The November 2013 issue of Discover magazine features the well written article “Extreme Chemical Sensitivity Makes Sufferers Allergic to Life” by journalist Jill Neimark. The article shares Claudia Miller’s TILT (Toxicant Induced Loss of Tolerance) theory, as well as growing biological evidence that makes it clear that MCS sufferers can no longer be dismissed as hypochondriacs. The article opens with the story of my good friend Scott Killingsworth:
One night in August 2005, Scott Killingsworth, a 35-year-old software designer in Atlanta, dragged his dining-room table out to the porch and lay down on it. The house he’d just rented — on 2 acres in an upscale suburb north of the city — was meant to be relatively free of man-made chemicals, his refuge from the world. For years he had been experiencing debilitating reactions to a cornucopia of common chemicals that others don’t even notice.
But this house, like the one before it, was making him sick with flulike symptoms — nausea, headaches and muscle stiffness.
Lying on the table and breathing in fresh air, Killingsworth thought back to the morning seven years ago when his office was sprayed with Dursban, a potent organophosphate pesticide that has been banned for indoor use since 2000. Within minutes of the pesticide treatment, he was unable to concentrate, and he felt like he had a bad flu. When he returned to the office a week later, he felt sick again. He asked his supervisor to move him to a different office.
“I thought that was the end of it,” he recalls. “But that was the beginning of it.”