General Environmental Health News

Nutrient deficiency and toxicity states as important in modern illness as genetics

Fruits and VegetablesNutritional deficiencies and states of toxicity within the body are being ignored by modern genetics-focused medicine despite irrefutable evidence of the prominent role they play in contemporary illnesses according to a prominent environmental medicine scientist.

In a paper published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, Stephen J. Genuis of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Alberta, Canada, provides a timely reminder to the medical profession and individual physicians that throughout the history of medicine it has been proven time and again that the main causes of disease are nutritional deficiency, toxic exposures, genetic predisposition, infectious agents, and psychological dysfunction.

Genuis points out that the current medical paradigm largely ignores the role lack of vital nutrients and toxic exposures (and body toxicity states) play in modern ill-health while focusing an inordinate amount of resources on genetic predisposition and often presumed psychological dysfunction. The point that Genuis makes will be welcome news to the ears of those suffering from environmental and invisible illnesses including myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), Gulf War illness (GWI), and gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and food intolerances and sensitivities. 

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One Health: Hope for Environmental, Animal and Human Health

Wooden CowThe 'One Health' concept that integrates the state of the environment, and both animal and human health, is gaining momentum as international organisations put their weight behind it and scientists publish supporting papers.

In the 21st Century disease prevention must be a global endeavour according to the One Health model. Issues such as the international spread of infectious diseases like the H5N1 virus, as well as worldwide toxic contamination of the environment, mean that protection of human health is no longer a local issue and requires international cooperation.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the purpose of One Health is to "Seek to attain optimal health for people and animals by promoting global collaboration between human and veterinary medicine while engaging the principles of public health and ecosystem health." On their website dedicated to One Health the CDC goes on to explain that "Greater progress in prevention and control of infectious diseases requires a more directed effort focusing on the complex interplay between human health, the health of animals, and the environment."

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EPA considers toxicity testing of BPA amid growing health concerns

 

Cans of foodOn July 26 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opened up for public debate the question of whether it should require new toxicity testing and environmental sampling of bisphenol A (BPA), found in many plastics and packaging in contact with food.

An increasing number of studies are pointing to the fact that BPA is toxic and has the potential to be detrimental to human health, as well as to wildlife and the wider ecosystem. The EPA's own BPA Action Plan website highlights its reproductive, developmental, and systemic toxicity in animal studies and its action as a hormone disruptor.

Up to now, standardised toxicity tests th EPA used for regulatory decision-making had indicated levels of BPA in people and the environment fall below levels of potential concern. After reviewing the most recent studies on BPA toxicity, many using novel low-dose approaches and examining different biological effects, the EPA now acknowledges that some low-dose findings that correlate with the average person's typical exposure “are potentially of concern.”

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Aerotoxic Syndrome: Current Research and Political Status

 

Aircfrat in flightAs more and more people are flying, including pilots, cabin crew and passengers, aerotoxic syndrome is becoming a major health issue. Christine Standing of aerotoxic.org gives an overview of aerotoxic syndrome and an update on current research and political and legal wranglings.

Summary of Aerotoxic Safety Risks

by Christine Standing MA

In 1955, there was a heated debate about the potential faults that were being introduced into aircraft air conditioning technology. The industry has had decades to correct this problem. During this time it dealt with the ensuing safety deficit by the use of denial. Now, the problem has resurfaced and it is the medical fraternity who are discovering the extent of the problem.  Pilots, flight attendants and passengers are experiencing neurotoxic symptoms. The clue to discovering the reason for these lies in the fact that pilots are becoming incapacitated in-flight; some experience moments of black-out others are paralyzed; others have transitory neurological symptoms and find it difficult to land their aircraft safely.  Responsible, fit and healthy young pilots have to be stretchered off aircraft and hospitalised. Others find that their illness progresses incrementally with each successive flight.  Many have life-long illnesses as a result of this policy.  In 1999, this condition was termed Aerotoxic Syndrome.

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Call to ban residential pesticide use and reduce sick building syndrome cases in Japan

 

Pesticide warning signPesticide spraying within residential areas is a big problem in Japan and a major cause of environmental illnesses such as sick building syndrome and multiple chemical sensitivity. A Japanese scientist and sufferer of sick building syndrome now calls for action to put residents' health first.

No More Killing Softly, Please!!

Underestimated harmful effects of pesticide spraying in residential compounds in Japan


by Minako Yamada, PhD.

Almost 50 years ago, American marine biologist and conservationist Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, in which she warned the general public of the danger of toxic chemicals which impact not only wild life but also human life. Her allegations strongly influenced environmental policies, leading to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in the USA, for example. Yet, the situation in Japan is still far behind because of the heavy use of chemicals for farming and pesticide spraying in residential areas compared to pesticide usage in the USA or EU countries.

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