Snowflake, Arizona - A Desert Refuge for People Allergic to Modern Life

Posted by K R on

A tiny off-grid community in Snowflake, Arizona has become a refuge for people suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). Often referred to as Environmental Illness, (EI), the condition is a chronic disorder in which exposure to everyday chemicals and technology causes symptoms of varying intensity. Some of the symptoms of MCS are merely annoying and range from muscle pain to general fatigue. Others are reportedly crippling, such as intense nausea, migraines, sudden panic, and even vertigo. Sufferers claim that their symptoms coincide with exposure to chemicals and technologies around them, such as fragrances, synthetic fabrics, pesticides, and Wi-Fi. Most doctors hesitate to legitimise the condition, citing lack of scientific evidence, calling it a psycho-social condition with acute physical symptoms. For this reason, sufferers, who typically are self-diagnosed, often have difficulty finding medical help for the disease and have to resort to alternative treatments. So, in 1988, one MCS sufferer took his health into his own hands and moved to the tiny desert town of Snowflake Arizona. Bruce McCreary, a former electrical engineer, left his home in Mesa after being nearly disabled from exposure to chemicals in the aircraft factory where he worked. Since the early nineties, 30 more MCS refugees have joined McCreary in Snowflake, making the town a sort of oasis for MCS victims.

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