Allergies Home > Do I Have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity?

Criteria for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Several years ago a committee of experts in the multiple chemical sensitivity field decided upon a consensus as to what "qualifies" the patient as truly having multiple chemical sensitivity.
 
Six criteria were decided upon for multiple chemical sensitivity:
 
  • Symptoms are reproducible with repeated (chemical) exposures.
     
  • The condition is chronic.
     
  • Low levels of exposure (lower than previously or commonly tolerated) result in manifestations of the syndrome (i.e., increased sensitivity).
     
  • The symptoms improve, or resolve completely, when the triggering chemicals are removed.
     
  • Responses often occur to multiple chemically-unrelated substances.
     
  • Symptoms involve multiple-organ symptoms (runny nose, itchy eyes, headache, scratchy throat, ear ache, scalp pain, mental confusion or sleepiness, palpitations of the heart, upset stomach, nausea and/or diarrhea, abdominal cramping, aching joints).
     
Several medical conditions appear to be related to -- or overlap with -- multiple chemical sensitivity, such as sick building syndrome (SBS), food intolerance syndrome (FIS), and perhaps the Gulf War Illness (GWI).
 
In each of these, a chemical (smell usually, or taste) appears to precipitate one or more organ-system responses. The initiating culprit of multiple chemical sensitivity might be:
 
  • Chemicals in a new rug, cockroach dander, or freon circulating in a closed-ventilation building (SBS)
  • Chemicals in wine, processed corn products, or sulfites consumed (FIS)
  • Nerve gas, organophosphates, or pesticides to which soldiers were exposed during the brief 1991 war in the Middle East (GWI).
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
Advertisement
Topics

Medications

Quicklinks

Related Channels

eMedTV Links
Copyright © 2006-2018 Clinaero, Inc.

eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.