Up to 25% of U.S. Population Affected by Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) Says Specialist

By B.N. Frank

Obviously some people are more susceptible to symptoms and illnesses caused by exposure to toxic chemicals (see 1, 2, 3, 4).  That’s always been true.  Nevertheless, an increasing number of Americans are becoming diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).  You may know one of them and/or be one of them.

From Children’s Health Defense:


25% of U.S. Population Susceptible to Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Dr. Bernhoft Says

In an interview with The Defender, Dr. Robin Bernhoft said, “Our current medical system, including much of our purportedly scientific research, is captured by the interests of pharmaceutical companies who put profits ahead of patients.”

By David Charbonneau, Ph.D.

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Dr. Robin Bernhoft has Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), an illness he describes as “misunderstood and controversial” that affects up to 25% of the U.S. population.

Bernhoft also is the parent of a vaccine-injured child and the author of research papers on the link between autism and vaccines.

In an interview with The Defender, Bernhoft, an allergy and immune specialist with more than 46 years in the medical field, discussed MCS, vaccines, autism, COVID, and how profit and politics have warped medical care in America.

Bernhoft is director of the Bernhoft Center for Advanced Medicine in Ojai, California, and past president of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine.

He also is the author of more than 28 publications, including three books, and has testified at more than 60 trials as an expert witness in the field of environmental medicine and the treatment of MCS.

MCS-Aware, an advocacy organization, defines MCS as “a chronic, physical illness affecting people of all ages and backgrounds.”

MCS-Aware states:

“[MCS] causes sufferers to have allergic-type reactions to very low levels of chemicals in everyday products. Put simply the immune and detoxification systems stop working properly and the body cannot process toxins efficiently.”

“That’s a pretty good working definition,” Bernhoft said.

He added:

“MCS is found in people who react with exposure to any chemical — car exhaust, perfume, paints, household chemicals, even new plastics in household items and chemicals in new clothing — with a variety of symptoms, including headache, respiratory distress, extreme fatigue and neurological symptoms, such as brain fog, dizziness and vertigo.”

Bernhoft described MCS as a disease in which the detoxification pathways of the human body become compromised due to genetics or environment, or a combination of the two.

“The body is like a rain barrel — you fill it up with toxic stuff and eventually it overflows with symptoms,” he said.

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According to the National Resources Defense Council, more than 80,000 chemicals have been introduced into our environment since 1945. Very few of these were adequately tested for their impact on human health.

In individuals with MCS, Bernhoft said, the body’s detoxification pathways are less than genetically ideal, so they are more susceptible to having difficulty detoxifying chemicals commonly — and increasingly — found in our environment.

The most common triggers for MCS are petroleum-based solvents, volatile organic compounds, pesticides and synthetic fragrances.

One fragrance alone can contain up to 600 petroleum-based chemicals, and because ingredients are considered a trade secret, manufacturers don’t have to divulge what those chemicals are.

Laboratory analysis of common fragrances shows they contain extremely toxic chemicals, including chemicals on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Hazardous Waste list.

People with MCS are anywhere from 100 to 1,000 times more sensitive to synthetic fragrances than are healthy people, Bernhoft said.

“I consider MCS patients to be the ‘canary in the coal mine’ for our toxic environment,” said Bernhoft.

MCS ‘ended my career as a surgeon’

Bernhoft, who said he has had MCS since 2000, described how the condition changed his life and career.

In the 1990s, he said, he was a successful liver and pancreatic surgeon in Seattle, having done his fellowship in London at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital — a “member of the elite club in medicine of practicing/teaching surgeons.”

But then he developed allergies to all the approved soaps for pre-op disinfection.

“I would get a red rash or hives or open sores,” Bernhoft said. “It ended my career as a surgeon and set me on the path of environmental medicine.”

Eventually, the allergy to the soaps developed into MCS. Bernhoft began to have debilitating headaches in response to perfumes, car exhaust and other chemicals in the environment.

His experiences led him to retrain in allergy and environmental medicine and to question many of the assumptions of conventional Western medicine in terms of both theory and practice.

As Bernhoft wrote on his website:

“Increasingly, evidence suggests that human illness is both more complicated than we thought, yet also simpler. It turns out that our genes are not destiny, merely suggestions. ‘The genes cock the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger.’

“The expression of genetic information is influenced by lifestyle, diet and various environmental factors. Many toxic environmental factors can be successfully removed. Many defective genes can work better with the proper cofactors or with upgrading of backup enzymes. When these things happen, diseases can be improved, sometimes eliminated altogether.

“While it is not possible to cure everyone, it is possible to improve or eliminate many ‘untreatable’ chronic conditions. Seventy-five percent of America’s health care bill is consumed [by] throwing pills at the symptoms of chronic disease — but money is better spent going after causes, as they do in Europe and Japan.”

In his recovery and in his practice, Bernhoft said he relies on a combination of treatments for MCS to relieve the immune system’s toxic burden and improve its functioning.

These include infrared sauna, chelation, high-quality nutritional supplementation and dietary changes to detoxify the body.

He also uses an immunological treatment called “low-dose antigen therapy” that is highly effective and safe in treating a wide variety of allergic reactions, including reactions to chemicals.

“Low-dose antigen (LDA) treatment is the standard of care for all allergies in the UK and has had some impact in Europe,” Bernhoft said. “But it is not recognized by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI).”

“American allergy doctors use an approach to allergies developed during the first World War,” said Bernhoft, adding that in contrast, LDA treatment was introduced in the 1970s.

He said:

“It’s a more recent and far safer technology. The typical allergy shots that most American allergists give can lead to serious side effects, including two dozen deaths in an average year. The LDA shots have few side effects and no recorded fatalities since 1973.”

