FINALLY: ‘We ESTABLISHED EVIDENCE of this previously understudied disease process’

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Finally, after decades of frustration to those affected, highly credentialed researchers managed to “establish evidence” that “chemical sensitivity” really does exist. It isn’t “psychosomatic.” This landmark study addresses the root cause of a horribly misunderstood medical condition. The team’s assessment promises a win-win solution that gives something positive to everyone involved. Suffering “Canaries” are vindicated, the medical industry has a starting point to work from, and the chemical industry can shift the blame away from the chemicals themselves, to negligence and improper handling, which can be prevented in the future.

Evidence finally established

“We established evidence of this previously understudied disease process,” declared Shahir Masri, Sc.D. “Our insights will help public health scientists, physicians and policymakers better understand how to minimize harmful exposures and prevent future disease.” By getting down to basics, the authors also gave the big chemical manufacturers like Procter and Gamble a way out.

“A growing number of patients fit this category yet remain unaided by physicians, in some cases being referred to psychiatrists or psychologists for treatment for alleged psychosomatic disorders.” The authors note “it has long been understood by toxicologists that the “dose makes the poison.” A more nuanced approach to toxicology, however, is to say that the “dose plus host makes the poison.” This latter concept highlights the important role that person-to-person biological variation plays in determining the toxicity of a given xenobiotic to a particular individual.”

Big Chem can now acknowledge the irrefutable evidence, without it destroying the entire household chemical industry. It’s not the chemicals themselves to blame. The real problem is improper handling. That’s something that can be fixed in the future.

The bad news, for any “Canary” already suffering from a chemical sensitivity illness, is that you’re basically screwed. The bright side is you can at least be assured that your suffering may lessen or prevent the suffering of others.

Dr. Masri teamed up with iconic pioneer chemical sensitivity researcher Dr. Claudia S. Miller to proudly “co-first author” the exciting new evidence producing study. “Toxicant-induced loss of tolerance for chemicals, foods, and drugs: assessing patterns of exposure behind a global phenomenon” was published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe.

It came out May 27, 2021, then slowly trickled out to the public. Raymond F. Palmer and Nicholas Ashford were also part of the team. Dr. Masri is affiliated with the Program in Public Health at the Irvine campus of the University of California. Doctors Miller and Palmer are with the Department of Family and Community Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Ashford represents the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Major exposure event

The phenomena has been known for decades and described under a wide variety of names, including Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), Environmental Illness (EI), Chemical Intolerances (CI) or Toxicant Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT).

The researchers have settled on the TILT nomenclature for good reasons, based on the evidence they uncovered. This study brings the whole set under one umbrella moving forward.

It’s been previously reported by Steinemann and others that “15–36% of the U.S. population” report intolerance or sensitivity to common household chemicals generally regarded safe for use. The condition is characterized by “multisystem symptoms and new-onset intolerances.”

Symptoms develop progressively but the one thing all Canaries have in common is that none of their symptoms occurred until after “a major chemical exposure event or repeated low-level exposures.” Thanks to the evidence in this report, preventing those exposures will be the new focus for everyone from now on.

The study team reviewed “eight major exposure events that preceded onset of chemical intolerance in groups of individuals sharing the same exposure.” There can be no denying the hard evidence of similar symptoms from several individuals, tied directly to one initiating event. Sensitivity researchers have been studying these events in detail since they occurred and are still gaining new insights.

They went diving deep into identifying “the chemicals and/or groups of chemicals that were most pervasive during each exposure event.” They also wanted to know how high the concentration levels were and what happened to the exposed individuals afterward. The group studied the EPA headquarters renovation, Gulf War veterans, pesticide exposure among casino workers, exposure to aircraft oil fumes, World Trade Center tragedy, surgical implants, moldy environments, and tunnel workers exposed to solvents.

The dastardly culprit chemicals

After diving deep into their chosen and well documented events, it didn’t take long to produce solid evidence that “mixed volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds (VOCs and SVOCs), followed by pesticides and combustion products were most prevalent across TILT initiation events.”

In general, they note “synthetic organic chemicals and their combustion products were the primary exposures associated with chemical intolerance. Such chemicals included pesticides, peroxides, nerve agents, anti-nerve agent drugs, lubricants and additives, xylene, benzene, and acetone.”

TILT is “is a two-stage disease mechanism,” initial exposure to toxic levels of the offensive chemicals produce “multisystem symptoms and new-onset intolerances that develop in a subset of individuals.” The problem is that “observations of the TILT mechanism fit under neither classical toxicology nor classical allergy.”

The researchers explain in their evidence that “Stage I of TILT, called Initiation, begins upon exposure to a particular chemical or mixture of chemicals that commonly affect the immune system and/or nervous system. For initiation to occur, this chemical exposure must interact with one (or both) of these systems in a way that renders individuals intolerant to subsequent triggering events.” Those events are preventable.

“Triggering marks Stage II of TILT, in which (following initiation) affected individuals no longer tolerate everyday exposures to a wide range of structurally diverse substances (including but not limited to the chemical responsible for initiation) at levels that never bothered them previously and do not bother most people.” They even made a handy graphic to illustrate that what primary care doctors and others see is only the tip of the iceberg.

“Often, initiation is not observed or reported, and the phenomenon of masking sometimes obscures triggering of sensitivities suppressing their observation.” The evidence is clear, exposure to toxic fumes can have long term, virtually incurable effects on those who are susceptible. The next step is cracking down on lax usage and negligence in the handling of chemicals to prevent “exposure incidents” from occurring in the first place.

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