Environmental Illness and the Law

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Our Chemical Environment

MCS is caused by chemicalsAs you may know, we are all immersed in a sea of chemicals. Since World War II, chemical and drug companies have unleashed almost 100,000 new chemicals into the environment to which our bodies are not well adapted.

Genetic Testing Now Available

Recent studies are showing that some people have a genetic inability to process and eliminate certain toxins and this can be documented with genetic testing that has recently become available.   New theories have also emerged which may shed light on the precise chemical processes that are occurring at the molecular level that can cause certain people to become up to 1000 times more sensitive to chemicals.

Chemical sensitivities were initially thought to be something akin to traditional allergies but confounded doctors because the symptoms did not always resemble allergic responses. People who were so affected were often labeled as “mentally ill” or having a “somatoform disorder,” the latter meaning a condition for which there was no accepted medical explanation, and, therefore, a “mental” problem.  Many insurance policies contain exclusions for “mental impairments” and they therefore are able to get out of making payment on claims if they can be so labeled.

It now appears that chemical sensitivities, and possibly also FMS, CFS, Gulf War Syndrome, and perhaps other conditions, are actually disorders of the nervous system in which the nerve and brain cells become hypersensitive and transmit nerve impulses much more readily than normal.  This can result in such symptoms as impairment of higher cognitive functions (“brain fog”), migraine headaches, vibration sensitivity, vertigo, light sensitivity, hives, tremors, asthmatic reactions, fatigue, muscle weakness, widespread muscle pain, colitis, depression, anxiety, and other symptoms.