Table 3: Selected Legal and Government Actions Relating to MCS, 1979–1996 (Adapted from Hileman, 1991).
1979: U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii rules MCS disabling and orders the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to provide Social Security disability benefits to an individual (Slocum vs. Califano).
1984: A California bill to require research on MCS is passed by both houses of state legislature, but is opposed by California Medical Association and vetoed by Gov. Deukmajian.
1985: "Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Environmental Hypersensitivity Disorders" prepared by the Ontario Ministry of Health, Canada, calls for research on MCS and assistance for MCS patients.
1986: Oregon Court of Appeals orders workers' compensation benefits for furniture store employee on basis of MCS (Robinson vs. Saif Corp.).
1987: National Academy of Sciences (NAS) workshop recommends research on MCS, with assistance from the Institute of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, to ensure that fundable proposals are developed; NAS Board on Environmental Sciences and Toxicology takes no action on recommendations.
1987: California Court of Appeals awards workers' compensation benefits to employee who was found to have MCS resulting from long-term exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (Kyles vs. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board).
1988: State of Maryland directs funds for a chemical hypersensitivity study conducted by R. Bascom.
1988: Social Security Administration adds section on MCS to agency's program operations manual for disability determinations.
1989: Ashford and Miller prepare a report on MCS for the New Jersey State Department of Health.
1989: Indoor Air Quality Act introduced in Senate addresses MCS.
1989: Ohio Court of Appeals reinstates an order of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission finding unlawful employment discrimination for dismissal of an employee with MCS (Kent State University vs. Ohio Civil Rights Commission).
1990: Department of National Health and Welfare in Canada convenes a workshop on MCS to develop priorities for research into MCS and to identify the health needs of MCS patients; report is issued in January 1991.
1990: Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission orders a landlord of an MCS patient to take measures to accommodate her, including reduction in the use of pesticides (Atkinson vs. Lincoln Realty).
1990: Office of Technology Assessment declines to include the issue of MCS in its report on immunotoxicology research needs.
1991: At request of EPA, Division of Indoor Air, NAS organizes a workshop of invited experts on MCS; research recommendations are developed.
1991: The Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC), under the sponsorship of ATSDR, organizes a meeting to focus primarily on the clinical aspects of the condition.
1992: Department of Housing and Urban Development recognizes MCS as a disability requiring reasonable accommodations under the Fair Housing Act Amendments and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
1992: As a part of the Fiscal Year 1993 budget process, Congress mandates ATSDR to utilize $250,000 for "[c]hemical sensitivity/low-level chemical and environmental exposure workshops."
1993: ATSDR, addressing a Congressional mandate, convenes a panel of experts to offer guidance on initiatives it should undertake, given the current state of knowledge and the resources available.
1994: ATSDR convenes a national meeting in Baltimore to consider the neurobiologic aspects of chemical sensitivity.
1995: State of Washington designates $1.5 million research fund for chemically related illness.
1996: A workshop organized by the International Program on Chemical Safety meets in Berlin; majority of participants suggest "idiopathic environmental intolerances" (IEI) to replace the term "MCS."