A Symposium on Chemical Intolerance: A Way Forward
Sponsored by the Marilyn Brachman Hoffman Foundation
Dallas, Texas, March 25 – 29, 2019

The Marilyn Brachman Hoffman (MBH) Foundation organized a symposium with experts from various fields to advance the understanding of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) and improve the lives of individuals affected by this chronic condition. MCS is defined as a disorder where symptoms occur in response to exposure to various unrelated chemicals at doses lower than those known to cause harm in the general population. Despite progress in biomedical research, MCS remains poorly understood, and effective treatments and medical care are lacking. The symposium aimed to establish a common understanding of MCS, raise awareness, and develop a research agenda to study its causes and mechanisms.

The objectives of the symposium were to establish a common terminology, discuss the experiences of individuals with MCS, explore prevalence and risk factors, raise awareness among the public and professionals, investigate the underlying causes and mechanisms of MCS, and develop a research pathway for future studies.

Improving the lives of individuals with MCS requires a better understanding of the condition’s mechanisms. By identifying risk factors and clinical manifestations, healthcare providers can better address the needs of MCS patients and provide effective support. Encouraging research into MCS can help gain acceptance within the medical community and ensure appropriate medical care for those affected. Additionally, understanding the development mechanisms of MCS can aid in prevention by implementing strategies to reduce exposure to causative chemicals, such as changes in building design and rapid response protocols after disasters.

This report provides summaries of talks presented at the symposium, offering an overview of the latest research and suggestions for research priorities. The recommendations compiled based on the ideas generated during the symposium are included in the appendix. It’s important to note that the opinions presented in the report belong to individual participants and may not represent a consensus view or the views of their respective organizations. Overall, the symposium aimed to enhance understanding, promote research, and improve the lives of individuals affected by MCS. Find the meeting report here.