Swiss apartments for those suffering from ‘Multiple Chemical Sensitivity’

Swiss apartments for those suffering from ‘Multiple Chemical Sensitivity’

Leimbach (Switzerland) – No smoking, no perfume, no mobile phone use — the list of rules at a newly opened apartment building on the outskirts of Zurich is long.

For a reason: the structure has been purpose built for people who say exposure to everyday products like perfume, hand lotion or wireless devices make them so sick they cannot function.

“I have been suffering since I was a child. This will really move my life in another direction,” said Christian Schifferle, the 59-year-old head of the Healthy Life and Living Foundation (www.stiftung-glw.com), the prime driver behind the project.

Schifferle and the other residents suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), a chronic condition not broadly recognised by the medical community. Those afflicted, however, believe it is sparked by low-level exposure to chemicals in things such as cigarette smoke, pesticides, scented products and paint fumes. …

The new building is the first of its kind in Europe, according to officials in Zurich who decided to play a pioneering role in helping people with what they called “a very harmful problem”.

They estimate about 5,000 people in Switzerland alone suffer from MCS.

The city made available the land and provided interest-free loans to help finance the 6.1-million Swiss-franc ($6.9-million, 5.1-million-euro) project.

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