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Disorders of Environmental Origin - Top 30 Publications

Ecological-hygienic evaluation of the environment of territories being adjacent to decultivated uranium mines.

On the territory of Kazakhstan there are uranium deposits, many ofwhich are in mothballed since times of perestroika. Often, the mines are flooded and represent a “time-delay bomb”. Inside of mines various there are accumulated gases of both organic and inorganic nature, periodically thrown out and adversely affecting on the health of local populations. The aim of the study was the investigation of the state of the environment of Esilsky district of the Akmola region by common pollutants and chemicals. As the basic variable for the investigation of ambient air there was accepted the maximum one-time concentration of suspended substances, phenol, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide. The results were evaluated in relation to the MPC for the analyzed substance in the air according to maximal single MPC (MPCms) and daily average MPC (MPCda). The content of metals in the water was determined with the use of spectrophotometer PD-303S. Evaluation of the results was executed in relation of the MPC of substances in water, by means of the comparison with the requirements of Federal standards for drinking water, samples from drinking water sources. There were executed calculations of the overall index of water pollution (IWVgen), the index of water pollution by heavy metals (IWVhm). Chemical analysis of soil was carried out with the use of spectrophotometer PD- 303S (Japan), the photometer expert-003 “Ekoniks”. Evaluation of the results was carried out with the respect to the MPC in the soil, the toxicity of all components. Summarizing soil pollution index was evaluated for metals contained in the soil at the level of more than or equal to 1 MAC. The settlement Krasnogorskiy and the village of Kalachi were found to be characterized by a low level of air pollution, increased rigidity of drinking water exceeded the maximum permissible concentrations of copper by 3.45 times and chloride by 1.17 times in the soil cover.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS): History, Epidemiology and Mechanism.

Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), also known as idiopathic environmental intolerance, has been described as a chronic acquired disorder characterized by nonspecific symptoms in multiple organ systems and is associated with exposure to low-level chemicals. The name was established by Cullen, in 1987, although the name and diagnostic criteria are still under debate even now. A number of hypotheses concering the etiology and pathogenesis of MCS have been proposed, including impairmens of neurological, immunological and psychological systems. However, research on the possible mechanisms underlying MCS is far from complete. The name and diagnostic criteria of its history as well as theoretical and experimental mechanisms underlying MCS are reviewed here.

Immune System: An Emerging Player in Mediating Effects of Endocrine Disruptors on Metabolic Health.

The incidence of metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes and obesity continues to increase. In addition to the well-known contributors to these disorders, such as food intake and sedentary lifestyle, recent research in the exposure science discipline provides evidence that exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals like bisphenol A and phthalates via multiple routes (e.g., food, drink, skin contact) also contribute to the increased risk of metabolic disorders. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can disrupt any aspect of hormone action. It is becoming increasingly clear that EDCs not only affect endocrine function but also adversely affect immune system function. In this review, we focus on human, animal, and in vitro studies that demonstrate EDC exposure induces dysfunction of the immune system, which, in turn, has detrimental effects on metabolic health. These findings highlight how the immune system is emerging as a novel player by which EDCs may mediate their effects on metabolic health. We also discuss studies highlighting mechanisms by which EDCs affect the immune system. Finally, we consider that a better understanding of the immunomodulatory roles of EDCs will provide clues to enhance metabolic function and contribute toward the long-term goal of reducing the burden of environmentally induced diabetes and obesity.

Endocrine Disruptors and Developmental Origins of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a growing epidemic worldwide, particularly in countries that consume a Western diet, and can lead to life-threatening conditions such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. With increasing prevalence of NAFLD in both children and adults, an understanding of the factors that promote NAFLD development and progression is crucial. Environmental agents, including endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which have been linked to other diseases, may play a role in NAFLD development. Increasing evidence supports a developmental origin of liver disease, and early-life exposure to EDCs could represent one risk factor for the development of NAFLD later in life. Rodent studies provide the strongest evidence for this link, but further studies are needed to define whether there is a causal link between early-life EDC exposure and NAFLD development in humans. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying development of NAFLD in the context of developmental EDC exposures may identify biomarkers for people at risk, as well as potential intervention and/or therapeutic opportunities for the disease.

