Around 55 million adults have a chemical sensitivity or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, a study reveals.Creative Commons

Exposure to perfumes and everyday chemical products triggers health problems in almost 55 million American adults, a new study reveals. The condition known as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) occurs due to the exposure to common chemical products and pollutants such as paint, insect spray, cleaning supplies, fragrances and petrochemical fumes.

The research was an important step because the health condition has not been recognized by American Medical Association or World Health Organisation yet. Therefore, there is no treatment for the people who suffer from the condition.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne revealed in the recent study that one in four Americans report chemical sensitivity and nearly half of the study group was medically diagnosed with MCS.

"MCS is a serious and potentially disabling disease that is widespread and increasing in the US population," said Anne Steinemann, lead researcher and Professor of Civil Engineering and Chair of Sustainable Cities at the University of Melbourne School of Engineering.

Steinemann found that the chemical sensitivity has increased over 200 percent and diagnosed MCS over 300 percent among American adults in the past decade, Science Daily reported.

"People with MCS are like human canaries. They react earlier and more severely to chemical pollutants, even at low levels," Steinemann said.

The study also found that 71 percent of people with MCS are asthmatic, and 86.2 percent with MCS report various health problems.

Moreover, around 22 million Americans with MCS have lost a job or work days in the past year, due to illness from exposure to fragranced products in the workplace.

The study was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.