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Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Estimates & Committees
Rachel Siewert 23 Feb 2011

23 February 2011

Senator SIEWERT—I would like to ask about multiple chemical sensitivity. I am particularly asking under acute care because of the issue that people suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity have in terms of being able to access facilities once they need contact with medical facilities.

I wonder if there has been any provision made for that. I am seeing your face looking blank.

Ms Halton—I cannot help you there. It is not under this program.

Prof. Bishop—We might need a medical opinion on this.

Ms Halton—We can make some comments from a medical perspective, but in terms of programs—

Senator SIEWERT—I will put it on notice and maybe you can look at it. I am asking about it in terms of people needing to have a safe place when they go into certain facilities because of their chemical sensitivity.

Dr Singer—It is something that is recognised in a number of hospitals and most of them work to use both equipment and materials that are as non-allergenic as you can get. For example, latex is not used in clinical gloves anymore. Usually it is nitrile instead, which is a more inert material. It is the same thing in relation to things such as bed covers and so on. With things like contact allergies, which I am assume is mainly what you are talking about, there is a lot of work done by individual hospitals in relation to that. There is not a program, as such, that deals with it.

Senator SIEWERT—Thank you.

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