Do cosmetics, household cleaners or other chemicals make you sneeze, give you a headache or a rash? If so, you may have chemical sensitivity.

By Carolyn Gorman

What is chemical sensitivity?

Chemical Sensitivity is an abnormal response to chemical stimuli; such as immune responses to perfume, cigarette smoke, car exhaust, newsprint, cleaning chemicals, etc.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of chemical sensitivity are individual in nature and include sneezing, shortness of breath, irritated eyes, runny nose, muscle weakness, numbness, joint pain, headache, fatigue, depression, disorientation, heart irregularities, skin rashes, etc.

What can cause it?

Chemical sensitivity can be caused by several different factors which can include:

How do I know if I am chemically sensitive?

There are several indications and ways of determining chemically sensitivity including:

Where are chemicals stored?

When chemicals enter the body some are quickly eliminated by body functioning, others circulate in the blood until metabolized or until stored in fatty tissue, liver and/or brain.

How do we treat chemical sensitivity?


Reduce Total Load: Since those who are chemically sensitive are in an "over-load" it is important that they reduce their total load wherever possible by:


Chemically sensitive individuals usually suffer from specific nutritional deficiencies which can be improved by a rotary diversified balanced diet and by taking the proper vitamins and minerals.


Reduce exposure to pesticides and other chemicals in foods by eating only organically grown meat and produce. Use only bottled or filtered water for drinking, cooking and bathing.


Carefully choose the personal products you use to avoid chemicals which can be present in:


Filtration & Purification Controls

Create a healthy inside environment for yourself by using:


In Your Home

Many products used in the home can contain harmful chemicals. Use the less-toxic alternatives in:

In Your Office & Workplace

There are many additional opportunities for chemical exposure in the workplace. In addition to the above items, a chemically sensitive individual should be aware of possible problems created by:


1. Be aware of your limits

2. Take a brief retreat from the chemical world for healing

3. Substitute less-toxic products

Some Common Chemical Exposures & Their Dangers

Pine Oil GI irritant

Chlorine Respiratory irritant

Chloroform Carcinogen

Chlorinated hydrocarbons CNS, Liver,

Kidneys, & Mucous membrane irritant

Ammonia Mucous membrane irritant

Lead Affects Brain & Blood

Organophosphates Nerve toxins

Organochlorides CNS, Liver, Kidneys,

& Mucous membrane irritant

Alcohols CNS & Mucous membrane irritant

Aromatic hydrocarbons CNS, Liver,

Kidneys, Immune & Vascular Systems

Aldehydes Carcinogen & Mucous

membrane irritant

Fungicides CNS

Aliphatic hydrocarbons CNS, &

Respiratory System

CNS=Central Nervous System


To buy products for the chemically sensitive see
For more information on medical treatment see
For more articles on the relationship of health and disease to environmental factors, see the list of available articles and other information available here.