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What are chemical sensitivities?

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2003-08-20 00:00:00
2003-08-20 00:00:00

Chemical sensitivities are not allergies, in the accepted definition of an allergy as an antibody response by the immune system, but they can have many of the same outward symptoms such as lightheadedness, fatigue, headaches, and recurrent illnesses that have no other explanation. Reactions vary widely from person to person, but the treatment is the same: avoidance. Chemical sensitivities do not require contact with the substance to cause a reaction. Fumes or residues on surfaces may be enough to trigger a reaction. This type of sensitivity can be hard to pin down, as it sometimes requires a lot of observation to make the connection. Possible sources of irritants can be anywhere -- carpets, laser printer toners, housing insulation, household cleaners, etc. These sensitivities can be quite serious, requiring complete avoidance of many common substances.

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