First Time User? Sign Up Now
First Time User? Enroll now.
Home > Health Library > Environmental Illness
An environmental illness is a set of symptoms or a disease caused by chemicals, fumes, pollution, allergens, viruses, or toxins or physical hazards found in the environment. Exposure to toxic chemicals or other hazards may occur in the home, workplace, or community.
The symptoms of an environmental illness depend on what is causing it. The symptoms may be like those caused by other illnesses. Examples are headache, cough, fatigue, and nausea. And symptoms may vary according to the amount and type of exposure. Environmental illnesses may be difficult to diagnose. And they are sometimes mistaken for other illnesses.
Symptoms may occur suddenly and disappear when exposure to the substance ends. For example, headaches or grogginess caused by carbon monoxide at home can go away when the people who live there go to work or school. Sometimes symptoms may not develop for years, which can occur after exposure to cancer-causing chemicals.
The first treatment for an environmental illness includes getting rid of or reducing exposure to the things causing the illness. Additional treatment is based on the specific symptoms and part of the body that is affected.
Current as of:
December 13, 2018
Medical Review:Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
1430 N Salem Street
Apex, NC 27502
2615 Lake Drive
Raleigh, NC 27607
901 Ridgefield Drive
Raleigh, NC 27609
4420 Lake Boone Trail
Raleigh, NC 27607
357 Carolina Arbors Drive
Durham, NC 27703
UNC REX Healthcare4420 Lake Boone TrailRaleigh, NC 27607, USA919-784-3100
Chosen for Excellence
Co-Worker & Physician Login
UNC Health Talk
Copyright 2019 UNC Health Care. All rights reserved.