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Subject: Conventional Medicine's Recognition of Chemical Sensitivity


Author:
Patrick Anthony Pontillo
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Date Posted: 22:28:56 09/25/10 Sat

Conventional medicine has already established that chemicals, at nontoxic levels, are not universally harmless. Numerous chemicals have been identified as sensitizers, while other ones have been identified as irritants. In fact, Chemical Sensitivity has already been defined in localized and systemic form.

When one states "Localized Forms of Chemical Sensitivity," one is referring to chemical sensitivity adversely affecting one body system of a patient. Such body systems, for example, include the respiratory tract. Therefore, Occupational Asthma due to Low Weight Molecular Agents, Irritant-induced Asthma, and Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome are three forms of localized chemical sensitivity. More specifically, Chemical Sensitivity is actually regarded as Chemical & Irritant Sensitivity.

As far as concerns systemic chemical sensitivity, this refers to an adverse reaction that results in a systemic ill effect. Such systemic reactions include anaphylaxis and urticaria (hives). All in all, Chemical Sensitivity is already a well established component in mainstream medical science. So too is the irritant-induced reaction.

However ...

Throughout the past fifteen years, literature has been posted online that can easily deceive a novice into assuming that no chemical of any kind, whenever encountered at a nontoxic level, could ever trigger an adverse reaction in anyone. It accentuated the Multiple Chemical Sensitivity debate, while simultaneously declining to acknowledge the names of the case-specific forms of chemical sensitivity which had already been identified and defined.

Each piece of propaganda asserted that Multiple Chemical sensitivity is merely a matter of mental illness. As a result, persons unfamiliar with Occupational & Environmental medicine were left entirely unaware that sufficient medical findings in numerous chemically sensitive patients had already been identified, along with the numerous chemicals that triggered the adverse reactions.

The Corporate Claim of Universal Harmlessness
Contradicted by the Findings of Medical Science

It had even gotten to the point where insecticide providers boldly claimed that their product lines were entirely harmless, provided that they were used according to regulatory guidelines. This proclamation was accompanied by the assertion that all persons suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity are merely mentally ill. However, conventional medicine has already established that nontoxic exposure to the carbamate/organophosphate class of pesticide can cause a build-up of acetylcholine in one's lungs and cause asthma to develop. Even at this revelation, there is an irony. Organophosphate pesticides are the most merciful ones on the chemically sensitive. Therefore, If you are chemically sensitive and pesticides are going to be sprayed near you, make sure that it's organophosphate pesticides that will be used. The ill effects of organophosphates dissipate far more quickly than those of the other types of pesticides.

Perfumes Have Been Identified
as Triggers of Asthma

The propaganda against the chemically sensitive was relentless. Even those who were non-chemically sensitive got caught in the crossfire in 1996, when the perfume intolerant were called "fragrance phobic fruitcakes." Now, perfumes contain potent non-chemical ingredients as much as they contain sensitizing chemicals. Perfume intolerance includes hyperreactivity to non-chemical ingredients as much as it involves hypersensitivity to chemical-bearing agents. Therefore, in 1996, even persons who were not chemically sensitive were placed under attack.

Never mentioned in the 1996 character assassination was the 1995 publication detailing a research undertaking which confirmed that perfume strips found in magazines are asthma triggers. [Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol., 1995 Nov;75 (5):429-33]. In the years to follow, perfumes would come to be acknowledged as asthma triggers by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, the American Lung Association, and the National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (of America). Then, in 2001, a published medical report placed perfume among the triggers of anaphylaxis. Yet, no apologies were ever made to the perfume intolerant by the propagandist who defamed them.

Sensitization Is Not Limitied To Chemical Exposures

The phenomenon of sensitization is not new, and neither is it unproven. Nor is it limited to matters involving Chemical Sensitivity. The recognition of Sensitization spans throughout the realms of:

1] metal dust exposure; Berylliosis (beryllium), etc.
2] mold exposure; Mushroom Worker's Lung, etc.
3] enzyme exposure; Detergent Worker's Lung, etc.
4] organic dust exposure; Byssinosis (cotton dust), etc.
5] chemicals & irritant gases; Irritant-induced Asthma, etc.

The Medical Doctrine of Concomitant Sensitivity

Concomitant Sensitivity is also known as Cross-sensitization. Specifically, it means that, if you are hypersensitive to one chemical compound, then you are hypersensitive to all other chemical compounds with similar characteristics. An example of Concomitant Sensitivity exists within the family of the acetylated salicylates. To be adversely reactive to one of them is to be adversely reactive to all of them. Another example would be the aldehyde family, as in the benzaldehyde found in heated cinnamon, the glutaraldehyde used as a disinfectant, and the formaldehyde which appears in numerous products.

High Production Volume Chemicals and
their Ubiquitous Presence in Modern Life

There have been medical professionals who declined to support the recognition of MCS, but who simultaneously acknowledged that a person can be severely hypersensitive to "one or a few" chemicals. Such an acknowledgment needs
to be accompanied by a qualifying statement, however, and that qualifying statement goes as follows:

Persons who are hypersensitive to a few High Production Volume Chemicals are actually hypersensitive to the dozens of commonly encountered products that contain those HPV chemicals. Concomitant Sensitivity, combined with hypersensitivity to merely a few HPV chemicals, easily explains how a person can seem to be hypersensitive to
almost everything.

