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July 12, 2005

BehindTheMedspeak: Snowflake, Arizona endangered — 'We might have to evacuate'

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Snowflake, Arizona is a town 150 miles northeast of Phoenix.

In 1988 it became a home for those suffering from multiple chemical sensitivities (M.C.S).

Since that time about two dozen people with M.C.S. have settled there.

Each has built a house without the plastics and adhesives which are the mainstays of modern building.

Now a relatively huge and expensive house there is on the market and the people with M.C.S. are fearful that it will be sold to an individual or family who don't care about the neighbors' problems.

Using chemicals on the house's lawn or installing a blacktop driveway could cause some people to be evacuated, said Susan Molloy to New York Times reporter Fred A. Bernstein, who wrote about the fragile community in this past Sunday's paper.

Here's a link to the story; a slide show narrated by Bernstein and accessible in the sidebar (under Multimedia) is especially interesting.

M.C.S. is one of the most controversial areas in medicine, right up there with chronic fatigue syndrome in a group of ailments many doctors don't believe exist except in the minds of their sufferers.

But then, who among us can claim with any certainty that the world as we know it exists anywhere but in our own mind?

Julianne Moore starred in "Safe," a gripping 1995 film about a woman with M.C.S. and the devastation it wreaks in everyone it touches.

The Chemical Injury Information Network website can guide you if you seek more information.

July 12, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink


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