Desensitization to chemical and food sensitivities by low-dose immunotherapy ascertained by provocation neutralization is associated with reduced influx of calcium ions into lymphocytes.

Background Food and chemical sensitivities have detrimental effects on health and the quality of life. The natural course of such sensitivities can potentially be altered through various types of allergen-specific immunotherapy, including low-dose immunotherapy. The molecular mechanism by which low-dose immunotherapy causes desensitization has not thus far been elucidated. While resting lymphocytes maintain a low cytosolic calcium ion concentration, antigen receptor signaling results in calcium ion influx, predominantly via store-operated calcium channels. We therefore hypothesized that desensitization by low-dose immunotherapy is associated with reduced influx of calcium ions into lymphocytes. The aim of this study was to test this hypothesis. Methods Intracellular lymphocytic calcium ion concentrations were assayed in a total of 47 patients, following incubation with picogram amounts of the test allergens, using a cell-permeable calcium-sensing ratiometric fluorescent dye and fluorescence spectroscopy, both at baseline and following successful provocation neutralization treatment with low-dose immunotherapy. Results Low-dose immunotherapy was associated with a reduction in lymphocytic intracellular calcium ion concentration following treatment of: 23 % for metabisulfite sensitivity (p<0.0004); 12 % for salicylate sensitivity (p<0.01); 23 % for benzoate sensitivity (p<0.01); 30 % for formaldehyde sensitivity (p<0.0001); 16 % for sensitivity to petrol exhaust (p<0.003); 16 % for natural gas sensitivity (p<0.001); 13 % for nickel sensitivity (p<0.05); 30 % for sensitivity to organophosphates (p<0.01); and 24 % for sensitivity to nitrosamines (p<0.05). Conclusions Low-dose immunotherapy may affect baseline levels of intracellular calcium in lymphocytes, supporting the premise that allergens affect cell signaling in immune cells and provocation neutralization immunotherapy helps to promote more normal immune cell signaling.

The association between multiple chemical sensitivity and mental illness: Evidence from a nationally representative sample of Canadians.

The goal of the present study was to investigate the association between multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) and major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), MDD and GAD comorbidity (MDD+GAD), severe distress, and positive mental wellbeing.

Which origin for polycystic ovaries syndrome: Genetic, environmental or both?

Polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS), the most common female endocrine disorder, affects 7-10% of women of childbearing age. It includes ovarian hyperandrogenism, impaired follicular maturation, anovulation and subfertility. Insulin resistance, although present in most cases, is not necessary for diagnosis. It increases hyperandrogenism and long-term metabolic, cardiovascular and oncological risks. The origin of hyperandrogenism and hyperinsulinemia has a genetic component, as demonstrated by familial aggregation studies and recent identification of associated genomic variants, conferring a particular susceptibility to the syndrome. However, experimental and epidemiological evidences also support a developmental origin via a deleterious foetal environment, concerning the endocrine status (foetal hyperandrogenism), the nutritional level (intrauterine growth retardation), or the toxicological exposure (endocrine disruptors). Epigenetic changes recently reported in the literature as associated with PCOS, enhance this hypothesis of foetal reprogramming of the future adult ovarian function by environmental factors. Better characterisation of these genetic, epigenetic, or environmental factors, could lead to earlier prevention and more efficient treatments.

Monitoring methods and their results in environmental medicine - implications for medical counsellors.

