Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
Lourdes Salvador volunteers as a writer and social advocate for the recognition of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). She was a passionate advocate for the homeless and worked with her local governor to provide services to the homeless through a new approach she created to end homelessness. That passion soon turned to advocacy and activism for people with MCS and the medical professionals who serve them. She co-founded MCS Awareness in 2005 and went on to found MCS America in 2006. She serves as a partner for Environmental Education Week, a partner for the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE), and a supporter for the American Cancer Society: Campaign for Smokefree Air.
American Brains Contaminated Without Consent
by Lourdes Salvador
The prevalence of brain diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and motor neuron disease has soared in the last 20 years, as has the occurrence of depression and anxiety disorders. This rise has been correlated with increased use of pesticides, car exhaust, fragrances, and particulate matter pollution which target the brain in oxidative stress and leads to neurodegeneration.
Whether neurotransmitter balance is altered by drug abuse or chemical exposures, the brain attempts to compensate for this change and create homeostasis again. This leads to impaired cognitive function.
Unexplained outbursts of anger, despair, or anxiety are common in the general populace. Most people know someone who has such outbursts. The scientific community, frequently guided by industry interests, works to convince the medical community and society at large that these mood swings are “mental health problems” for which expensive prescriptions and time consuming cognitive behavioral therapy should be prescribed.
In many cases, however, these diseases and symptoms are cases toxic exposure to everyday substances which may be corrected by eliminated the contaminants. This often occurs via chemical trespass against the victim’s knowledge or will.
Chemical trespass happens when the human body is involuntarily contaminated with toxic or potentially toxic chemicals. Chemicals are capable of altering brain function similar to the way narcotics and inhalants provide a “high”. The difference is that a person who takes narcotics wants to be impaired, while chemical trespass drugs people against their will.
Psycho-pharmaceutical drugs, such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, inhalants, and illicit drugs are also chemicals which work in the brain by altering neurotransmitter release, thus the brain's communication system. This interferes with the way the brain processes information and alters mood and behavior.
Inhalants are volatile substances found in many household products, such as oven cleaners, gasoline, spray paints, and other aerosols, which young people abuse for their mind-altering effects. However, one can experience mind altering effects unknowingly and unwillingly without abusing inhalants.
The fragrance industry often uses the fact that fragrances alter mood as an advertising ploy. It’s not uncommon to see ads that claim a fragrance will “enhance sexuality”, “take you away”, or “remind you of good times”.
Fragrances are often marketed as “mood enhancers”. Scent marketers deliberately design and market fragrances which impact mood, emotions, and behavior. As they indeed alter the mind, they are also equivalent to drugs and should be classified as such.
A scent wearer is usually not aware of the drug-like effect their fragrance has. Anyone sharing the same airspace is also subjected to drugging by others’ fragrances. There is little difference between force feeding someone a drug and exposing them to second-hand fragrances that have the same devastating effects in uncontrolled doses.
Despite laws which regulate drugs, the fragrance industry is self-regulated. No independent governing authority regulates the fragrance industry, tests fragrances for toxicity, or even knows what is in fragrances. Fragrance manufactures do not have to reveal what is in a fragrance under current “trade secret” laws. Independent tests show that fragrances are a combination of anywhere from 3 – 5,000 chemicals, 95% of which are derived from petroleum and over 80% of which have not been tested for human safety.
Scent makers contaminate the air with these toxicants and carcinogens by encouraging businesses to add fragrance everything from air conditioning systems to food packages. This is accomplished through claims of fragrances causing shoppers to linger in stores longer and therefore buy more.
Fragrances contain highly toxic substances, including:
- Acetone damages the central nervous system and causes slurred speech.
- Benzaldehyde, a central nervous system depressant (similar to alcohol and sedatives) and causes kidney damage.
- Methylene chloride decreases the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood, resulting in headache, giddiness, stupor, fatigue, and irritability.
- Limonene, which is hazardous to apply to the skin, causes respiratory irritation, and the EPA advises “do not inhale limonene vapor” because it can cause delirium, stupor, tachycardia (as in a panic attack), as well as symptoms similar to food poisoning.
- Linalool, which is known to cause central nervous system disorders and respiratory problems.
- Terpenes, which may be harmful if inhaled, cause asthma and central nervous system disorders.
Children are more susceptible to the effects of these ‘drugs’. If customers are buying more than they planned to buy, this unconscionable tactic is equivalent to mind control. Any substance which alters the mind should be reclassified as a drug under FDA guidelines and made illegal.
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
Copyrighted 2008 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America
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