Chemical Exposures: Low Levels and High Stakes explains how day-to-day variations in chemical exposure may cause unusual and seemingly unpredictable symptoms, including many that have been termed psychosomatic in the past. It describes how everyday, low-level chemical exposures may cause fatigue, memory impairment, headaches, mood changes, breathing difficulties, digestive problems, and a host of chronic unexplained illnesses including chronic fatigue syndrome, Gulf War syndrome, and sick building syndrome. The authors are the first writers to clearly describe and document the process of adaptation, a concept that provides a rational and scientific basis for understanding these symptoms. In the Second Edition of this professionally acclaimed work, the authors offer evidence for an emerging new theory of disease-toxicant-induced loss of tolerance-which may have far-reaching implications for medicine, public health, and environmental policy. Based on a report commissioned by the New Jersey Department of Health that won the World Health Organization's Macedo Award, Chemical Exposures is the most comprehensive book ever written on sensitivity to low level chemical exposure and the many health effects associated with it. This work clarifies the nature of chemical sensitivity, shows how it differs from traditional allergies and toxicity, and suggests how federal and state governments can help those who are affected. The book identifies four major groups of people with hypersensitivity to low levels of chemicals: occupants of tight buildings, industrial workers who handle chemicals, residents of communities exposed to toxic chemicals, and individuals with random and unique exposures to various chemicals. The fact that similar symptoms are being reported by members of these demographically diverse groups not only points to a serious problem, it may also contribute to a better understanding of chemical sensitivity. Included are a number of features that will be invaluable to health professionals: * Clear, concise explanations of technical material * The most extensive bibliography to date on the subject * Tables contrasting different medical approaches * Descriptions of recent research and proposed mechanisms * An annotated bibliographical appendix highlighting illnesses that have been linked to environmental exposures * Policy recommendations for federal and state governments "Clinicians and policymakers would do well to read and heed the advice of this book."-Journal of the American Medical Association "Clinicians, researchers, and policymakers in this field would be well advised to read this landmark book."-American Public Health Association Newsletter "A milestone in the evolution of multiple chemical sensitivity."-Chemical and Engineering News ".groundbreaking and accessible.balanced and scholarly.essential reading for risk assessors, physicians, psychologists, attorneys concerned with toxic torts, public health officials, regulators, government decisionmakers, medical and environmental researchers, as well as laypersons."-Journal of Risk Analysis
Table of contents
DEFINING CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY.
Chemical Exposures and Sensitive Populations.
Key Terms and Concepts.
Origins of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Effects on Health.
MECHANISMS, DIAGNOSIS, AND TREATMENT.
Mechanisms of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.
Diagnosis and Treatment.
RESPONDING TO THE PROBLEM.
Needs, Concerns, and Recommendations.
UPDATE SINCE THE FIRST EDITION.
Key Research Findings Since the First Edition.
Reviews, Commentaries, and Polemics.
Research and Medical Needs.