Illnesses

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

"The cornerstone of treatment for chemical sensitivity is avoidance. This will decrease total body burden, allowing recovery of the detoxification systems. Chemically less contaminated water may be used including spring, distilled, and charcoal-filtered water, but only in glass and steel containers. Chemically less contaminated food on a rotary diet should also be used to reduce load and keep the patient in the nonadaptive state. As many synthetic substances as possible should be removed from the home, including petroleum-derived heat, routine insecticides, synthetic carpets and mattresses, and formaldehyde-containing substances, such as pressed board and plywood. A change in work areas is often needed."   William J. Rea, M.D.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Doctors Debate "Chemical Sensitivity" Diagnosis
from American Medical News
"As with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia, MCS reflects a conundrum regularly faced by primary care physicians and specialists alike: how to help a patient who presents with nonspecific but severe symptoms for which there is no clearly discernible cause, no widely accepted diagnostic test, and no agreed-upon treatment."

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities Under Siege
by Ann McCampbell, M.D.
"MCS is under siege by a well-funded and widespread disinformation campaign being waged by the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Their goal is to create the illusion of controversy about MCS and cast doubt on its existence. These industries feel threatened by this illness, but rather than heed the message that their products may be harmful, they have chosen to go after the messenger instead."

Chemical Hypersensitivity and the Allergic Response
by William J. Rea, M.D.
"Widespread toxic chemical pollution of our air, food, and water trigger immune and enzyme detoxification mechanisms. This may result in adverse effects on the neurovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, respiratory (including ear, nose, and throat), genitourinary, msuculoskeletal, and dermal systems."

CAUSES/RISK FACTORS/PREVENTION

Indoor Pollution In The Office
from the American Lung Association
Causes and cures for sick buildings.

Sick Building Syndrome
from Ohio State University
"This fact sheet discusses the concept of the sick building syndrome, the types of allergens or stimuli most likely to be found in today's buildings, and how individuals can better cope with contemporary construction of indoor environments."

Everyday Exposure to Toxic Pollutants
by Wayne R. Ott and John W. Roberts
"The many findings now available from multiple studies of people's everyday exposure all point to a single conclusion--that the same air pollutants covered by environmental laws outdoors are usually found at much higher levels in the average American residence."

Indoor Air Quality Notes: Formaldehyde
by Thad Godish, Ph.D.
"Formaldehyde is a potent eye, upper respiratory and skin irritant. Evidence from several studies also indicates that it causes central nervous system effects, including headaches, fatigue, and depression. It also has the potential for causing asthma and inducing asthmatic attacks as a nonspecific irritant. Additionally, animal studies suggest that formaldehyde is a potential human carcinogen."

What's That Smell?
Article in Business Week on Possible Allergy to Carbonless Copy Paper
"In truth, the science behind the claims is controversial. Evidence linking CCP to health symptoms has been building for at least two decades. Many doctors and scientists say CCP's chemical components, which include potential carcinogens and other toxins, can cause symptoms ranging from skin, eye, and mucous-membrane irritation to central nervous system depression, respiratory ailments, and brain damage. Some victims, doctors say, become so sick from CCP that they can never work again. Appleton says the evidence that CCP is harmful is ''flawed'' and not medically credible and that doctors such as Hayden's who diagnose patients with CCP-related illnesses are engaging in junk science."

Articles by Walter J. Crinnion, N.D.

Environmental Medicine, Part 1: The Human Burden of Environmental Toxins and Their Common Health Effects
"Chemical compounds ubiquitous in our food, air, and water are now found in every person. The bioaccumulation of these compounds in some individuals can lead to a variety of metabolic and systemic dysfunctions, and in some cases outright disease states. The systems most affected by these xenobiotic compounds include the immune, neurological, and endocrine systems. Toxicity in these systems can lead to immune dysfunction, autoimmunity, asthma, allergies, cancers, cognitive deficit, mood changes, neurological illnesses, changes in libido, reproductive dysfunction, and glucose dysregulation. Chemicals and their effects on these systems are reviewed in this article."

