by Lourdes Salvador
The Journal of Neurological Science published a review from the Department of Neurology, USF Health, University of South Florida entitled The allegory of a mountain: An environmental introduction to neurotoxicology on August 29, 2007.
Neurotoxicology is the science which investigates the relationship between exposures to chemical or physical agents and adverse effects on the nervous system. Most studies of neurotoxicology are carried out on animals and mammals.
Prockop, the researcher at the University of South Florida, states, many of the substances to which humans are being exposed are relatively new to the environment, i.e., the products of a sophisticated industrial development. As a result humans are exposed to volatile organic compounds not previously present in our environment in significant amounts and the effects of these VOCs on the human body has not been thoroughly studied.
Industry is important to the world as we know it in that it has provided for the niceties of life and the economic growth of society. Unfortunately, industry often requires the use of volatile organic compounds (VOC) which have negative effects.
Many illnesses may been linked to environmental pollution from industry, including autism, attention deficit disorder, sudden infant death syndrome, cancer, Lou Gehrig's disease, multiple sclerosis, multiple chemical sensitivity, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and even behavioral disorders. These conditions are being seen more and more in our society, particularly among young children.
Prockhop feels it is also important for us to determine what concentration of a given substance may produce short-term effects or chronic long-term effects on the human body.
It is crucial to examine how human exposure can be prevented since irreversible damage may occur and there is no medical treatment that can lead to improvement. Prevention of neurotoxic injury is essential according to Prockhop.
One thing we can do as individuals is to limit our exposure to VOCs in the home and workplace. While we cannot control ambient air pollution until regulations are enacted and enforced, we can still limit our exposure by practicing avoidance where possible.
Remember, there is no treatment for recovery from neurotoxic injury. Prevention, avoidance, and awareness are key .
Prockop LD. The allegory of a mountain: An environmental introduction to neurotoxicology. J Neurol Sci. 2007 Aug 29.
About the Author
Lourdes Salvador is a writer and social advocate based in Hawaii. She is a passionate advocate for the homeless, having worked with her local governor to open new shelters and provide services to the homeless in a new approach to end homelessness. That passion soon turned to advocacy and activism for victims of multiple chemical sensitivity. Since 2006, she has been the president of MCS America and a featured monthly writer for MCS America News. She co-founded MCS Awareness in 2005. She also serves as Partner, Environmental Education Week and Partner, Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE). For more information about Lourdes and her advocacy work, please visit: www.mcs-america.org, www.thetruthaboutmcs.blogspot.com, and www.cafepress.com/mcsamerica.
Copyrighted © 2007 Lourdes Salvador
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