Besides effect and environmental monitoring, human biomonitoring (HBM) offers an attractive method for analyzing the distribution and intensity of anthropogenic environmental pollutants in individuals or in particular groups of the population. However, no assessment values of comparable reliability are available to enable an interpretation of the results of environmental studies from the viewpoint of environmental health. This must be taken into account when reporting findings of such studies as well as in medical consultation, in order to avoid overdiagnosis and unnecessary anxiety for the participant. In medical practice, care should be taken when dealing with monitoring results outside the normal range! Environmental or biomonitoring results provide only a part of the available information alongside medical history and clinical examinations. In the case of tests performed for private interests as well as tests carried out within the framework of an epidemiological environmental survey, communication of results and findings can be problematic. In epidemiological studies, a close co-operation between the participant's consultant physician and physicians conducting the study is beneficial in order to ensure professional advisory counselling for subjects with results outside the normal range.

Allergy - an environmental disease.

The increase in allergies is a phenomenon that is being observed in all fast-developing countries. For a long time, science has taken as a starting point that solely a genetic predisposition is a precondition for the development of an allergy. Today, knowledge of environmental factors that can alter genes or the transcription of genes in the cells, has improved. Epidemiological studies have meanwhile identified several environmental factors that have a protective or supporting effect on allergy development. The environmental microbiome has recently gained central interest. A common theme in most of the studies is diversity: reduced diversity is correlated with enhanced risk for chronic inflammatory diseases and allergy.It is now of great interest for research to further analyze such environment-gene and/or environment-human interactions on all levels - from organs to cells to small and microstructures such as genes. For immunologists, it is specifically about understanding the influencing factors and effector pathways of allergens, and to apply thereby obtained insights in the follow-up for the ultimate goal of allergy research - prevention.

Environmental medical syndromes.

Environmental medical syndromes comprise sick building syndrome (SBS), multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS)/idiopathic environmental intolerances (IEI), electromagnetic hypersensitivity, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), burnout, fibromyalgia, and the candida syndrome. There is also some overlap described in the literature. There is still no established knowledge of etiology, pathology, pathophysiology, diagnostics, therapy, prevention and prognosis. These syndromes are thought to result from a complex interaction of physical, chemical and/or (micro)biological environmental stresses, individual dispositions, psychological influencing factors, perceptual and processing processes, variants of somatization disorders, culturally or socially caused distress, or simply iatrogenic causation. Examination and treatment methods must be developed or existing ones scientifically validated. However, all uncertainties in the assessment of these syndromes do not absolve the physician from taking patients seriously and helping them as best as possible.

Integrated approach of nutritional and molecular epidemiology, mineralogical and chemical pollutant characterisation: the protocol of a cross-sectional study in women.

Environmentally-related health and disease are the result of the exposome, the totality of a person's environmental exposures, from all sources and routes, across their lifespan. Epigenetic phenomena, including DNA methylation, can be potentially modified by environmental and lifestyle factors, and result in environmental reprogramming of the genome for exposed individuals and for future generations of offspring.

Brominated flame retardant: environmental and exposed individuals' health impact.

Since Antiquity, men have used chemicals to protect their goods against fire. Effective and easy to use, brominated flame retardants are used since decades massively in plastic industry. Such like other organohalogenated compounds, brominated flame retardants are very persistent in the environment and able to accumulate along the food chain. Many authors highlight their presence in the environment, in many animal species and in the human serum. Worryingly, man is exposed as soon as the pregnancy and then by the breastfeeding. This exposition may have consequence on our health. Many studies (in vitro, in vivo or epidemiologic) highlight brominated flame retardant negative effects on the endocrine system, mainly on the thyroid function but also on the reproduction, the neurodevelopment in the children and on the metabolism with increasing diabetes risk. If authorities and some big enterprises are aware about the problematic, new studies are needed to confirm previous results, elucidate endocrine disrupting mechanisms and highlight hypothetical synergies with other pollutants such like PCBs.

Are media reports able to cause somatic symptoms attributed to WiFi radiation? An experimental test of the negative expectation hypothesis.