Bernhoft said the issue for American allergists with the LDA approach is not one of efficacy or safety, but one of profit.

“The LDA shot is one shot every seven to eight weeks, whereas the typical course given by an American allergist is one or two shots per week,” Bernhoft said.

“It’s easy enough to do the math on the greater profits to be had with the latter approach.”

In fact, Bernhoft said the AAAAI successfully lobbied insurance companies to cover the standard regimen of weekly allergy shots but not to cover the far-less-expensive LDA shots.

That means MCS patients, for whom the standard allergy treatment offers no help, must pay out of pocket for the LDA treatment, while standard allergy patients (including those with dust and pollen allergies) must submit to the more expensive, more dangerous approach to receive medical treatment covered by their insurance, Bernhoft said.

As someone afflicted with MCS, this reporter can personally attest to the efficacy of the LDA treatment.

Bernhoft also has treated vaccine-injured children and researched the causes of autism.

In a 2008 paper, Bernhoft and his colleague, Rashid Buttar, argued autism — not unlike MCS — is a multi-system oxidative and inflammatory disorder, triggered by a toxic exposure and almost always coupled with genetic factors affecting the body’s detoxification capacity:

“What environmental factors might be causative? The two leading suspects would seem to be neurotoxic chemicals and heavy metals, probably in some synergistic combination.

“The Second National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals paints a grim picture of maternal and fetal exposures to multiple chemicals and metals.

“A small study by Edelson and Cantor found 100% of autistic subjects had deficient liver detoxification ability, as assessed by the usual excretory tests, and 90% had high levels of many neurotoxic chemicals. In Edelson’s earlier study, all the subjects also had evidence of unusually high levels of heavy metals.”

“Mercury has been suspected for some time to play a role in autism, in part because of the inclusion of thimerosal in several vaccines,” Bernhoft wrote, “and in part because the apparent increase in autism rates paralleled the increase in mercury-containing immunizations.”

Bernhoft and Buttar summarized findings showing the two sets of symptoms for mercury poisoning and autism symptoms to be almost “perfectly superimposed” in a Venn diagram.

“Vaccines can be one source of exposure to these neurotoxic chemicals and heavy metals that cause autism,” said Bernhoft.

He also pointed out that while mercury supposedly was removed from all childhood vaccines, except for the flu vaccine, a lab analysis six years ago showed thimerosal was found in several vaccines “even though it was not listed on the ingredients label.”

In treating autism, Bernhoft uses protocols that include chelation, to remove the heavy metals from the patient’s body.

“My clinical experience is that when you detox the mercury and other heavy metals from kids with autism, they do a lot better,” Bernhoft said.

He recounted his experience with one 4-year-old whose parents reported had not spoken since his autism diagnosis:

“We had chelated him for about a year, and one day he came into the office for treatment and he looked me in the eye [autistic children do not typically make eye contact] and said, ‘Hi, Dr. Bernhoft! I am feeling a lot better.’”

Bernhoft has seen this sort of improvement replicated in many of his patients, including his own son. He published his recommendations for the chelation and detoxification of autistic patients.

Bernhoft said the sooner the detoxification protocol is begun, the greater the chance for improvement, as the toxins can be removed before they cause permanent damage.

Bernhoft also studied the genetic profile of children with autism.

“The study was published in 2008 but it has since been removed from the PubMed archives, as have two similar studies by university pediatric researchers,” he said.



Bernhoft’s research found a high correlation between autism and some genetic abnormalities that make it difficult for the body to detoxify:

“So, it’s a big deal [the genetic abnormality] and the irony of it is that if you did the genetic testing beforehand, you could weed out the kids that are going to become autistic and pretty much wipe out the disease, but that would be really bad for vaccine sales.”

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COVID vaccines and treatment: ‘Not that hard to make numbers say what you want them to say’

In his interview with The Defender, Bernhoft also discussed COVID treatments and vaccines.

“Anyone who has read Bobby Kennedy’s book knows effective treatments — such as ivermectin and IV vitamin C mega-dose supplementation — have been suppressed in order to fast-track the Emergency Use Authorization,” said Bernhoft.

“By law, they cannot emergency authorize a vaccine if successful treatments already exist for the disease in question,” he added.

To avoid a possible shutdown of his office by California’s medical authorities, Bernhoft stopped prescribing ivermectin for patients with COVID.

Bernhoft said there is increased scrutiny in California of medical exemptions for vaccines in the wake of 2019 legislation that gave greater authority to the state medical board to review exemptions granted by physicians.

“In 2018 I wrote three medical exemptions — two for a history of anaphylactic reaction, and one for a patient with a history of Guillain-Barré paralysis, which both are okay with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [as a rationale for exemptions] — but I am currently under an accusation from the California State Medical Board for having written these,” he said.

In addressing claims that COVID vaccines are “safe and effective,” Bernhoft recounted an incident in his own research career when the supervisor of his research simply removed some of the data from a study, telling him “he didn’t like those numbers.”

The result was completely different after the data were removed. “It’s not that hard to make the numbers say what you want them to say,” said Bernhoft.

He also said some studies of hydroxychloroquine were deliberately set up to fail:

“The normal dose of hydroxychloroquine for lupus or arthritis is 400 to 600 mg per day. The drug can be toxic to the heart at higher doses. Also, it has to be administered in the first week to be effective for COVID.

“One study gave the drug to people who were in the ICU and had been sick [with COVID] for three or four weeks. The dose they gave was 2400 mg, and guess what? The subjects died of cardiac arrhythmias.”

“Our current medical system, including much of our purportedly scientific research, is captured by the interests of pharmaceutical companies who put profits ahead of patients,” said Bernhoft.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.


Activist Post reports regularly about toxic chemicals and unsafe products.  For more information, visit our archives.

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