It wasn’t that long ago that the condition of “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity” was not even really a “thing.” It has only been over the past 10 years or so that medical professionals and environmentalists started to experience an unusually high amount of allergy symptoms that ranged from (but were not limited to) sinus blockage, skin rashes, trouble breathing, nasal congestion, and fatigue.
After scratching their heads for a while, the allergists treating these individuals understood they were looking at something other than just “normal” allergies to dust, pet dander, or tree pollen. They were looking at symptoms that could be attributed to non-naturally occurring chemicals in the environment. Upon this discovery, the term Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) was born.
What Is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity?
We live in a different world from the one our parents and grandparents lived in. With advancements in science and technology usually come pollutants that harm the environment and individual’s health.
Nowadays, most of us are constantly exposed to toxic chemicals from things like pesticides, secondhand smoke, alcohol, fresh paint, scented products and perfumes, candles, fragrances, food preservatives, flavor enhancers, aerosols, tap water, cosmetics, personal care products, new carpets, petroleum products, formaldehyde, outdoor pollutants, newspaper ink, cleaning compounds, printing and office products, and other synthetically derived chemicals. That’s not even a complete list! Some people may also become ill from natural products that are highly concentrated, such as natural orange cleaners due to high volatile organic compound and pesticide concentration.
MCS is a chronic condition and multiple organ systems can be affected. Symptoms can range from minor irritations (a headache, runny nose) to life-threatening reactions (seizures, anaphalaxis).
The good news is, symptoms can improve or even resolve once the offending chemical(s) have been removed from the environment.
Can an Air Purifier Help with CMS?
Because there are so many varying symptoms and triggers for those with CMS, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan. However, many doctors, psychologists, and environmentalist all agree that the best way to prevent further illnesses or reactions is to control the environment that someone with MCS is exposed to.
While this can be hard to do out in the real world, you can take steps to remove VOCs from your home’s indoor air. And the best way to do that is to:
- A) Remove Any Obvious Offenders
You will want to conduct an audit of your home and remove items like scented candles, harsh cleaners and detergents, petroleum products, etc.
- B) Use an Effective Air Purifier
Though you may do your best to get rid of all offenders, you most likely won’t be able to, especially when you consider that carpeting and furniture/mattresses can all emit harmful toxic chemicals. To remove all of these and other unwanted chemicals from your home, use an air purifier that has been designed with VOCs in mind.
How to Select an Air Purifier for Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
It should be noted up top that not all air purifiers are created equally. Some can help your home smell better, some can remove particles from the environment, particles like dust and dander, and some have been built to remove chemical gases from your home’s indoor air.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the features you will want your air purifier to have so it can help you stay well.
An Activated Carbon Filter
You have most likely heard of HEPA filters. These filters were designed to trap over 97% of particulates from your home’s air. But, while HEPA filters are great at trapping pollen, mold spores, bacteria, dust, pet dander and more, they are not able to trap the VOC gases that make a person with MCS ill.
For this job you need an air purifier with an activated carbon filter. Activated carbon filters specialize in removing volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, and formaldehyde from the air. While you will still want a unit that also comes with a HEPA filter, you will REQUIRE an activated carbon filter to help you with your CMS disorder.
A Powerful Fan
An air purifier is only as powerful as the motor of the fan it uses. A powerful fan is necessary to suck in your room’s air and push it back out. And this process of sucking in and pushing out happens multiple times per hour. Make sure to look for specifications to find a purifier with a fan that can get the job done.
Make Sure it Will Service the Size of Your Room
One of the biggest mistakes people make when buying an air purifier is not taking into account the size of their room. You see, each unit is designed to be able to handle a certain sized room. For instance, there are smaller units that are perfect for a 200 square foot bedroom, but would have a hard time keeping up with the demands of a 600 square foot living room.
Check out the unit’s CADR, or Clean Air Delivery Rate. According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the CADR on an air purifier should be two-thirds the area of the room in square feet. An average bedroom is 120 square feet which would need an air purifier with a clean air delivery rate of 80.
The Best Air Purifiers for Chemical Sensitivity
We recommend the following air purifiers to help you protect your home from toxic chemical fumes:
The HealthMate Plus Junior® specializes in the reduction of harmful chemicals, noxious gases, VOC’s, formaldehyde and sub-micron particles for individuals in the most contaminated of settings. Using a 4-stage filter and powerful motor, this air purifier is an excellent choice for those with MCS.
This air purifier has been rated #1 for smoke, gases, odors and MCS and for good reason: the filtration system uses the highest-quality granulated carbon and alumina pellets impregnated with potassium permanganate to work for you against gases, odors, chemicals and even smoke. Read more to find out what makes this unit superior to others for those who suffer from multiple chemical sensitivities.
Hunter air purifiers are some of the best on the market. Equipped with the ViRo-Silver charcoal pre-filter and HEPA+ 2-in-1 filtration system, this powerful air filter will get rid of gaseous matter as well as particulate matter such as dust, smoke, pollen, germs and other particulates as small as 300 nanometers in size.
Need Some Help Deciding?
Could you use some help on deciding which air purifier will work best in your space? Give us a call. We don’t just help people shop for air purifiers, we help people breathe better and we love doing it!