In Snowflake, Arizona is a small community of refugees who suffered multiple chemical sensitivity also known as MCS. The MCS relate to Environmental Illness and this condition is like a chronic disorder. Being exposed everyday of your life to chemicals leads to MCS and it comes with varied intensity. These symptoms of MCS are very annoying and range from multiple muscle pain to general fatigue. People who are exposed to MCS have intense nausea, sudden panic, migraines and even vertigo.
These persons who decided to live in Snowflake worked at synthetic fabrics or with pesticides. Most doctors call this a psycho-social condition, because is a lack of scientific evidence. Most of the people who are suffering from MCS are self-diagnosed. They take alternative treatments, but, unfortunately they have difficulty in finding medical help.
One MCS sufferer moved in a tiny desert town of Snowflake Arizona, in 1988. Bruce McCreary left his home in Mesa, because he was exposed to chemicals in the factory where he used to work. In the early nineties more MCS refugees moved in Snowflake and they made this tiny town a sort of healthy oasis for those who experienced MCS.
Another refugee, Susie Molloy arrived in this town in 1994. She developed these manifestations of multiple chemical symptoms in the 1970s and then she thought she had had AIDS. Like the other refugees she put a self-diagnose and she also launched an environmental illness advocacy newsletter. After her newsletter circulated via an MCS network, she was contacted by someone from Snowflake and he advice her to move there, because of the clean air and healthy environment.
“For me, the improvement was so radical,” she said on the 99% Invisible Podcast Snowflake episode. “You get out of the car; you feel better. You can walk. You don’t need the oxygen tank. Your speech is clear. I didn’t exactly want to move here, but my body said, ‘Yeah we’re moving here.’”