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Toxic Exposures Linked to Mental Health





MCS America

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.


For more information visit MCS America




Monday, April 6th, 2009:


Toxic Exposures Linked to Mental Health


by Lourdes Salvador



Many people diagnosed with mental illness deny to vehement inanition that stress or anxiety is the cause of their ills. 


Now science shows that patients labeled as being “in denial” or so “psychotic” that they can’t see the truth may be seeing perfectly clear.  Those labeled as psychosomatic after expressing physical complaints, meaning that it’s all in their head, may really be suffering.


Scientists are beginning to uncover physical illnesses in toxic chemical exposure which manifest in the psychiatric symptoms previously believed to be mental illnesses.


According to Stephen J. Genuis, MD, a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Alberta, “Thoughts and moods are the result of biological processes; disordered thoughts and moods may be the result of disordered biological processes.”


Researchers believe that the cause of some mental health afflictions and some abnormal conduct is physical rather than psychological. 


Genuis says, “Various studies confirm that some chemical toxicants which modify brain physiology have the potential to affect mood, cognitive function, and to provoke socially undesirable outcomes.”


Genuis reports on a young man who presented with psychiatric symptoms and diagnosis.  The young man frequently consumed tuna, which is high in the benefits of Omega fatty acids. Despite its benefits, tuna is also frequently contaminated with mercury.  Mercury is known to accumulate in brain tissue and to act as a neurotoxin.


When the young man abstained from tuna and was medically chelated with DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid), the psychiatric symptoms disappeared entirely.


This research study supports the need for clinician’s to explore adverse exposure and toxicant body burden when patient’s present with disordered thinking, moods, and behavior, particularly when the patient denies feelings of stress or anxiety and complaints of other physical symptoms.


There are a myriad of chemical agents in the environment which bioaccumulate or build up, in the body. Mercury is only one of them.  Human exposure assessment is quickly becoming a clinically relevant need in medical investigation.


Genuis says, “Increasing evidence in the medical and scientific literature suggests that chemical exposure and resultant toxicant bioaccumulation are correlated with pathophysiology in neurological development and brain function. Health professionals and other officials should consider toxicant exposure and adverse chemical accumulation as a potential determinant when individuals present with inexplicable mental health problems or disordered behavior.”




For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.


Copyrighted 2009 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America



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