If you have become sensitive to chemicals, make sure that you, and if necessary those around you, stick to unscented, non-aerosol deodorants, toiletries, and cleaning products. Try to find ‘natural’ alternatives. Bicarbonate of soda can be used as a cleaning agent, (it can be bought more cheaply from a chemists) and table salt as a scouring powder. White vinegar mixed half-and-half with water can be used to clean glass or remove scale and stains. Certain plants help to clean the air. New clothes might need a good soak and/ or washing a few times to reduce the chemicals. Printed material, especially on shiny paper, can cause problems, but may improve after an airing. Open post in a different room so that you can get away from it if it causes symptoms. If your skin reacts, try wearing gloves. Read second-hand books instead of new ones, as some of the chemicals will have been released. If you react to other people’s perfume, deodorant etc. it may be possible to get a letter from your doctor stating that you have allergies or chemical sensitivities and listing problem substances. This can be photocopied and sent in advance to people who are visiting your house, asking them to avoid these things. It may be worth going to stay somewhere else if you or a neighbour are having work done. Some materials release chemicals for a short time and then stop, others continue off-gassing.
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivity – A Survival Guide by Pamela Reed Gibson ISBN 1-57224-173-X £12.99 This book contains lots of information on living with multiple chemical sensitivities.
- THE ALLERGY SHOP, 2 MOUNT PLACE, LEWES, EAST SUSSEX, BN7 17H Tel: 01273 472127 Sells non-allergenic and biodegradable cleaning products, toiletries, vitamins and minerals.
- THE HEALTHY HOUSE, COLD HARBOUR, RUSCOMBE, STROUD, GLOS. GL6 6DA Tel: 0870 331 33 33 Fax: 01453 752216 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.healthy-house.co.uk This company supplies things like filter masks, air purifiers (including one for cars), paints and water purifiers.
- THE NATURAL COLLECTION, ECO HOUSE, MONMOUTH PLACE, BATH, BA1 2DQ Tel: 0870 331 33 33 Fax: 01225 469 673 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.naturalcollection.com Sells E-cloths (which clean with just water), and cleaning products as well as a range of other environmentally considered products.
- THE SOIL ASSOCIATION, BRISTOL HOUSE, 40-56 VICTORIA STREET, BRISTOL, BS1 6BY Tel: 0117 9290661 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.soilassociation.org Can supply information about organic produce. Their guide ‘The Organic Directory’ (£5.95 including p&p) has a comprehensive list of outlets and organic box schemes.
- HONESTY COSMETICS, LUMFORD MILL, BAKEWELL, DERBYSHIRE, DE45 1GS Tel: 01629 814888 Fax: 01629 814 111 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.honestycosmetics.co.uk Sells household cleaning products, deodorant stone, and unscented beauty products.
- AURO NATURAL PAINTS, UNIT 2, PAMPHILLIONS FARM, DEBDEN, SAFFRON WALDEN, CB11 3JT. Tel: 01799 543077 Fax: 01799 542187 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.auroorganic.co.uk
InterAction 31; 1999; pages 18-19 Chemical Sensitivities