Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

11 December 2014


The following is an extract from the document “Talking to Your Doctor” about electrohypersensitivity, compiled by the WEEP Initiative, Canada.

See document in full here: http://www.weepinitiative.org/talkingtoyourdoctor.pdf

Diagnostic Criteria

Diagnostic criteria are such that independent physicians would come to the same conclusion when examining a particular patient. This is important both for treatment purposes and for research.

With regard to multiple chemical sensitivity, thirty-four experienced North American physicians and researchers who had examined patterns of symptoms in thousands of people reached a consensus regarding criteria to establish a diagnosis:

• symptoms are reproducible with repeated exposure;
• the condition is chronic;
• low levels of exposure [lower than previously or commonly tolerated] result in manifestations of the syndrome;
• symptoms improve or resolve when the incitants are removed;
• responses occur to multiple chemically unrelated substances; and
• symptoms involve multiple organ systems.

A systematic literature review confirmed the diagnostic criteria, and suggested that neurological symptoms could be an additional criterion. The consensus diagnostic criteria were also validated, as they identified those most and least likely to be affected among 2,546 patients in Toronto medical practices with high and low prevalence of patients with sensitivities. In the same study, a combination of four neurological symptoms also discerned people most likely affected by multiple chemical sensitivities: having a stronger sense of smell than others; feeling dull/groggy; feeling "spacey;" plus having difficulty concentrating. A pattern consistent with these diagnostic criteria is also reported for sensitivities to electromagnetic phenomena.

"Environmental sensitivities" does not describe a single, simple condition with a universal cause.

Environmentally sensitive individuals link their symptoms to aspects of their environment such as being in a particular place or being exposed to one or more factors such as chemicals, biological materials or electromagnetic phenomena. Table 1 lists some terms that have been used to describe aspects of environmental sensitivities.

Adding to the complexity of the clinical picture are overlapping conditions, also listed in Table 1. Environmental exposures may not contribute to all these conditions in all patients, but one should be alert to the possibility that a range of factors may contribute to an individual’s ill health.

Table 1: Names used for aspects of environmental sensitivities and commonly overlapping conditions

Aspects of Environmental Sensitivities

- State of heightened reactivity to the environment
- Total allergy syndrome
- Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT)
- Multiple chemical sensitivity(ies) (MCS)
- Multiple chemical hypersensitivity(ies)
- Chemical intolerance(s)
- Gulf War illness/syndrome
- Idiopathic environmental intolerance
- Environmental illness
- Chemical injury/allergy
- Toxic injury
- Tight building syndrome
- Sick building syndrome
- Twentieth century disease
- Chemically induced illness
- Chemophobia
- Electromagnetic (hyper) sensitivities/intolerance
- Radiowave sickness

Commonly Overlapping Conditions

- Fibromyalgia
- Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Post-viral fatigue syndrome
- Post-infectious neuromyasthenia
- Yuppie flu
- Chronic pain
- Migraine
- Arthritis
- Allergies
- Rhinitis
- Asthma
- Food intolerance syndrome
- Celiac disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Major depression
- Anxiety or panic disorder
- Hypothyroidism


(Excerpted from The Medical Perspective on Environmental Sensitivities > Page 6 The Canadian Human Rights Commission Research Project)

Early recognition, avoidance of symptom-triggering agents, environmental control, treatments that may reduce residual toxins and recovery of normal biological processes are key to regaining health for people with sensitivities. Without mitigation of the incitant, people with environmental sensitivities may become severely debilitated.

The most immediate and effective course of action is to avoid all sources of electromagnetic radiation.

Once exposure to incitants is eliminated, helpful interventions include:

• treating gastrointestinal infections which, if untreated, can lead to absorption of internal toxins and large-molecule food antigens, or conversely, may lead to poor absorption of nutrients;
• regimens to enhance detoxification and elimination such as sauna and exercise therapy;
• reduction of heavy metal contamination using oral and intravenous chelation for toxic metals (shown to be safe to treat lead in children; it is currently in clinical trials for children with autism);
• oral and intravenous vitamins;
• securing hormonal homeostasis, given that many of the toxins observed are endocrine disruptors;
• correcting biochemical irregularities;
• psychological, social and spiritual support;
• occupational accommodation.

The Environmental Health Clinic at the The New Women’s College Hospital, Toronto, Ontario

All patients with suspected Environmental Sensitivities would benefit greatly from attending this clinic.

The Environmental Health Clinic is a unique multidisciplinary clinic, and the only one of its kind in Ontario. It was established in 1996 by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to be a provincial resource in promoting environmental health, and to improve health care for people with environment-linked conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.

The Environmental Health Clinic is the clinical part of a joint clinical and research program of Women's College Hospital and the University of Toronto.

The purpose of the Clinic is to:

• Educate our clients, the public and health-care professionals about environmental health issues

• Provide a comprehensive multidisciplinary assessment for clients with Environmental Sensitivities/Intolerances (and related conditions), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, and to make recommendations to their treating physicians regarding the management of their ongoing health care needs

• Gain a better understanding of the health-care needs of those with Environmental Sensitivities/Intolerances, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia through participation in clinical research a better understanding of the health-care needs of those with Environmental Sensitivities/Intolerances, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia through participation in clinical research

A physician referral is required. To have a referral package mailed to you, call toll free 

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