Ergo Arts Theatre

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)

About Multiple Chemical Sensitivity:
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is a serious medical condition that is triggered by exposure to chemically and naturally scented products. Exposure to natural and chemical scents and fragrances can cause the following symptoms in individuals with MCS: headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, congestion, itching, sneezing, sore throat, chest pain, changes in heart rhythm, breathing problems including asthma-like conditions, muscle pain or stiffness, skin rashes, diarrhea, bloating, seizures, migraines, nosebleeds, vomiting confusion, trouble concentrating, memory problems, and mood changes. These symptoms can last for hours, days, even weeks after exposure.

Here’s how to create a scent- and fragrance-free space for those living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS):

  • Please do not use colognes, perfumes, essential oils, scented body or hair care products including: deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hair gel or mousse, creams, or lotions.

  • Please take a shower if you've used such products the day-before. 

  • Please wash the clothes you intend to wear in scent-free detergent one or more times if you regularly use scented laundry products. If you regularly use perfumes, colognes, scented oils, scented laundry detergents, or fabric softeners you will need to wash your clothes a number of times with vinegar and baking soda to remove the scent.

  • Please note that: 
    - Products labelled "natural” are NOT scent-, fragrance-, or chemical-free. 
    - Only products that are labelled scent and fragrance free, are scent and fragrance free.
    - Using even a little bit of scented product, or product with fragrance will impact individuals with MCS.

Transitioning to scent- and fragrance-free practices can take time, and that the transition can be confusing and prohibitive for cost, and other reasons; and some individuals in our communities use scented products as part of their access needs. You can explore creative solutions and find out more information about scent reduction here: