General Environmental Health News

Swine flu vaccine unsafe in those with environmental illnesses


Vaccination needleThe leading group of environmental medicine physicians in Germany say the H1N1 swine flu vaccine by Pandemrix® is unsuitable for patients with chronic multi-system illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivity.

According to the Chemical Sensitivity Network (CSN) the German Professional Association of Environmental Medicine advises against the H1N1 vaccine by Pandemrix® for people with chronic multi-system illnesses.

Many who suffer from such illnesses are well aware that vaccines of any kind often cause exacerbation of symptoms and relapses and in some cases may have been a triggering factor in their illness.

The following statement (kindly translated by CSN) from the German Professional Association of Environmental Medicine outlines their position specifically on the Pandemrix® H1N1 vaccine providing a scientific rationale for each point on a substantial list of concerns.

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Tamiflu and antiviral drugs not the answer to flu in children say researchers


Tamiflu medicationSome researchers are warning governments that antiviral drugs have limited effectiveness against both seasonal flu and swine flu and may increase risks rather than benefits, especially in children.

While many countries in the northern hemisphere are stockpiling antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu and Relenza for widespread use against seasonal and pandemic flu some researchers are questioning this approach citing a lack of evidence that use of the drugs has significant benefits.

Research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) back in August found that Tamiflu and Relenza rarely prevented complications of the flu in children such as asthma flare-ups and secondary infections requiring antibiotics. Tamiflu is also associated with side-effects such as vomiting and widespread antiviral use may lead to viruses becoming resistant to them according to the paper.

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Conference to educate doctors on environmental causes of chronic illness


American Academy of Environmental MedicineThis month the American Academy of Environmental Medicine holds its annual conference with the aim of educating medical doctors about environmental factors which contribute to chronic immune and allergic illnesses.

Physicians are seeing more and more patients with chronic illnesses including allergies, asthma, autoimmune diseases, and a variety of unexplained conditions including chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia, and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), whom they are often unable to help in any meaningful way other than to suppress symptoms.

According to figures from the US National Center for Health Statistics food allergies alone have risen 24% among children under 5 years of age and 19% among children ages 5 - 17 years. Meanwhile figures provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest asthma prevalence for all ages increased by 75% from 1980 to 1994 and for children under the age of five, asthma has increased more than 160%.

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Essential oils effective against hospital acquired bacterial and Candida infections


Essential oilsResearchers have demonstrated that a variety of essential oils are able to eradicate hospital acquired infections, even those such as MRSA that are resistant to traditional antibiotic medications.

Hospital acquired infections and antibiotic resistance are are a growing problem. The use of synthetic antibacterial soaps and sanitizers often only adds to such resistance and has environmental consequences.

Researchers are therefore looking at alternatives and many have turned to traditional natural remedies in the search for effective antibiotics and antifungal agents that do not contribute to microbial resistance.

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Effects of toxic aircraft cabin air tested using blood samples


Aircfrat in flightResearchers are currently analyzing blood samples of almost 100 people frequently exposed to aircraft cabin air who suffer from a range of unexplained symptoms.

There are growing concerns that aircraft cabin air can become contaminated with potentially toxic chemicals and result in toxic injury and a host of symptoms, mostly neuropsychological in nature.

Now, scientists at the University of Washington, USA, are analyzing blood samples from 92 individuals, mostly pilots, cabin crew, and fequent flyers, who all suffer from from unexplained chronic illnesses which they attribute to exposure to toxic cabin air. Symptoms reported by the study participants include tremors, memory loss, poor concentration, and severe migraine headaches.

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