The same problems encountered in the home are also found in public places, sometimes to a greater degree. Deodorants, disinfectants, pine-scented sweeping compounds, and insect sprays are commonly encountered. How distressing it is, for instance, to enter a public toilet only to find it thoroughly polluted with some pine- or artificial “fruit”-scented deodorant. Acute reactions of patients after such encounters are becoming increasingly common.

Fuel-oil or gas space-heaters are also found more often in small shops, stores, and restaurants than in homes; these can be major causes of chronic reactions in workers and of acute responses in customers. One patient, for instance, tells of going to dinner at a small Italian restaurant. She had to change her seat a number of times because of currents of gas coming from a space heater in the kitchen every time the kitchen door swung open. Even so, she suffered familiar symptoms that evening, a kind of “spaciness” in her brain, followed by headache, which she often experienced after encountering natural gas.


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