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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

A Documentary About Resisting Isolation and Living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)

For the past 3+ years, filmmaker Drew Xanthopoulos has been making a feature documentary about resisting isolation and living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and invisible disabilities. He’s driven and flown tens of thousands of miles to meet families whose lives have been reshaped by MCS and also documented well-known activist Susan Molloy attending the 2014 NCIL conference in Washington DC. 

We have just launched a crowdfunding campaign to help complete the film and need the help of communities who want to raise empathy and awareness for experiences that are usually dismissed.

You can watch the unforgettable teaser and pledge support at

The Sensitives - Kickstarter - Help us bring these stories to the world - (Image: A man sits at a small table in a room covered in metallic foil

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), also known as Environmental Illness (EI), is poorly understood. People develop severe migraines, rashes, fatigue, and loss of motor and speech skills when exposed to ordinary things like cleaning products, pesticides, and sometimes electronic and wireless technologies.

As with PTSD in the 1960s, viewed by the medical profession and much of society as a lapse of character in malingering Vietnam vets, sufferers of MCS find themselves isolated from family and friends, labeled, and treated with suspicion. The Sensitives explores an illness that tests families’ bonds like few others. Without an agreed-upon medical explanation the sick and their caretakers must figure out how to get better on their own.

The Sensitives intends to get past the masks and foil-lined rooms and meet the artists, social workers, and grandparents inside. In other words, the ordinary people driven to the fringes because of a very misunderstood condition.

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