National prevalence and effects of multiple chemical sensitivities

Steinemann, Anne (2018) National prevalence and effects of multiple chemical sensitivities. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 60 (3). e152-e156.

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Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), its co-occurrence with asthma and fragrance sensitivity, and effects from exposure to fragranced consumer products.

Methods: A nationally representative cross-sectional population-based sample of adult Americans (n = 1137) was surveyed in June 2016.

Results: Among the population, 12.8% report medically diagnosed MCS and 25.9% report chemical sensitivity. Of those with MCS, 86.2% experience health problems, such as migraine headaches, when exposed to fragranced consumer products; 71.0% are asthmatic; 70.3% cannot access places that use fragranced products such as air fresheners; and 60.7% lost workdays or a job in the past year due to fragranced products in the workplace.

Conclusion: Prevalence of diagnosed MCS has increased over 300%, and self-reported chemical sensitivity over 200%, in the past decade. Reducing exposure to fragranced products could help reduce adverse health and societal effects.

Item ID: 53583
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1536-5948
Keywords: asthma, chemical sensitivity, fragrance, MCS, multiple chemical sensitivities
Copyright Information: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CCBY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date Deposited: 09 May 2018 08:28
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420203 Environmental epidemiology @ 50%
40 ENGINEERING > 4011 Environmental engineering > 401199 Environmental engineering not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920405 Environmental Health @ 100%
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