Patients with multiple chemical sensitivities in an occupational health clinic: presentation and follow-up

Arch Environ Health. Nov-Dec 1995;50(6):425-31. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1995.9935978.


Thirty-five people with work-related Multiple Chemical Sensitivities were studied to learn about the onset and progression of illness. The subjects were selected from patients at an occupational health clinic. Individuals were identified as subjects if they fulfilled a seven-point case definition for Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and if onset of symptoms was related to workplace exposures. Three occupational exposures to solvents, poor indoor-air quality, and remodeling were associated with onset of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities in 63% of the subjects. Symptoms indicative of a nervous-system disorder topped the list of the most frequently reported symptoms. Commonalities in exposures and symptoms suggest that Multiple Chemical Sensitivities represents a distinct diagnostic category. Even with an incomplete understanding of etiology, it may be possible to limit the onset of work-related Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollution, Indoor
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity / etiology*
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity / prevention & control
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Occupational Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Workers' Compensation