XX (b)(6) Welch, West Virginia 24801

Honorable Robert C. Byrd United States Senate 311 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC Dear Senator Byrd: I would appreciate if your staff could research some issues on a health topic, MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities). From the enclosed two pages from a magazine "The Delicate Balance", there is a discussion of how various government agencies treated this issue in 1991, a year after the Americans With Disabilities Act became law on July 26, 1990. As noted in the enclosure, the Department of Justice said that specific regulations about environmental illness would be omitted until several government agencies considered this topic further. Could you please let me know the current position of the agencies noted: Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board; the Environmental Protection Agency; and OSHA; as well as any update by the Department of Justice. On a related issue, the National Academy of Sciences has considered this topic. From my own independent reading, I learned that the NAS wrote some sort of journal or book called "Multiple Chemical Sensitivities" in 1992. Would it be possible for your staff to secure a copy for me? In addition, there was a workshop held in March 1991 in Irvine, California on this topic. If the proceedings of this workshop are available, I would like to have them. I tried to contact NAS on my own, but they were uncooperative about stating their position on MCS and shifted me from one employee to another, but I hope that due to your eminence, that this agency will cooperate with you. Thank you, XX (b)(6) p.s. Since typing the main body of this letter, I read that

the Environmental Protection Agency has acknowledged MCS, as noted in the enclosure, p. xvi from "Chemical Exposures". Could you also send me the document on this? Thank you.

01-02976 xvi Introduction health can assist the chemically sensitive person and disengage the patient from the medical cross fire and its attendant conflict. In this book We argue that both federal and state initiatives are needed. In undertaking this task, wee reviewed much of the available scientific and medical Literature relating to low-level chemical exposure and resulting disease. We interviewed key individuals in various medical disciplines including allergy, clinical ecology, and occupational, medicine. This effort was facilitated by the fortuitous scheduling of national conferences by the allergists and by the clinical ecologists in the same 7-day period in Texas in February 1989. Physicians involved with the chemically sensitive patient are concerned about being drawn into a legal and political struggle that ultimately may not help the patient. Through our interviews we were able to identify not only ears of conflict between the allergists and clinical ecologists but also unexpected areas of common ground. This book comes at a critical time. Since the government of Ontario completed a report on "environmental hypersensitivity disorders" (Thomson 1985) in 1985, sensitivity to chemicals has received unprecedented attention from many quarters in the United States. A "Workshop on Health Risks from Exposure to Common Indoor Household Products in Allergic or Chemically Diseased Persons" held by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) on July 1, 1987, recommended on 18-month Study to address the "15 percent of the U.S. population (who) have an Increased allergic sensitivity to chemicals commonly found in household Products, such as detergents, solvents, pesticides, metals and rubber, Thus pacing them at increased risk (of) disease" (National Research Council 1987). Although that study has not yet been funded, in 1989 The NAS convened a panel to examine the interrelationships of toxic Exposures and immune response. Later the same year, the U.S. office of Technology Assessment (OTA) began a study of noncancer risks of Chemicals, including immunotoxicity. OTA completed a neurotoxicity Study in 1990 [OTA 1990]. Scheduled for 1990 is a Canadian federal Advisory committee on multiple chemical sensitivity. The NAS, in response to request from the EPA's office of Indoor Air, will be conduct-

ing a multiple chemical sensitivity workshop in early 1991. The U.S. Congressional Research Service has issued a report on inDoor air pollution in which chemical sensitivity is explicitly recognized (Courpas 1988, p. CRS-9). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acknowledges that health problems exist with low-level exposures well below those allowed by existing regulations (Clauseen 1988); in its Report to Congress on Indoor Air Quality, EPA identifies multiple chemical sensitivities as a health concern (EPA 1989, p. 16). The Superfund Amendments, SARA, Title IV mandate a vigorous investigation of the problems of indoor air pollution by EPA. John D. Spengler of Harvard's School

01-02977 National Center for Environmental Health Strategies ISABLITY RIGHTS DA ON MCS Regulations to implement the Americans With sabilities Act. PL101-336 were published in the ederal Register on July 25, 1991. The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, also known as the "access board," d two dockets at the Department of Justice, received ousands of NCEHS preprinted postcards encouraging clusion of policies to address the needs of the emically sensitive in ADA regulations. And we were ccessful-to a degree. NCEHS began distributing postcards approximately o weeks before the March 25, 1991 closing date for e Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance ard. The '400 comments' mentioned in the excerpt n the access board regulations include those ceived during that two-week period. (See "Excerpts m ADA Regulations on MCS" below.) Postcards and comments are still being received and filed. They have d a significant impact on the agency. Take a look at the statements on MCS from the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board and the Department of Justice. While the Justice

Department "declines to state categorically that these types of allergies or sensitivities are disabilities," the Department does note that individuals with severe sensitivities that limit one or more major life activities may meet the ADA definition of disabled. "Sometimes respiratory or neurological functional is so severely affected that an individual will satisfy the requirements to be considered disabled under the regulation." The Justice Department, however, failed to announce specific regulations related to environmental illness "pending future consideration of the issue by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the Department of Labor. Comments from the Architectural and Transportation Barriers compliance Board does acknowledge the access plight of the chemically sensitive; however, the regulations do not address policy issues related to those with chemical and environmental sensitivities.

XCERPTS FROM ADA REGULATNS ON CS CHITECTURAL AND TRANSPORTATION BARRIERS OMPLIANCE BOARD: mericans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility uidelines for Buildings and Facilities: Final Guidelines. Chemical and Environmental Sensitivities The Board received over 400 comments from individuals who identified themselves as chemically sensitive. Many of the comments were sent in on preprinted postcards distributed by the National Center for Environmental Health Strategies (NCEHS). The commenters described the health problems that they have experienced due to exposure to chemical substances and indoor contaminants in buildings, including certain building materials, furnishings, cleaning products and fragrances, and tobacco smoke. They requested that the

Board address their need for access to place of public accomodation and commercial facilities. Acting on Smoking and Health (ASH) also requested the Board to address tobacco smoke in buildings. NCFEHS and Environmental Health Network provided additional background materials on chemical sensitivities. Among the suggestions made to lessen exposure to chemical substances and indoor contaminants in buildings were providing windows that open; improving the design and requirements for heating, cooling, and ventilation systems; and selecting building materials and furnishings that do not contain certain chemical substances. Chemical and environmental sensitivities present some complex issues which require coordination and cooperation with other Federal agencies. Pending further study of these issues, the Board does not believe it is appropriate to address them at this time. 36 CFR Part 1191, Friday, July 26, 1991. Federal Register. Vol. 56, No 144, p. 35412. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accomodations and in Commercial Facilities. Final Rule; Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Service: Final Rule Many commenters asked that environmental illness (also known as multiple chemical sensitivity) as well as allergy to cigarette smoke by recognized as disabilities. The Department, however, declines to state categorically that these types of allergies or sensitivities are disabilities, because the determination as to whether an impairment is a disability depends on whether, given the particular circumstances at issue, the impairment substantially limits one or more major life activities (or has a history of, or is regarded as having such an effect).

Sometimes respiratory or neurological functioning is so severely affected that an IV, Nos. 3-4, 1991/Pg.20 (606) 429-5358 The Delicate Balance.

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