People suffering from idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) experience numerous non-specific symptoms that they attribute to EMF. The cause of this condition remains vague and evidence shows that psychological rather than bioelectromagnetic mechanisms are at work. We hypothesized a role of media reports in the etiology of IEI-EMF and investigated how somatosensory perception is affected. 65 healthy participants were instructed that EMF exposure can lead to enhanced somatosensory perception. Participants were randomly assigned to watch either a television report on adverse health effects of EMF or a neutral report. During the following experiment, participants rated stimulus intensities of tactile (electric) stimuli while being exposed to a sham WiFi signal in 50% of the trials. Sham WiFi exposure led to increased intensity ratings of tactile stimuli in the WiFi film group, especially in participants with higher levels of somatosensory amplification. Participants of the WiFi group reported more anxiety concerning WiFi exposure than the Control group and tended to perceive themselves as being more sensitive to EMF after the experiment compared to before. Sensational media reports can facilitate enhanced perception of tactile stimuli in healthy participants. People tending to perceive bodily symptoms as intense, disturbing, and noxious seem most vulnerable. Receiving sensational media reports might sensitize people to develop a nocebo effect and thereby contribute to the development of IEI-EMF. By promoting catastrophizing thoughts and increasing symptom-focused attention, perception might more readily be enhanced and misattributed to EMF.

Gene expression profiling in persons with multiple chemical sensitivity before and after a controlled n-butanol exposure session.

To investigate the pathophysiological pathways leading to symptoms elicitation in multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) by comparing gene expression in MCS participants and healthy controls before and after a chemical exposure optimised to cause symptoms among MCS participants.The first hypothesis was that unexposed and symptom-free MCS participants have similar gene expression patterns to controls and a second hypothesis that MCS participants can be separated from controls based on differential gene expression upon a controlled n-butanol exposure.

Neurologic complications of acute environmental injuries.

Environmental injuries can result in serious neurologic morbidity. This chapter reviews neurologic complications of thermal burns, smoke inhalation, lightning strikes, electric injury, near drowning, decompression illness, as well as heat stroke and accidental hypothermia. Knowing the pathophysiology and clinical presentation of such injuries is essential to proper management of primary and secondary medical complications. This chapter highlights the most frequently encountered neurologic injuries secondary to common environmental hazards, divided into the topics: injuries related to fire, electricity, water, and the extremes of temperature.

Differences in psychological and somatic symptom cluster score profiles between subjects with Idiopathic environmental intolerance, major depression and schizophrenia.

Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance (IEI) has been associated with psychogenic factors and an increased number of comorbid psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety disorder. The purpose of the current study was to examine a possible overlap of psychological and somatic symptoms between subjects with IEI and patients with major depression and schizophrenia as well as to specify characteristic differences. The different symptom clusters included symptoms of chemical intolerance, neurotoxicity and psychological distress as well as measurements of mental health such as anxiety, depression, somatoform symptoms, and schizophrenia-specific disturbances in cognitive domains. IEI patients reported higher overall levels in physical symptoms such as chemical intolerance, neurotoxicity and somatic symptoms not attributable to an organic cause. Schizophrenia patients showed higher overall levels in self-experienced disturbances in several schizophrenia-specific cognitive domains, whereas general psychological distress, anxiety and depression were rated highest by patients with major depression. Importantly, the groups markedly differed in the shapes of profiles of various symptom clusters. Our results provide evidence that IEI patients can be distinguished on the phenomenological level from patients with major depression or schizophrenia, and that distinct domains of psychological and somatic symptoms are particularly problematic in specific diagnostic groups.

Building-related symptoms are linked to the in vitro toxicity of indoor dust and airborne microbial propagules in schools: A cross-sectional study.

Indoor microbial toxicity is suspected to cause some building-related symptoms, but supporting epidemiological data are lacking.

Comorbidity and Multimorbidity of Asthma and Allergy and Intolerance to Chemicals and Certain Buildings.

