Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Diagnosed with MCS?

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by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and Your Floor

I’ve never been diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivities, or MCS, but I have no doubt I would be, if I presented a doctor with my symptoms. In my search for a home that I’m not allergic to, I’ve had to explore a lot of different aspects.

In the past few months, it’s been flooring. For anyone else with MCS, I wanted to share the little bit I’ve been able to find out.

It appears that people with multiple chemical sensitivities should not have laminated flooring (a lot of which is filled with formaldehyde so ask if you are buying it, how much of this nasty outgassing stuff is in it) or engineered flooring. So, that effectively knocked out the two least expensive options, ha.

Even with healthier floors like linoleum (which is different from vinyl, by the way, even though flooring store staff have repeatedly referred me to vinyl when I’ve asked for linoleum. Linoleum is a more natural product but…..if you have mcs, even the smell of the linseed in linoleum can set you off.

Solid hardwood floors seem to be one of the best options and also the most expensive. Even then, you need to ask about the coating, the stain, and the adhesives. They have no-glue hardwood click floors now, that don’t require adhesive.

As far as vinyl goes, a lot depends on how it’s made so talk to the health rep at the main company, not the clerk at Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Cork and hemp are good options but again, very costly.

Don’t get me started on carpet……there are healthy carpets out there and they are expensive. The others, well, just don’t. About Carpet outgassing

In reviewing all my options and my budget, I had decided to go with a cork underlayment (for sound reduction and cushioning, and a no-glue vinyl from Armstrong. However, due to monetary constraints I ended up with the laminate flooring containing the smallest amount of outgassing substances I could find

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