Subjective ratings of odorants by women with chemical sensitivity

Mercedes Fernandez, Gary E.R. Schwartz, Iris R. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether women with chemical sensitivity rated the intensity and pleasantness of three odorants [peppermint, vanilla, and propylene glycol (PG)] and odorless room air differently than women without chemical sensitivity. The ratings of the experimental group (women with self-reported chemical sensitivity and no history of sexual abuse) were compared to those of two control groups who did not report chemical sensitivity [sexually abused (SA) women and healthy women without sexual abuse history]. All subjects were exposed to odorants and odorless control stimuli once a week for 3 consecutive weeks. Our findings indicate that women with chemical sensitivity perceive odorants as neither more or less intense nor more or less pleasant than women without chemical sensitivity. Moreover, the control women without sexual abuse outperformed the women in the other two groups by correctly identifying the target bottle containing the odorant. These findings suggest that perception of odorants alone is unlikely to account for the symptoms associated with chemical sensitivity. These findings, along with those of Doty et al. (1988), support the notion that olfactory-sensory function does not differ between individuals with and without chemical sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-581
Number of pages525
JournalToxicology and Industrial Health
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1999

Keywords

  • MCS
  • chemical sensitivity
  • intensity ratings
  • odorant perception
  • pleasantness ratings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Subjective ratings of odorants by women with chemical sensitivity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this