We tested the hypothesis of high comorbidity between asthma/allergy and chemical intolerance (CI) and between asthma/allergy and building intolerance (BI), and high multimorbidity between asthma/allergy, CI, and BI.

New approaches in human health risk assessment.

Studies on the precise impact of environmental pollutants on human health are difficult to undertake and interpret, because many genetic and environmental factors influence health at the same time and to varying degrees. Our chapter in the AMAP report was based on new approaches to describe risks and future needs. In this paper, we will introduce the issues associated with risk assessment of single chemicals, and present suggestions for future studies as well as a summary of lessons learned during the health-related parts of the European Union-funded FP7 project ArcRisk (Arctic Health Risks: Impacts on health in the Arctic and Europe owing to climate-induced changes in contaminant cycling, 2009-2014;

Association of Odor Thresholds and Responses in Cerebral Blood Flow of the Prefrontal Area during Olfactory Stimulation in Patients with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.

Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is a disorder characterized by nonspecific and recurrent symptoms from various organ systems associated with exposure to low levels of chemicals. Patients with MCS process odors differently than controls do. Previously, we suggested that this odor processing was associated with increased regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in the prefrontal area during olfactory stimulation using near-infrared spectroscopic (NIRS) imaging. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of odor thresholds and changes in rCBF during olfactory stimulation at odor threshold levels in patients with MCS. We investigated changes in the prefrontal area using NIRS imaging and a T&T olfactometer during olfactory stimulation with two different odorants (sweet and fecal) at three concentrations (zero, odor recognition threshold, and normal perceived odor level) in 10 patients with MCS and six controls. The T&T olfactometer threshold test and subjective assessment of irritating and hedonic odors were also performed. The results indicated that the scores for both unpleasant and pungent odors were significantly higher for those for sweet odors at the normal perceived level in patients with MCS than in controls. The brain responses at the recognition threshold (fecal odor) and normal perceived levels (sweet and fecal odors) were stronger in patients with MCS than in controls. However, significant differences in the odor detection and recognition thresholds and odor intensity score between the two groups were not observed. These brain responses may involve cognitive and memory processing systems during past exposure to chemicals. Further research regarding the cognitive features of sensory perception and memory due to past exposure to chemicals and their associations with MCS symptoms is needed.

Noise sensitivity and hyperacusis in patients affected by multiple chemical sensitivity.

The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of noise sensitivity and hyperacusis in patients suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), a chronic condition characterized by several symptoms following low-level chemical exposure. Moreover, distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) were performed to further study cochlear function.

Sleep and sleepiness in environmental intolerances: a population-based study.

About one fourth of the general population report environmental intolerance (EI) to odorous/pungent chemicals, certain buildings, electromagnetic fields (EMFs), and/or sounds. EI sufferers show various clinical features, of which sleep disturbance is one. Sleep disturbance is common also in the general population, but it is not known whether the disturbance is more prominent in EI sufferers than in individuals who do not experience EI. Therefore, EI was compared on various sleep aspects with referents without EI.

Oxidative Signaling Response to Cadmium Exposure.

Changes in the intracellular thiol-disulfide balance are considered major determinants in the redox status/signaling of the cell. Cellular signaling is very sensitive to both exogenous and intracellular redox status and respond to many exogenous pro-oxidative or oxidative stresses. Redox status has dual effects on upstream signaling systems and downstream transcription factors. Redox signaling pathways use reactive oxygen species (ROS) to transfer signals from different sources to the nucleus to regulate such functions as growth, differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis. Mitogen-activated protein kinases are activated by numerous cellular stresses and ligand-receptor bindings. An imbalance in the oxidant/antioxidant system, either resulting from excessive ROS/reactive nitrogen species production and/or antioxidant system impairment, leads to oxidative stress. Glutathione (GSH) is known to play a critical role in the cellular defense against unregulated oxidative stress in mammalian cells and involvement of large molecular antioxidants include classical antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and glutathione reductase (GR). Cadmium (Cd), a potent toxic heavy metal, is a widespread environmental contaminant. It is known to cause renal dysfunction, hepatic toxicity, genotoxicity, and apoptotic effects depending on the dose, route, and duration of exposure. This review examines the signaling pathways and mechanisms of activation of transcription factors by Cd-induced oxidative stress thus representing an important basis for understanding the mechanisms of Cd effect on the cells.

