An interesting study about frequency of chemical sensitivities in the general population. The study, conducted by Prof. Anne Steinemann (at the Univ. of Melbourne) is observational, and based on self-reports by 1137 people. But it's amazing that so many people (1 in 4 Americans in the study or 25.9%) report some chemical sensitivities, and also that 12.8% report that they have medically diagnosed Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS).
But it makes sense when you think about all the chemicals we are bombarded with daily, many with known negative health effects. Perhaps you have a physical reaction or feel allergic to certain products - such as household cleaning products, paints, perfumes, insect spray, or other scented products? That could be a chemical sensitivity.
People especially reported health problems from scented consumer products (with added fragrances), such as air fresheners, scented laundry products, cleaning supplies, scented candles, perfume, and personal care products. Yes - those are products to avoid for many reasons, but especially health reasons (see here, here, and here). Not only do we breathe in the chemicals, but our skin absorbs them! They are indoor air pollutants (some are endocrine disruptors, some are carcinogenic), and should be avoided. [See here for in-depth discussion.]
Instead, buy unscented products, and totally avoid some unnecessary products such as air fresheners and dryer sheets (it's advertising that says they're needed, but they're really not). From Science Daily:
University of Melbourne research reveals that one in four Americans report chemical sensitivity, with nearly half this group medically diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), suffering health problems from exposure to common chemical products and pollutants such as insect spray, paint, cleaning supplies, fragrances and petrochemical fumes. ...continue reading "Do You Have Chemical Sensitivities?"