Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chemical sensitivity may be more common than thought: Study

Exposure to common household chemicals can
trigger reactions in people with chemical intolerance.
Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos
Ever feel like typical household products such as cleaners, perfumes and air fresheners bother you or could be the cause of allergy-like symptoms?

The condition, often referred to as chemical sensitivity or chemical intolerance, may be more common than you think.

According to a small study conducted at two Texas family medicine practices, a growing number of low-income patients exhibit the typical signs of chemical intolerance when it comes to common household products.

What is multiple chemical sensitivity?

MCS is still a hotly debated topic in the medical community, as there is no agreement as to the cause or the exact symptoms. Some people even say that it should not be considered a disorder unto itself.

However, a standard screening questionnaire exists, which can help shed light on the condition.

The questions ask patients whether they feel sick when they are exposed to various chemicals and smells and about their symptoms.

Common culprits include gasoline, paint, perfumes, cleaning products and chemical pesticides.

Activated carbon helps remove
chemicals, odors and gases from
the ambient air.
Study finds higher rates of MCS

The results from the questionnaire showed that 20 percent of the 400 screened patients were affected by chemical sensitivities.

Previous studies on MCS focused on higher-income, white people, while this study’s participants were mostly lower-income and Hispanic.

The researchers say that the findings are substantial because they show that MCS may be understudied in certain population groups that often work jobs, which expose them to chemicals.

The study participants also identified some mental health disorders that may accompany MCS, including higher rates of depression and anxiety disorder for patients affected by chemical intolerance.

Figuring out they are sensitive to chemicals will help patients get some relief or change their lifestyles, the researchers say. If their regular doctor can’t help, they suggest a referral to an allergist.

The research was done at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

Source: Reuters

Get rid of airborne chemicals with the right air purifiers

Even with a healthy lifestyle and non-toxic products, chemicals will find a way indoors, either from outside sources or hard to control sources such as building materials and furniture.

AllerAir has designed portable air purifiers for MCS that feature the most efficient air filtration methods and the most inert materials to make sure they are tolerable for chemically sensitive people.

The MCS air purifiers contain many pounds of activated carbon to remove airborne chemicals, volatile organic compounds, odors and gases. Since there are different types and blends of carbon available, MCS clients get to test some of them beforehand to make sure they can tolerate the filtration media.

AllerAir's MCS features include:
  • Metal housings and metal filter canisters
  • Powder-coated finish on housings and filter canisters
  • Organic unbleached cotton pre-filters
  • Super-HEPA: A high efficiency particle filter that contains no Polyamide, adhesives and other potentially irritating substances
  • Burnt-in motor to reduce new motor smells
  • And more!

Contact AllerAir for more information and a personal consultation with an IAQ expert. Find out what other people have to say about AllerAir's air purifiers.

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