Northampton Friends


Creating a safe and inclusive Meeting for Friends with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities


MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities)


What Is MCS?

Imagine being so sensitive to noise that the drop of a pin sounds like a crashing set of drums. People with chemical sensitivities have a similar increased sensitivity to the chemicals that surround us and can have a host of reactions.


What kind of reactions might people have?

Skin, eye, and respiratory irritations, damage to the nervous system, allergy symptoms (sneezing, coughing, watery eyes), asthma attack, headaches, dizziness or nausea, trouble concentrating, sudden mood changes, muscle cramping, or even seizures or loss of consciousness. For people who have experienced these symptoms scents can create extreme anxiety.


What do scented products have to do with MCS?

Many scented products contain numerous chemicals which constantly vaporize into the air and attach themselves to hair, clothing, and surroundings of anyone who wears them. It’s not so much the smell itself as the chemicals that produce or disperse the smell. Scents are often the flag that such chemicals are present. There can be as many as 500 chemicals in perfume, for example. So, even wearing “just a little” can have a profound negative impact on someone nearby.


A new perspective

Most people are used to wearing and using scented products and may be challenged by the idea of changing their habits. We would like you to consider that the chemicals in some scented products may cause serious problems for some of us in meeting, even though the scents weren’t intended to harm anyone.


What can I do?

Do your best to avoid the use of scented products.


A Beginning List of Products That Some Of Us Have Found Helpful



Pure Essentials unscented shampoo

Magick Botanicals oil-free, fragrance-free 


Organic Essence unscented shampoo



Tom ‘s unscented deodorant soap

Kiss My Face olive oil soap

Aloe baby castile soap



Tom ‘s unscented deodorant

Pure and Basic unscented deodorant

Kiss My Face unscented deodorant

Deodorant crystals



Bio-Pac unscented detergent (from

       pre-order co-ops)


Arm and Hammer perfume-free, dye-free detergent

Laundry discs

Baking soda, vinegar




Kiss My Face fragrance-free lotion

Eucerine skin cream and the generic equivalents


Things to avoid, especially before coming to Meeting for Worship:

Perfumes and essential oils

Hair gels and hair spray (or use Knox

       plain gelatin)

Fabric softeners (liquid, powder, and

       dryer sheets)

Tide laundry detergent (even unscented)