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December 23, 1992

Clinical EcologyCouncil on Scientific Affairs, American Medical Association

Author Affiliations

Jacksonville, Fla, Vice-Chairman; Durham, NC, Chairman; Tucker, Ga, Resident Representative; Beverly Hills, Calif; Minneapolis, Minn; Syracuse, NY; Tucson, Ariz; Macon, Ga; Cleveland, Ohio; New Orleans, La; Greenville, NC, Medical Student Representative; Baltimore, Md; Chicago, Ill, Secretary; Chicago, Ill, Assistant Secretary; Chicago, Ill, staff author.
From the Council on Scientific Affairs, American Medical Association, Chicago, III.

JAMA. 1992;268(24):3465-3467. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490240073040

PHYSICIANS who practice clinical ecology believe that exposure to low levels of environmental substances present in the air or ingested from food and liquids causes in susceptible individuals a variety of ill-defined symptoms affecting nearly every organ system.

MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY SYNDROME  Most physicians who practice clinical ecology (clinical ecologists) maintain that a number of patients have the multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome (MCSS) (also called clinical ecological illness, environmental illness, chemical AIDS [acquired immunodeficiency syndrome], 20th-century disease, environmental hypersensitivity disease, total allergy syndrome, and cerebral allergy).1-10 Clinical ecology has been defined as the orientation in medicine in which physicians primarily work with patients to uncover the cause-and-effect relationship between their ill health and food or low-level chemical exposure.9 Other definitions have been offered and no general agreement exists that clinical ecology and MCSS are synonymous.8-10 The lack of a clear definition or diagnostic test for MCSS has