General Environmental Health News

Would you like mercury with your lunch?


New reports find mercury contaminating the food chain even in areas that most would consider to have a pristine environment.

This week, new reports on the extent to which mercury is contaminating our food supply came out of both the US and Canada.

Mercury is a highly toxic heavy metal that causes neurological damage, especially in the developing brains of children. The metal has been linked with autism over many years now and some studies have found increased levels of both the metal, and antibodies against it, in the blood of autistic children.

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Unexplained illnesses affect 5 per cent of Canadians


Statistics Canada reports that over a million suffer from debilitating medical conditions with no officially recognized cause or cure.

The information was gathered by the agency from community health surveys completed by Canadians aged 12 and over during 2002 and 2003. It reveals that around 5%, or 1.2 million, people in Canada suffer from medically unexplained illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, and multiple chemical sensitivity, all of which we term 'environmental illnesses' on this website.

The figures indicate that 1.2% of the population are affected by chronic fatigue syndrome. Also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), the illness first attracted widespread attention in the 1980's, when much to the chagrin of sufferers, it was labeled 'yuppie flu' and those afflicted were considered to be whiners and hypochondriacs. Since that time research has discovered many abnormalities in CFS patients, mainly relating to the immune and endocrine (hormonal) systems, and the condition is now officially recognized as a biological medical condition by influential organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US.

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