Managing Sensitivity To Chemicals And Odours

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The following is a useful excerpt from the Australian Government JobAccess Network

Many workplaces have chemicals and odours that are a necessary part of the industry or work situation. Chemicals and odours can be found in cleaning products, flooring, manufacturing equipment, and as a byproduct or result of industrial, mechanical or construction works.

People sensitive to chemicals and odours may develop conditions affecting the central nervous system symptoms, respiratory or gastrointestinal systems. Symptoms commonly reported following exposure to chemicals include (not limited to); fatigue, headaches, poor memory, impaired concentration, dizziness, temperature sensitivity.

Learning to manage sensitivity to chemicals and odours can ensure people are able to focus fully on their job or task and participate fully in their role within the workplace.
(WorkSafe Smart Move 2001)

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is an illness of our modern times. However the medical profession is at a loss to explain the exact cause and mechanism and the subject is highly controversial. What chance do patients have when they explain to their medical practitioners that they are always tired, suffer from muscle aches and can’t sleep properly? The good news is that the increasing numbers of patients forces the authorities to research the syndrome, and this is happening right now.

MCS is NOT inherited it is not an inflammation, allergy, or infection, it is a multi-system illness, which doesn’t affect only one organ but several body systems. It is caused by low levels of chemicals, in particular those in the indoor air. Scientists can prove the existence of the chemicals in the environment; but as yet no medical tests can substantiate the existence of MCS, Diagnosis relies on the symptoms a patient displays and describes during a consultation. The symptoms vary with every person and can be mild or may be so severe that they interfere with daily life.

Unfortunately, because the cause can’t be accurately established, no specific treatment exists for MCS. Some medical practitioners suggest strengthening the immune system, while others prefer to detoxify a patient’s body. Many so-called alternative methods have also been tried. There are, however, a few measures that appear to have some success.

A person may suspect that certain chemicals are the reason for their symptoms. Avoiding these chemicals at home and at work is an obvious conclusion. Improving indoor air quality helps to rid a room of certain chemicals, or at least may dilute it below a person’s sensitivity threshold.

Help your body by reducing the total chemical load and strengthening the immune system. Eat organically grown food and drink purified water. Don’t use commercial household cleaners; Bi-carb Soda and Vinegar are all the cleaning products you will ever really need.