Health Library

Health Library

Allergens: Chemical Sensitivity

What is chemical sensitivity?

Chemical sensitivity is not considered an allergic reaction because it does not involve the release of IgE (immunoglobin E) antibodies, histamine, or other chemicals by the immune system. However, reactions to certain chemicals may cause reactions similar to those experienced with allergies.

Chemicals that cause sensitivity may include synthetic and natural substances found in:

  • Carpeting

  • Plastics

  • Perfumes

  • Plants

  • Paint

  • Cigarette smoke

  • Poorly ventilated wood-burning stoves

  • Inhaled ozone and nitrogen dioxide

  • Sulfur dioxide inhalation

  • Natural outdoor pollution, such as dust storms, forest fires, or erupting volcanoes

  • Man-made outdoor pollution: vehicle exhaust, petroleum refining, and fossil fuel combustion

  • Cleaning fluids

  • Pesticides 

Allergens: Chemical Sensitivity - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Berry, Judith, PhD, APRN
Online Medical Reviewer: Sohrabi, Farrokh, MD
© 2014 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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