ASSESSMENT OF SOMATIC COMPLAINTS IN ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
This factis not well accepted by the Env Pat and lastly Ban undisclosed environmental exposure, although unlikely, can never be excluded as possible being causal for their complaints. There fore,the role of environmental factors in MUPS is a heavily debated issue and subject of research in environmental health (Kipen and Fiedler, 2002).
Health assessment of environmental odors poses similar problems as health assessmentin Env Pat. Environmental odors are frequently of relevancein farming (Schiffman,1998) or industrial settings( Herr et al.,2003a,b). The health impact of odors remain unclear (Schiffman and Williams,2005; Von Essenand Auvermann,2005). It is undisputed that an noying odors are associated by an unclear mechanism with physical symptoms. These symptoms show similarity with somato form complaints (Devriese etal.,2000; Steinheider et al.,1998; Sucker etal.,2001).
In this paper we had the opportunity to compare medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS) in Env Pat to symptom rates reported by subjects of a paper exposed to environmental odors (EnvExp).We considered four study groups:patients attributing their health complaints to environmental factors (Env Pat), subjects exposed to an noying environmental odors (Env Exp),which we distinguished in those with additional hazard ous environmental exposure (measurable out door bioaerosols, Env Exp – 1)and those only exposed to odors,not exposed to bioaerosols (Env Exp – 2), and finally, a control group with out any detect able environmental exposure (Controls).