Chemical sensitivity as the name suggests is a chronic medical condition where the patient develops a sensitivity or allergic reaction to certain chemicals. Chemicals have become a constant part of our daily lives now, starting with smoke, pesticides, plastics, synthetic fabrics, petroleum, scented products, and paints. While our day starts with chemicals such as smoke, petroleum or the car deodorizer, entering office starts another chemical ridden journey with insecticides, room fresheners, and other types of toxins and biological wastes which are trapped inside the buildings.
Causes and symptoms of chemical sensitivity Indoor air contamination is one of the biggest causes for chemical sensitivity in modern day human beings. Tightly sealed energy efficient buildings which are built to cut down on costs have various levels of toxic biological waste trapped in them which keeps circulating through the central cooling or heating system in the floor and building. These are more popularly known as ‘sick buildings’ and contain high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC) which are released from furniture, paints, carpets, glues, particleboard tables and machine toners of printers and photocopiers.
They symptoms of chemical sensitivity include irritation of eyes, nose, throat, chest, and skin. Some people experience itchiness, dryness or redness of skin while others may experience headaches, fatigue, asthma, coughing, chronic nasal stuffiness, infections and mental irritability. The other people who get affected by chemical sensitivity include those working in hazardous professions and may suffer from chemical spills. Those working in farms and staying near fields are also prone to chemical sensitivity from pesticide application.
This condition is also observed in children and they are more likely to suffer from respiratory ailments like asthma and nasal stuffiness. Small stuffy classrooms and school building with improper ventilation or poor control of indoor pollutants generally lead to such conditions. Studies have also confirmed how repeated exposure to these chemicals and chronic chemical sensitivity may eventually lead to multiple chemical sensitivity or MCS and even asthma.
Prevention and cure Prevention of chemical sensitivity or cure when diagnosed contains a few small steps. Locating an organic store near your home can be helpful since they stock organic food, cosmetics, soap, deodorants, detergents and even bug repellents. These organic products are generally costlier, but safe for health and comfortable to use. It is also noticed that clothing, bed linens, tapestry, or carpets are treated with chemicals for cosmetic purposes and using organic counterparts of the same is also helpful. Using natural products instead of scented room fresheners also helps in getting rid of unwanted chemical fragrances in the house.