Chemical Sensitivities

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.

Doctors : Drinking : Dust : Nature : Pain

InterAction 31; 1999; pages 18-19 Chemical Sensitivities