Environmental Medicine, Part 2 - Health Effects of and Protection from Ubiquitous Airborne Solvent Exposure
"Chemicals known as solvents are part of a broad class of chemicals called volatile organic compounds. These compounds are used in a variety of settings, are ubiquitous, and off-gas readily into the atmosphere. As a result of their overuse, they can be found in detectable levels in virtually all samples of both indoor and outdoor air. Certain of these compounds are detectable in adipose samples of all U.S. residents. Once in the body they can lead to a variety of neurological, immunological, endocrinological, genitourinary, and hematopoietic problems. Some individuals also have metabolic defects that diminish the liver's clearing capacity for these compounds. Supplementation may be of benefit to help clear these compounds from the body and to prevent adverse health effects."

Environmental Medicine, Part 3: Long-Term Effects of Chronic Low-Dose Mercury Exposure
"Mercury is ubiquitous in the environment, and in our mouths in the form of "silver" amalgams. Once introduced to the body through food or vapor, mercury is rapidly absorbed and accumulates in several tissues, leading to increased oxidative damage, mitochondrial dysfunction, and cell death. Mercury primarily affects neurological tissue, resulting in numerous neurological symptoms, and also affects the kidneys and the immune system. It causes increased production of free radicals and decreases the availability of antioxidants. It also has devastating effects on the glutathione content of the body, giving rise to the possibility of increased retention of other environmental toxins. Fortunately, effective tests are available to help distinguish those individuals who are excessively burdened with mercury, and to monitor them during treatment. Therapies for assisting the reduction of a mercury load include the use of 2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) and 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid (DMPS). Additional supplementation to assist in the removal of mercury and to reduce its adverse effects is discussed."

Perfumes and Cosmetics

No Perfume Means Healthier Air!
Distributed by "Breath of Fresh Air"
from OurLittlePlace.com
"Perfume today is not made from flowers but from toxic chemicals. It's about as romantic as hazardous waste.    More than 4,000 chemicals are used in fragrances. Of these, 95% are made from petroleum.    No agency regulates the fragrance industry, yet perfume chemicals are as damaging to health as tobacco smoke."

Twenty Most Common Chemicals in Thirty-one Fragrance Products
Compiled by Julia Kendall
from OurLittlePlace.com
"95% of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum. They include benzene derivatives, aldehydes and many other known toxics and sensitizers - capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions."

Making Sense of Scents
Compiled by Julia Kendall
from OurLittlePlace.com
"Perfumes are increasingly used in an ever wider variety of fields, including perfumes proper, cosmetic products, hygenic products, drugs, detergents and other household products, plastics, industrial greases, oils and solvents, foods, etc. Their composition is usually complex - it involves numerous natural and synthetic sweet-smelling constituents, more than 5,000 of which are known. Perfumes may produce toxic and more often allergic respiratory disorders (asthma), as well as neurological and cutaneous disorders." from the French toxicology journal, Ann Dermatol Vernereol, Vol 113, ISS 1, 1986, P.31-41

Phthalates in Cosmetics Report
"In May 2002 a coalition of environmental and public health organizations contracted with a major national laboratory to test 72 name-brand, off-the-shelf beauty products for the presence of phthalates, a large family of industrial chemicals linked to permanent birth defects in the male reproductive system. The laboratory found phthalates in nearly three-quarters of the products tested..."

Articles from the Environmental Protection Agency

Use and Care of Home Humidifiers

Protect Your Family and Yourself from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Biological Pollutants in Your Home

A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home

Volatile Organic Compounds

Combustion Appliances and Indoor Air Pollution

Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking

What You Can Do About Secondhand Smoke

PATIENTS' STORIES

Jacki's Story - from "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" Diagnosis to MCS Diagnosis and Improvement at Last!
"CFS was something I had no idea how to treat - it left me a "victim." MCS on the other hand, gives me many things I can do to help myself get well. Recovering from this illness involves: cleaning up your environment, avoiding toxic chemicals as much as possible, eating as many organic foods as possible (almost all regular foods are loaded with pesticides), taking nutritional supplements, using "neutralizing" allergy shots, and many other things. The first thing we did was to find an "Environmental Medicine Specialist" here in Florida..."