Human Environmental Disease Network: A computational model to assess toxicology of contaminants.

During the past decades, many epidemiological, toxicological and biological studies have been performed to assess the role of environmental chemicals as potential toxicants associated with diverse human disorders. However, the relationships between diseases based on chemical exposure rarely have been studied by computational biology. We developed a human environmental disease network (EDN) to explore and suggest novel disease-disease and chemical-disease relationships. The presented scored EDN model is built upon the integration of systems biology and chemical toxicology using information on chemical contaminants and their disease relationships reported in the TDDB database. The resulting human EDN takes into consideration the level of evidence of the toxicant-disease relationships, allowing inclusion of some degrees of significance in the disease-disease associations. Such a network can be used to identify uncharacterized connections between diseases. Examples are discussed for type 2 diabetes (T2D). Additionally, this computational model allows confirmation of already known links between chemicals and diseases (e.g., between bisphenol A and behavioral disorders) and also reveals unexpected associations between chemicals and diseases (e.g., between chlordane and olfactory alteration), thus predicting which chemicals may be risk factors to human health. The proposed human EDN model allows exploration of common biological mechanisms of diseases associated with chemical exposure, helping us to gain insight into disease etiology and comorbidity. This computational approach is an alternative to animal testing supporting the 3R concept.

Experience of living with nonspecific building-related symptoms.

Nonspecific building-related symptoms (NBRS) is a combination of general, skin and mucosal symptoms related to certain buildings. Despite high prevalence in the general population and severe symptomatology in certain cases there is no scientific documentation of quality of life in NBRS. The purpose of this study was to illuminate how individuals with NBRS experience daily life. Data were collected through descriptive, written texts and through telephone interviews with 11 individuals diagnosed with NBRS, and qualitative content analysis was conducted. Three main content areas were identified: (1) attitudes from the surrounding (categories: being questioned and lack of understanding from others; from zero to full support); (2) consequences (difficulties with daily activities; financial difficulties; affecting family and friends; emotional consequences); and (3) coping (learning to accept and finding solutions; avoiding; struggling; finding the positive; making one's home a sanctuary). As a conclusion, NBRS may affect several aspects of daily life, resulting in considerable alterations, limitations and emotional impact for the afflicted person and his/her family. Both environmental factors and attitudes from the surrounding can contribute to this impact on daily life. Strategies needed to cope with this impact may include both problem-focused and emotion-focused strategies, such as struggling, avoiding trigger factors and finding positive aspects.

Environmental risk factors for autism spectrum disorders.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are syndromes that are predominantly defined by behavioral features such as impaired social interactions, restricted verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive or stereotyped behavior. In the past few decades, the reported prevalence of ASD has increased dramatically. This growth can be partially explained by an increased level of awareness of the problem among professionals and better diagnostic methods. Nevertheless, underpinning causes of ASD have not yet been detailed and explained. It is suggested that rather than having a single causative factor, ASD pathogenesis is influenced by environmental or genetic factors, or a combination of both. The aims of this review are to describe the environmental risk factors associated with ASD so as to provide a reference basis for current and future clinical and experimental work.

The correlation of Acanthamoeba from the ventilation system with other environmental parameters in commercial buildings as possible indicator for indoor air quality.

