Chemical sensitivity, asthma, and effects from fragranced consumer products: national population study in Sweden

Steinemann, Anne (2019) Chemical sensitivity, asthma, and effects from fragranced consumer products: national population study in Sweden. Air Quality Atmosphere and Health, 12 (2). pp. 129-136.

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Abstract

Common chemical products and pollutantssuch as pesticides, solvents, new building materials, and fragranced consumer productshave been associated with adverse health and societal effects. For some, the effects can be severe and disabling. This national population study in Sweden examined the prevalence and effects of chemical sensitivity, a condition characterized by health problems from chemical pollutant exposures. In addition, it examined the prevalence of medically diagnosed multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), and the co-occurrence of chemical sensitivity with asthma and asthma-like conditions, and with fragrance sensitivity (health problems from fragranced consumer products). Using a nationally representative sample, an online survey was conducted in July 2017 of adults in Sweden (n=1100). This study found that, across the population, 18.5% report chemical sensitivity; 3.6% report medically diagnosed MCS; 23.2% are asthmatic, with diagnosed asthma (14.9%), an asthma-like condition (9.1%), or both; and 33.1% have fragrance sensitivity. Among the chemically sensitive, 49.0% are asthmatic and 86.8% are fragrance sensitive. Among asthmatics, 39.2% are chemically sensitive and 57.3% are fragrance sensitive. Health problems from fragranced products can be potentially disabling for 40.1% of the chemically sensitive and 36.3% of asthmatics. In addition, among the chemically sensitive, 24.0% have lost workdays or lost a job in the past year due to fragranced products in the workplace. Results indicate that chemical sensitivity is a widespread condition, affecting more than 1 million adults in Sweden, with fragrance sensitivity affecting nearly 2 million. Reducing chemical exposure to problematic sources, such as fragranced consumer products, is critical to reduce adverse health and societal effects.

Item ID: 57248
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-9326
Keywords: Volatile organic compounds, Fragrance, Sweden, Chemical sensitivity, MCS
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2019 07:45
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety @ 50%
09 ENGINEERING > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090599 Civil Engineering not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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