  4. Examine existing environmental laws and revise or add standards as appropriate to assure protection from chemicals that cause initial sensitization and those that trigger existing sensitivities;


  5. Encourage states and other government and non-government entities to take regulatory and voluntary actions, including notices and restrictions as necessary, to protect individuals with MCS in the workplace, office, home and in public places;


  6. Assure that accurate information on minority and low income populations is included in the final version of the Interagency Workgroup report on MCS and other policy documents issued on the matter of MCS;


  7. Establish a fragrance-free policy for meetings and identify and utilize facilities that actively attempt to reduce and minimize use of toxic chemicals, for example, that use non-toxic building materials, cleaning agents and pest control measures.



National Environmental
Justice Advisory Council


"The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) is a federal advisory committee that was established by charter on September 30, 1993, to provide independent advice, consultation, and recommendations to the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on matters related to environmental justice. "


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