The free-living protozoan Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic pathogen that is ubiquitous in our environment. However, its role in affecting indoor air quality and ill-health of indoor occupants is relatively unknown. The present study investigated the presence of Acanthamoeba from the ventilation system and its correlation with other indoor air quality parameters, used in the industry code of practice and its potential as an indicator for indoor air quality. Indoor air quality assessments were carried out in nine commercial buildings with approval from the building management, and the parameters assessed were as recommended by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health. The presence of Acanthamoeba was determined through dust swabs from the ventilation system and indoor furniture. Logistic regression was performed to study the correlation between assessed parameters and occupants' complaints. A total of 107 sampling points were assessed and 40.2% of the supplying air diffuser and blowing fan and 15% of the furniture were positive for cysts. There was a significant correlation between Acanthamoeba detected from the ventilation system with ambient total fungus count (r=0.327; p=0.01) and respirable particulates (r=0.276; p=0.01). Occupants' sick building syndrome experience also correlated with the presence of Acanthamoeba in the ventilation system (r=0.361; p=0.01) and those detected on the furniture (r=0.290; p=0.01). Logistic regression showed that there was a five-fold probability of sick building syndrome among occupants when Acanthamoeba was detected in the ventilation system.

EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016 for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses.

Chronic diseases and illnesses associated with non-specific symptoms are on the rise. In addition to chronic stress in social and work environments, physical and chemical exposures at home, at work, and during leisure activities are causal or contributing environmental stressors that deserve attention by the general practitioner as well as by all other members of the health care community. It seems necessary now to take "new exposures" like electromagnetic fields (EMF) into account. Physicians are increasingly confronted with health problems from unidentified causes. Studies, empirical observations, and patient reports clearly indicate interactions between EMF exposure and health problems. Individual susceptibility and environmental factors are frequently neglected. New wireless technologies and applications have been introduced without any certainty about their health effects, raising new challenges for medicine and society. For instance, the issue of so-called non-thermal effects and potential long-term effects of low-dose exposure were scarcely investigated prior to the introduction of these technologies. Common electromagnetic field or EMF sources: Radio-frequency radiation (RF) (3 MHz to 300 GHz) is emitted from radio and TV broadcast antennas, Wi-Fi access points, routers, and clients (e.g. smartphones, tablets), cordless and mobile phones including their base stations, and Bluetooth devices. Extremely low frequency electric (ELF EF) and magnetic fields (ELF MF) (3 Hz to 3 kHz) are emitted from electrical wiring, lamps, and appliances. Very low frequency electric (VLF EF) and magnetic fields (VLF MF) (3 kHz to 3 MHz) are emitted, due to harmonic voltage and current distortions, from electrical wiring, lamps (e.g. compact fluorescent lamps), and electronic devices. On the one hand, there is strong evidence that long-term exposure to certain EMFs is a risk factor for diseases such as certain cancers, Alzheimer's disease, and male infertility. On the other hand, the emerging electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is more and more recognized by health authorities, disability administrators and case workers, politicians, as well as courts of law. We recommend treating EHS clinically as part of the group of chronic multisystem illnesses (CMI), but still recognizing that the underlying cause remains the environment. In the beginning, EHS symptoms occur only occasionally, but over time they may increase in frequency and severity. Common EHS symptoms include headaches, concentration difficulties, sleep problems, depression, a lack of energy, fatigue, and flu-like symptoms. A comprehensive medical history, which should include all symptoms and their occurrences in spatial and temporal terms and in the context of EMF exposures, is the key to making the diagnosis. The EMF exposure is usually assessed by EMF measurements at home and at work. Certain types of EMF exposure can be assessed by asking about common EMF sources. It is very important to take the individual susceptibility into account. The primary method of treatment should mainly focus on the prevention or reduction of EMF exposure, that is, reducing or eliminating all sources of high EMF exposure at home and at the workplace. The reduction of EMF exposure should also be extended to public spaces such as schools, hospitals, public transport, and libraries to enable persons with EHS an unhindered use (accessibility measure). If a detrimental EMF exposure is reduced sufficiently, the body has a chance to recover and EHS symptoms will be reduced or even disappear. Many examples have shown that such measures can prove effective. To increase the effectiveness of the treatment, the broad range of other environmental factors that contribute to the total body burden should also be addressed. Anything that supports homeostasis will increase a person's resilience against disease and thus against the adverse effects of EMF exposure. There is increasing evidence that EMF exposure has a major impact on the oxidative and nitrosative regulation capacity in affected individuals. This concept also may explain why the level of susceptibility to EMF can change and why the range of symptoms reported in the context of EMF exposures is so large. Based on our current understanding, a treatment approach that minimizes the adverse effects of peroxynitrite - as has been increasingly used in the treatment of multisystem illnesses - works best. This EMF Guideline gives an overview of the current knowledge regarding EMF-related health risks and provides recommendations for the diagnosis, treatment and accessibility measures of EHS to improve and restore individual health outcomes as well as for the development of strategies for prevention.

