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

Learn More About Sharp
Sharp HealthCare is San Diego's health care leader with seven hospitals, two medical groups and a health plan. Learn more about our San Diego hospitals, choose a Sharp-affiliated San Diego doctor or browse our comprehensive medical services.