Stephanie's Story: MCS From a Child's Perspective
"I have written this information to help my friends and family have a better understanding of the illness, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), that I am experiencing. I sincerely hope that this will help you to better comprehend a subject that is not (yet) well understood by many people, including the sufferers and the medical community."


Toxic Mold: One Family's Story
by Donna Smith
"Remember: mold needs moisture to grow. Know your house. If you've had -- or suspect you've had -- a water leak, have it checked for mold contamination. While the majority of people have no reactions to mold exposure, the possible risks are too serious not to take precautions."

TREATMENTS/THERAPIES

Guidelines for Non-Toxic Living
from OurLittlePlace.com
"Not everyone will have the incentive to make all these changes - however, every change you make WILL make a difference! This way of living is not only much better and safer for YOU - it's also much better for the environment! Switching to non-toxic living can be a very pleasant experience if we think of it as a return to the purity and safety of the way our ancestors lived."

Eliminating Avoidable Toxins
by Jini Patel Thompson
"You can also start becoming aware and simply take notice of the number of chemicals you're ingesting, absorbing or otherwise exposing your body to. Start reading the labels on products you buy, the food you eat, and toiletries you use... You can eliminate a tremendous amount of daily toxins simply by changing your personal hygiene, household cleaning and dietary habits... Eliminating the avoidable toxins from your lifestyle and diet will relieve a great deal of stress from your body; leaving it free to use its energy to process the unavoidable toxins and pollutants in our environment."

Reduction of Mold Exposure
by Majid Ali, M.D.
"Reduction of exposure to molds - also called yeasts - is of central importance in successful management of inhalant allergy. Pollens are in the air for limited periods of time; mold spores are in the air throughout the year in most instances. It is not possible to eliminate mold exposures altogether. The following recommendations are made to reduce such exposure."

Detoxification: Personal Survival in A Chemical World
by Theron G. Randolph, M.D. and R. Michael Wisner
"The optimum treatment for patients found to be reacting to endogenous chemical exposures ' is detoxification therapy aimed at reducing levels of fat-stored chemicals."

Detox Baths for Purification
from OurLittlePlace.com

OTHER RESOURCES

American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

American Academy of Environmental Medicine

Chemical Injury Information Network

Environmental Health Center - Dallas

Environmental Illness Society of Canada

Dr. Doris Rapp's Web Site

Indoor Air Quality from Environmental Protection Agency

International Society of Exposure Analysis

June Russell's Health Facts: Chemicals and Pesticides

Massachusetts Association for the Chemically Injured

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity from About.com

MCS Referral & Resources

National Center for Environmental Health Strategies

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Resources for the Chemically Injured, Chemically Sensitive or Environmentally Ill

Washington State Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Network

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Please click on the picture of the book or the title to order.

Annie Berthold-Bond, The Green Kitchen Handbook: Practical Advice, References, & Sources for Transforming the Center of Your Home into a Healthy, Livable Place

 

Debra Dadd-Redalia, Home Safe Home: Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Everyday Toxics

Pamela Reed Gibson Ph.D., Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Survival Guide Gloria Gilbere, N.D., Ph.D., I Was Poisoned By My Body, The Odyssey of a Doctor Who Reversed Fibromyalgia, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity - Naturally!
Sherry A. Rogers, M.D., Chemical Sensitivity Sherry A. Rogers, M.D., Tired or Toxic
Sherry A. Rogers, M.D., Wellness Against All Odds David Steinman, The Safe Shopper's Bible: A Consumer's Guide to Nontoxic Household Products, Cosmetics, and Food
Theron G. Randolph, M.D. and Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D., An Alternative Approach to Allergies: The New Field of Clinical Ecology Unravels the Environmental Causes of Mental and Physical Ills Lorraine D. Smith, N.D., Heal Environmental Illness and Reclaim Your Life
Vicki Lankarge, What Every Home Owner Needs to Know About Mold: And What to Do About It Jeffrey C. May, My House Is Killing Me! The Home Guide for Families With Allergies and Asthma

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