Multiple Chemical Sensitivity



What Is MCS Referral & Resources ?

MCS Referral & Resources, Inc., is a non-profit organization engaged in professional outreach, patient support and public advocacy devoted to the diagnosis, treatment, accommodation and prevention of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity disorders. We were founded by Grace Ziem, MD, DrPH, and Albert Donnay, MHS, in 1994, and incorporated in Maryland in 1995. Our mission is to further the diagnosis, treatment, accommodation and prevention of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity disorders. MCS Referral & Resources is supported by literature sales, research fees, and tax-deductible contributions. We accept no chemical industry or government funding (not that they've ever offered…)

What Are MCS Disorders ?

In addition to the syndrome known as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, there are several other disorders that, although not defined in terms of chemical sensitivity, have similar symptoms that also are provoked by low level exposures to multiple chemicals. These include single-organ disorders such as asthma and migraine, and multi-organ disorders such as lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia Syndrome, Gulf War Syndrome, and Multi-Sensory Sensitivity (aka MUSES Syndrome). MUSES is a type of MCS discovered by Donnay that is caused by carbon monoxide poisoning and characterized not just by chemical sensitivity but also by hypersensitivity to other types of sensory stimuli including light, sound, odor, touch, temperature and EMF fields.

What Do We Do ?

MCS R&R collects and disseminates information for both patients and physicians on developments in MCS medicine, policy, and law. The organization maintains a comprehensive bibliography of scientific literature on MCS (dating to 1881), a database of MCS experts, and extensive documentation of MCS recognition by federal, state, and local governments, federal and state courts, and independent organizations. Since 2000, we also have collected extensive information on Multi-Sensory Sensitivity and its cause, carbon monoxide poisoning.

MCS R&R's RESOURCES include a detailed listing of the many ways in which MCS has been recognized by government agencies, courts and independent organizations, papers for medical professionals on the diagnosis, treatment, accommodation and prevention of MCS disorders, including a protocol for the diagnosis and treatment of chronic carbon monoxide poisoning, and a comprehensive collection of patient-oriented literature from the medical practice of Dr. Grace Ziem, including an "Environmental Control Plan" and "Home Inspection Questionnaire."

MCS R&R's REFERRAL SERVICE is an extensive, cross-referenced database of MCS organizations, support groups, and medical and legal professionals. Referrals are also available for organizations devoted to related issues, such as pesticide poisoning and sick building syndrome.

MCS R&R's ADVOCACY PROJECTS focus on furthering public and professional recognition and understanding of MCS disorders in the face of opposition from the pesticide, carpet, drug, and fragrance and other chemical industries whose products are most often associated with MCS. MCS R&R is a persistent advocate for greater scientific integrity in MCS-related conferences, research and reporting as well as in the federal government's response to Gulf War Syndrome.

MCS R&R's EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH synthesizes information into literature packets and training programs for MCS patients, professionals, and policy makers. MCS R&R staff also participate in training and networking forums for MCS professionals in order to promote the latest scientific information about MCS diagnosis and patient care. In 1999, for example, it drafted the first Consensus Definition of MCS, which was co-authored with 34 MCS physicians and researchers and published in the Consensus Definition of MCS.

MCS R&R's FINANCIAL SUPPORT comes solely from charitable contributions, sales or books and videos, and fees for speaking engagements, educational and training programs, and research. Unlike industry-supported groups such as the Environmental Sensitivities Research Institute, MCS R&R accepts no funding from chemical or insurance companies.

MCS R&R WELCOMES CONTACTS by phone, fax, mail or email, at 6101 Gentry Lane, Baltimore, MD 21210, 410-889-6666, fax: 410-889-4944, email: Albert Donnay. Office visits for research purposes are available by appointment.

Who Are We ?

Founding Board of Directors (1994-2000)

Albert Donnay, MHS, is an environmental health engineer who earned his masters degree in 1982 from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  He has worked since then as an activist and researcher on numerous nuclear and environmental health issues. Separate from his role as Executive Director of MCS R&R, he was the Research Coordinator of the Johns Hopkins Multi-Center Study of MCS Immunology, and the Carbon Monoxide Analyst for the University of Maryland School of Nursing’s Park Heights Healthy Homes Project.   He is currently pursuing a PhD in toxicology at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.

Grace Ziem, MD, DrPH, is an occupational and environmental medicine physician in private practice who has specialized in chemical injury and sensitivity since 1987.

Dr. Grace Ziem, Occupational & Environmental Medicine
16926 Eyler's Valley Road, Emmitsburg, MD 21727
Phone: 301-241-4346Website:

Ann McCampbell, MD, specialized in women's health until she was disabled with MCS. She is an advocate for people with MCS as chair of the MCS Task Force of New Mexico, vice president of the Healthy Housing Coalition, and on the board of directors of the Chemical Sensitivity Foundation.

Robert Olcerst, PhD, CIH, DABT, was president of Brujos Scientific and an environmental toxicologist specializing in indoor exposure assessments. He died in 2000 and is sorely missed.

The board of directors was disbanded in 2000 when MCS R&R achieved its founding objectives, which were to document the recognition of MCS by governments, courts and independent organizations, the overlap of MCS with other disorders, and publish a peer-reviewed case definition of MCS. We also discovered a previously unrecognized form of MCS (multi-sensory sensitivity or MUSES Syndrome), its widely overlooked cause (carbon monoxide poisoning), and developed a protocol for diagnosing and treating MUSES Syndrome using supplemental oxygen.


MCS R&R was led by full-time staff from 1994 until we achieved our objectives in 2000 (thanks especially to Connie Prigg, our office manager). The organization is now run entirely by volunteers, so if you email or call, please give us a few days to get back to you! Call 410-889-6666.


Our website was designed in 2000 by Cyndi Norman of Clarity Consulting and overhauled in 2006 by Linda Walcroft of Webcroft.  The site is generously hosted without charge by Peter Benjamin of Directory Publishing Services.  All the content is by Albert Donnay unless otherwise noted.


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Last Modified: 10/25/06