Janice Tovey
3 min readSep 23, 2021

Emotional Sensitivity and Beyond……..! I believed there was something really wrong with me! Was I the only kid who fell violently ill to my mother’s hairspray, perfume, cleaning chemicals, or a freshly painted my room. The smell of some cooking food, laundry detergent, or the scent of new running shoes would trigger a physical reaction like nausea, headaches or dizziness. Sometime I just felt angry. I was told I was just “that child,” “a complainer,” “way too sensitive for my own good.”

And as a child, as children do, I blamed myself. There must be something really wrong with me. I couldn’t stand the buzzing of fluorescent lights, loud voices, or the smell of the chlorine in the local swimming pool. It was always “oh it’s just Jan,” or “Jan complains about everything,” or “Jan is such a baby.”

Turns out that Empaths, in addition to being blessed with emotional sensitivities to the extreme, also have many chemical and environmental hyper- sensitivities. It is the nature of the beast.

I am sure there are many Empaths who have been misdiagnosed from childhood. How many of you have experienced fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue or “sick building syndrome?” Illnesses that can not be explained without first examining the unique attributes of that wonderful collection of humans we now recognize as Empaths.

Unfortunately there is not much discussion in Medical School about this. The subject of hypersensitivity. And as such, we must learn to take care of ourselves!

How an Empath feels can change minute to minute, day to day and week to week. And let’s not forget second to second. These physical and emotional feelings are intricately connected to the environment. Am I the only one who really doesn’t like air conditioning or extreme temperatures?

We are surrounded by toxic chemicals, and while yes, they effect everyone, Empaths are particularly sensitive to their harmful effects.

Below I list 5 of the most toxic household cleaners:


Bleach can effect the respiratory system if inhaled. It is a strong corrosive substance. It can also irritate or burn the skin, and ingesting bleach can cause vomiting or coma. Wearing gloves or a dust mask is strongly recommended when using bleach.

Drain Cleaners

Drain cleaners contain lye and other dangerous chemicals. These can cause burns to the skin and even blindness. Swallowing even a tiny amount of drain cleaner can severely affect the stomach and throat and may even cause death.

Air Fresheners

Even at low levels, air freshener exposures have been associated with adverse health effects including migraine headaches, asthma attacks, breathing problems, earache, infant diarrhea, neurological problems and serious heart problems.


Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia in the air causes immediate burning of the nose, throat, eyes and respiratory tract. It can result in blindness, lung damage and death. Lower concentrations still do damage causing cough, and, nose and throat irritation.

Carpet or Upholstery Cleaners

These cleaners contain potentially dangerous chemicals including perchloroethylene. This is a popular dry cleaning chemical proven to cause nausea, dizziness and fatigue. And worse it is thought to cause kidney and liver damage.

Beware, many health care professionals are not accepting of the term HYPERSENSITIVE and will quickly dismiss it as HOGWASH! Do not be swayed by the terminology they choose to define you. What matters is how you respond to what effects you, how best to overcome these sensitivities, or try to work with them.

You can choose to eliminate or be eliminated. Information is power and knowing what is in your environment will help you gain a sense of self-control and ultimately improve your health.



Janice Tovey

My passion is writing. I also love reading, teaching, animals, nature, music, and humor. I am curious about everything and enjoy writing about all things.