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Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 31–42 | Cite as

The Effect of Housing on Individuals with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

  • Trina Haney Davis
  • Leonard A. Jason
  • Michael A. Banghart
Article

Abstract

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) is an illness reaction provoked by exposure to chemical and other irritants at levels well below those tolerated by individuals without this disorder. Individuals with MCS react to many of the products found in the average work place and home. Due in part to unsafe working conditions and a general sense of malaise, many of those with MCS find it difficult to work or are unable to work and forced to receive their income from other sources such as public aid or Social Security disability. Safe, affordable housing is the primary issue for people with MCS and few financial resources. In the present study, data on 289 individuals with MCS were analyzed. The participants were divided into two separate groups, those who reported living in safe housing and those who reported living in unsafe housing. Individuals with MCS and safe housing were more likely to be significantly older, better educated, and married, and were more likely to have a physician, and higher pre-MCS income levels compared to those with MCS and unsafe housing. Individuals with MCS and safe housing were significantly less disabled on two outcome measures. Measures of depression, optimism, stress, support, coping and disability were significantly related. The implications of these findings are discussed.

multiple chemical sensitivities environmental illness housing 

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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Trina Haney Davis
    • 1
  • Leonard A. Jason
    • 2
  • Michael A. Banghart
    • 1
  1. 1.DePaul UniversityChicago
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyDePaul UniversityChicago

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