L'Association pour la santé environnementale du Québec / Environmental Health Association of Québec

INSPQ Report on MCS: We Invite You to Make Your Voice Heard

Click on the link below to fill out a short survey on your response / reaction / experience(s) due to the INSPQ report on MCS:

Fill a survey on your response/reaction/experience(s) due to the INSPQ report on MCS

(This survey will remain online to gather information. Please spread the word to all MCS groups, social media and other MCS platforms)

About the INSPQ report

The INSPQ report on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) has concluded that MCS is caused by anxiety as opposed to the current consensus of chemical exposures. This report and its conclusion have wide-reaching consequences and are impacting people with MCS in a multitude of ways. In Canada, reports have come in from members experiencing harassment and denial of accommodation requests citing the INSPQ report, such as fragrance-free and least-toxic spaces. The report is being cited in court cases in Canada that are brought on by individuals with MCS pursuing human rights, and a right to accommodation or compensation.

Public Statement by the INSPQ report Author

On November 23, 2021, at an online presentation to Réseau d’échange sur les enjeux de santé environnementale (REESE) (59:00), the author of the report has stated publicly in a presentation to provincial and federal health associations that people with MCS need to be exposed to chemicals rather than avoid them.

Exposure to chemicals and MCS

For many people experiencing MCS, continued exposures to chemicals leads to increased symptoms and reactions to more chemicals which can cause increased adverse effects in their life including loss of employment, decreased ability to tolerate exposures, loss of housing, and lack of access to healthcare.

Healthcare environment

Across Quebec and many other provinces, fragrance free healthcare is still not a requirement despite its necessity as accommodation for accessibility, and evidence that it is beneficial to everyone. Members often avoid going to healthcare providers even in potentially fatal situations due to experiences with exposures to fragrances that lead to headaches, dizziness, seizures, heart arrhythmia, gastrointestinal problems, breathing difficulties, and asthma attacks.1

Effects of the Report on MCS Projects and Funding

The report has been used to justify the extensive delay of the housing project for people with MCS in Quebec, which has led to a lapse on significant amounts of funding that were essential to the project. During this time delay, the costs of construction have skyrocketed making the challenges to realize this project even greater.

Effect of the Report on a person experiencing MCS

Moreover, this delay played a part in a person on the housing waiting list, who had constant exposures within her housing, to apply for and obtain medical assistance in dying (MAiD). The person believed that the housing project would not be completed in time and she could not tolerate the unbearable suffering – so instead of offering her healthy housing, she was offered MAiD. Many people have expressed their intention to use MAiD as the only available solution to eliminate suffering caused due to lack of support, appropriate affordable housing, and accommodation for accessibility. With no foreseeable end to the inability to find safe housing, more and more people are reporting to us that they are turning to MAiD seeing it as their only solution.

The report is being used by other governmental institutions besides the INSPQ and is resulting in discriminatory effects.

International Effects in Relation to the Report

This report is not only affecting Canadians but it’s also used overseas. For instance, French citizens, members of the MCS community, have reported the use of the INSPQ report in France as well, and that France is commencing a similar report, and it will draw on the Quebec report.

We Invite You to Make Your Voice Heard

Click on the link below to fill out a short survey on your response / reaction / experience(s) due to the INSPQ report on MCS:

1 Steinemann, Anne. “Prevalence and Effects of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities in Australia.” Preventive Medicine Reports 10 (June 1, 2018): 191–94.