Long-term effect of heavy-metal pollution on diversity of gastrointestinal microbial community of Bufo raddei.

Gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota plays a very important role in maintaining its host's health. However, the effects of environmental contamination on the GI microbiota homeostasis of amphibians have not yet been reported. The present study reveals the long-term effect of natural heavy-metal pollution on the GI microbial community diversity and structural changes of Bufo raddei (B. raddei). Basing on the 16S rRNA sequencing method, the GI microbiota of B. raddei from a heavily heavy-metal-polluted area (Baiyin, (BY)) and a relatively unpolluted area (Liujiaxia, (LJX)) were profiled. The results showed that heavy-metal pollution had caused significant shifts in the composition of the GI microbiota both at the phylum and genus levels. Specifically, Bacteroidetes dominated in the GI tract of B. raddei from BY, while Tenericutes was much more common in those from LJX. The ratio of Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes and the proportion of probiotics in the GI microbiota of B. raddei from BY were reduced compared to those from LJX, as well. Heavy-metal pollution also induced in a reduction of species diversity and decreased proportion of unique operational taxonomic units in the GI tract. In short, our results demonstrate that long-term heavy-metal exposure re-shaped the composition and decreased the species diversity of GI microbiota of B. raddei; our results also represent a novel approach to uncover the toxic effects of pollution on amphibians.

History of chemical sensitivity and diagnosis.

Histories of mold, pollen, dust, food, chemicals, and electromagnetic field (EMF) sensitivities are the major categories of triggers for chemical sensitivity. They are tied together by the coherence phenomenon, where each has its own frequencies and identifiable EMF; therefore, they can be correlated. The diagnosis of chemical sensitivity can be done accurately in a less-polluted, controlled environment, as was done in these studies. The principles of diagnosis and treatment depend on total environmental and total body pollutant loads, masking or adaptation, bipolarity of response, and biochemical individuality, among others. These principles make less-polluted, controlled conditions necessary. The clinician has to use less-polluted water and organic food with individual challenges for testing, including dust, mold, pesticide, natural gas, formaldehyde, particulates, and EMF testing, which needs to be performed in less-polluted copper-screened rooms. The challenge tests for proof of chemical sensitivity include inhaled toxics within a clean booth that is chemical- and particulate-free at ambient doses in parts per million (ppm) or parts per billion (ppb). Individual foods, both organic and commercial (that are contaminated with herbicides and pesticides), are used orally. Water testing and intradermal testing are performed in a less-polluted, controlled environment. These include specific dose injections of molds, dust, and pollen that are preservative-free, individual organic foods, and individual chemicals, i.e. methane, ethane, propane, butane, hexane, formaldehyde, ethanol, car exhaust, jet fuel exhaust, and prosthetic implants (metal plates, pacemakers, mesh, etc.). Normal saline is used as a placebo. EMF testing is performed in a copper-screened room using a frequency generator. In our experience, 80% of the EMF-sensitive patients had chemical sensitivity when studied under less-polluted conditions for particulates, controlled natural gas, pesticides, and chemicals like formaldehyde.