ABCNews: Bad smells may be leading to some of the reported symptoms in East Palestine

Psychosomatic effects may be contributing to the symptoms of headaches, fatigue, or respiratory issues being reported by some residents of East Palestine, Ohio, following a hazardous chemical spill last month, experts say.

But “psychosomatic” does not mean that the symptoms are made up, according to experts. There is a body of evidence that suggests that smelling chemicals believed to be dangerous can induce feelings of stress and fear, which may lead to physical symptoms.

“If you’re in the presence of something where there’s a strong odor in the air, and you’re concerned about the impact of it because you don’t really understand the chemical that produce the odor, you probably start even breathing a little bit differently that can change your heart rate that can change all manner of physiological responses,” Pamela Dalton, Ph.D., a researcher at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, told ABC News.

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