MCS Accommodation Guidelines




Indoors, where we spend an estimated 90% of our time, air can be up to 100 times as polluted as outdoors, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Poor air quality jeopardizes the health of people with MCS and can prevent access to services.


The following simple measures that cost little or nothing can help provide access to services for people with MCS in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. They also improve air quality for everyone’s benefit and can save money for businesses and institutions by reducing illness and its associated costs, while boosting morale, alertness, productivity, and attendance.


1.       Whenever practical, conduct business with an MCS person by phone, fax, mail, or e-mail.


2.       On-site, provide a well-ventilated area free of fumes from:

- smoke, including smoke odors on clothing and people

-         - scented personal products: perfumes, hand lotion, etc.: see Less Toxic Personal  Products  

- air fresheners or potpourri - see the Dirty Dozen  

- harsh cleaning products (including Lysol, bleach, Windex.): see  Less Toxic Cleaning Products  

- gas appliances

- office machines or equipment (particularly copying machines and printers)

- high ambient air levels of formaldehyde or other contaminants from furniture or carpeting.

- idling trucks, cars or machinery

- pesticides - see Alternative Pest Control


Some individuals may need to sit near an open window, or step out periodically for fresh air, while others may need to use oxygen, or wear a respirator or charcoal mask. In some cases, if practical, it may be necessary to sit outside or meet in a better-tolerated location, possibly at the individual’s home (if so, discuss the use of Less Toxic Personal  Products).


Be sure to provide advance notification if construction, remodeling, refurnishing, or pesticide treatment has recently taken place.


3.       Health Care Practitioners: see Hospital Access


4.       Service Providers: the following can be used as examples for specific situations:

 Work-Site Accommodation Ideas for Individuals Who Experience Limitations Due to Chemical         Sensitivity or Environmental Illness, Job Accommodation Network, A Service of the U.S. DOL Office of Disability Employment Policy Job accommodation Network.

New Meaning For Access, Commentary by the Ohio Network for the Chemically Injured

MCS Accessibility for United Methodist Churches

The Access Board " A federal agency dedicated to accessible design" has at least adopted a fragrance free policy for its own meetings.

Sample Letter to Access Board with minimum Access Requirements form the Ohio Network for the Chemically Injured (ONFCI) to the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board to take steps to create minimum guidelines

  Accommodating The Allergic Employee In The WORKPLACE  From the North Carolina Chemical Injury Network


5.       Right to access for those with MCS are defined by the federal disability laws.   
See: ConsConumers Guide to Disability Rights Laws
      U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section

             Americans with Disabilities Act
             Fair Housing Act
             Air Carrier Access Act
             Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act
             Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
             Rehabilitation Act
             Architectural Barriers Act
             Other Sources of Disability Rights Information



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Copyright 2001-2010, HEAL of Southern Arizona.  All rights reserved.    Updated 1/12/2010