Now, the world is indisputably a cruel place, but cruelty per se never gave anyone muscle aches, though it's romantic to think so. And "chemicals," as a class, are only scary if you regard them from a "science is hard" perspective. They're also a huge category: saying that you're allergic to chemicals and should therefore avoid being exposed to them is like saying that you're allergic to food and should therefore avoid eating, period. Specific compounds produce specific bad effects in specific people; some specific chemicals even produce specific bad effects in all people; and a "multiple chemical sensitivity" is often a result of a single chemical sensitivity that can be treated. But if your illness can't be traced to a particular physical cause, then it's time to consider the possibility that it's not physical—that for some reason you're making yourself sick.

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