The Demarcating Factor in MCS

If you are adversely reactive to dozens of chemical-bearing agents, but have only one reoccurring symptom, then you are outside of the MCS controversy. This is because the demarcating factor in MCS is not hypersensitivity to multiple chemicals. The demarcating factor is adverse reactivity that affects multiple body systems. In as much, if bronchial hyperresponsiveness is your only chemical sensitivity reaction, then only one body system is involved, and there is no presence of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity to assess in you, even should you be hypersensitive to a hundred chemical-bearing products. The anti-MCS people will have to find another way in which to call you mentally ill.

If your chemical sensitivity condition adversely affects one body system, then your case involves localized chemical sensitivity. In matters of urticaria (hives) and anaphylaxis, such chemical sensitivity becomes systemic. Systemic Chemical Sensitivity and MCS are two entirely different things.

Nor does MCS have anything to do with multiple symptoms, per se. You can have a repertoire of reoccurring symptoms and be outside of the MCS controversy, if those multiple symptoms are limited to the reactions of only one body system. The anti-MCS people will have to find another way by which call you mentally ill. None the less, the respiratory system is an individual body system that can host multiple symptoms. Firstly, asthma can coexist with upper-respiratory ills, and the upper-respiratory tract can be the host of a number of symptoms. In fact, within the world of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, it is a regular phenomenon to find asthma coexisting with Rhinosinusitis\Rhinitis in the same one worker (or subset
of workers.)

In summary, it is neither the number of symptoms nor the number of chemicals that define Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. It is the number of body systems that engage in the hypersensitivity reactions that defines it. In the world of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, chemical sensitivity reactions have been documented as having adversely affected two body systems in the same one worker (or subset of workers.) Such coexistence hints of the authentic existence of MCS.

Formaldehyde:
An Example as to Why Some People Seem
to be Allergic to Almost Everything

Formaldehyde is a suitable example, in illustrating that hypersensitivity to merely one High Production Volume chemical constitutes hypersensitivity to dozens of chemical-bearing agents. Formaldehyde is a known trigger of asthma, rhinitis, dermatitis, and anaphylaxis. It outgases from numerous products. This includes liquid soap and shampoo products that contain quarternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, and imidazolidinyl urea. In fact, go to the shampoo and liquid soap section of any store and see if you can find one product free of the ingredients listed
above. A detailed list of formaldehyde-releasing agents includes:

[] urea-formaldehyde foam insulation, [] oriented strand board, [] medium density fiberboard, [] melamine resin, [] plywood, [] surface coatings, [] joint cement, [] paints [] wall coverings, [] durable press drapery, [] permanent press clothing, [] floor wax, [] kerosene heater emissions, [] burning wood, [] cosmetics, [] nail hardeners, [] sun screen lotion, [] moisturizing lotions, [] tanning lotions, [] carpet cleansers, [] liquid soaps, [] liquid scouring cleansers, [] shampoos, [] medical venues, etc.

Formaldehyde shares common characterists with benzaldehyde and the sterlization agent, glutaraldehyde. Therefore, the products which bear glutaraldehyde and benzaldehyde are to be included in the list of formaldehyde-releasing agents.
This includes cinnamon oil. In as much, the phenomenon of Concomitant Sensitivity, in combination with hypersensitivity to a few High Production Volume Chemicals, can account for the reason why some individuals seem to be hypersensitive to almost everything.

Atopy and Persistent Vulnerabilities,
aka Pre-existing Conditions

Then there is the matter of chronically existent vulnerabilities, also known as atopy. One example is the upper-respiratory inflammation known as boney turbinate hypertrophy. It is a condition not known to be able to resolve itself, as surgery has been the only treatment offered for it, by mainstream medicine.

Cases of chronically existent vulnerabilities can make a person hypersensitive to both chemical and non-chemical odors. Thus, such a person can be adversely reactive to the smell of cleaning agents and new vinyl products, as well as cooking odors, and even musty cardboard. Such a person might appear to be allergic to almost everything.

Immunological in Some Cases.
Nonimmunological in Other ones.

A person can have either an immunological allergic reaction or a non-immunological irritant reaction to chemical-bearing agents. It depends on the person, the person's exposure history, the person's pre-existing vulnerabilities, the chemicals themselves, and the way in which the chemicals are encountered (by inhaling, ingestion, touch, or ocular absorption.) Even RAST testing includes a panel that consists in chemicals known to cause allergic reactions. Such chemicals are located in the Occupational Panel of a RAST Test schedule/chart.

The bottom line is that chemical sensitivity is very real, and to state otherwise is to defame the Occupational & Environmental Health programs who diagnose such conditions. Be it Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome, Airborne Irritant Contact Dermatitis, Limonene Sensitivity, Aspirin Sensitivity, Methyltetrahydrophthalic Anhydride Allergy, or Oil of Turpentine Allergy, it is all a matter of chemical sensitivity. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is not the only type of chemical sensitivity to consider. It simply was the form used in a prolonged diversionary tactic. Other types of chemical sensitivity have already been validated. So, any discussion about MCS that does not admit to the existence of chemical sensitivity in its case-specific, localized, and systemic forms invalidates itself.

Sincerely,

Patrick Anthony Pontillo

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