environmental illness

Summary

Summary: A polysymptomatic condition believed by clinical ecologists to result from immune dysregulation induced by common foods, allergens, and chemicals, resulting in various physical and mental disorders. The medical community has remained largely skeptical of the existence of this "disease", given the plethora of symptoms attributed to environmental illness, the lack of reproducible laboratory abnormalities, and the use of unproven therapies to treat the condition. (From Segen, Dictionary of Modern Medicine, 1992)

Top Publications

  1. Rubin G, Das Munshi J, Wessely S. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: a systematic review of provocation studies. Psychosom Med. 2005;67:224-32 pubmed
  2. Leitgeb N, Schröttner J. Electrosensibility and electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Bioelectromagnetics. 2003;24:387-94 pubmed
    ..These quantitative results should contribute to a less emotional discussion of this problem. The investigation method presented, is capable of exclusion diagnostics for persons suffering from the hypersensitivity syndrome...
  3. Hausteiner C, Bornschein S, Bickel H, Zilker T, Forstl H. Psychiatric morbidity and low self-attentiveness in patients with environmental illness. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2003;191:50-5 pubmed
    ..In these patients, the authors consider low self-attentiveness a major feature that may act as a pathogenic factor for environmental illness.
  4. Levallois P, Neutra R, Lee G, Hristova L. Study of self-reported hypersensitivity to electromagnetic fields in California. Environ Health Perspect. 2002;110 Suppl 4:619-23 pubmed
    ..Alleging environmental illness or multiple chemical sensitivity diagnosed by a doctor was the strongest predictor of reporting being ..
  5. Frick U, Rehm J, Eichhammer P. Risk perception, somatization, and self report of complaints related to electromagnetic fields--a randomized survey study. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2002;205:353-60 pubmed
    ..Cognition can influence reporting of EMF-related effects. Thus, in future research of such effects, psychologically influencing factors should be included. Also risk communication should incorporate knowledge about social cognition...
  6. Hillert L, Flato S, Georgellis A, Arnetz B, Kolmodin Hedman B. Environmental illness: fatigue and cholinesterase activity in patients reporting hypersensitivity to electricity. Environ Res. 2001;85:200-6 pubmed
    ..nature and a possible etiology of fatigue in hypersensitivity to electricity (the most commonly reported environmental illness in Sweden)...
  7. Coyle F. 'It just doesn't seem to fit'. Environmental illness, corporeal chaos and the body as a complex system. J Eval Clin Pract. 2009;15:770-5 pubmed publisher
    b>Environmental illness (EI) still remains something of an enigma, despite attempts to squeeze it into the increasingly flexible framework of the biomedical model or label it as 'psychogenic'...
  8. Leitgeb N, Schröttner J, Bohm M. Does "electromagnetic pollution" cause illness? An inquiry among Austrian general practitioners. Wien Med Wochenschr. 2005;155:237-41 pubmed
    ..With respect to the frequency with which doctors are confronted with this issue, the results demonstrate an urgent need for action...
  9. Bergdahl J, Bergdahl M. Environmental illness: evaluation of salivary flow, symptoms, diseases, medications, and psychological factors. Acta Odontol Scand. 2001;59:104-10 pubmed
    ..Measurement of salivary flow rate is important in patients with environmental illness and can be used in combination with other measurements as a diagnostic tool.

More Information

Publications62

  1. Hope A, Simon R. Excess dampness and mold growth in homes: an evidence-based review of the aeroirritant effect and its potential causes. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2007;28:262-70 pubmed
    ..These studies support the role of VOCs in contributing to the aeroirritant symptoms of occupants of damp and mold-contaminated homes...
  2. Lyskov E, Sandstrom M, Hansson Mild K. Neurophysiological study of patients with perceived 'electrical hypersensitivity'. Int J Psychophysiol. 2001;42:233-41 pubmed
    ..The data indicated that the observed group of patients had a trend to hyper sympathotone, hyperresponsiveness to sensor stimulation and heightened arousal...
  3. Khalili B, Montanaro M, Bardana E. Inhalational mold toxicity: fact or fiction? A clinical review of 50 cases. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2005;95:239-46 pubmed
    ..Toxic mold syndrome or inhalational toxicity continues to cause public concern despite a lack of scientific evidence that supports its existence...
  4. Frank A. Approach to the patient with an occupational or environmental illness. Prim Care. 2000;27:877-94 pubmed
    ..There is a detailed review of obtaining special aspects of the medical history related to work and environmental exposures as well as illustrative case studies. Sources of additional information are also cited...
  5. Wiesmüller G, Ebel H, Hornberg C, Kwan O, Friel J. Are syndromes in environmental medicine variants of somatoform disorders?. Med Hypotheses. 2003;61:419-30 pubmed
    ..Until these syndromes are well defined, the terms used for them should definitely not be applied to connote a specific disease process...
  6. Havas M. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: biological effects of dirty electricity with emphasis on diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Electromagn Biol Med. 2006;25:259-68 pubmed
    ..The connection between electromagnetic pollution and these disorders needs to be investigated and the percentage of people sensitive to this form of energy needs to be determined...
  7. Taylor J, Krondl M, Spidel M, Csima A. Dietary adequacy of the rotary diversified diet as a treatment for "Environmental Illness". Can J Diet Pract Res. 2002;63:198-201 pubmed
    The rotary diversified diet, used in the management of environmental illness, consists of eliminating prohibited foods from the diet and rotating remaining non-prohibited foods and their "food families" within a regular cycle...
  8. Johanning E. Indoor moisture and mold-related health problems. Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004;36:182-5 pubmed
  9. Vineis P, Husgafvel Pursiainen K. Air pollution and cancer: biomarker studies in human populations. Carcinogenesis. 2005;26:1846-55 pubmed
  10. Portnoy J, Kwak K, Dowling P, VanOsdol T, Barnes C. Health effects of indoor fungi. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2005;94:313-9; quiz 319-22, 390 pubmed
    ..To review the nontoxic harmful effects that poor indoor air quality caused by fungi can have on health...
  11. Roberts S, Switzer P. Mortality displacement and distributed lag models. Inhal Toxicol. 2004;16:879-88 pubmed
    ..We conclude that DLM coefficients may be misleading as an indicator of mortality displacement, in the context of the frail population models that we explored...
  12. Hillert L, Savlin P, Levy Berg A, Heidenberg A, Kolmodin Hedman B. Environmental illness--effectiveness of a salutogenic group-intervention programme. Scand J Public Health. 2002;30:166-75 pubmed
    Hypersensitivity to electricity (HE) is a common form of reported environmental illness in Sweden...
  13. Schröttner J, Leitgeb N, Hillert L. Investigation of electric current perception thresholds of different EHS groups. Bioelectromagnetics. 2007;28:208-13 pubmed
    ..This investigation shows the importance of the study design, in particular of the recruitment strategies of EHS persons for the final outcome...
  14. Portnoy J, Kennedy K, Barnes C. Controversies regarding dampness and mold growth in homes. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2007;28:257-8 pubmed
  15. Levallois P. Hypersensitivity of human subjects to environmental electric and magnetic field exposure: a review of the literature. Environ Health Perspect. 2002;110 Suppl 4:613-8 pubmed
    ..It appears that the so-called hypersensitivity to environmental electric and magnetic fields is an unclear health problem whose nature has yet to be determined...
  16. Seto C, Way D, O Connor N. Environmental illness in athletes. Clin Sports Med. 2005;24:695-718, x pubmed
    This article examines environmental illness in athletes. Causes, symptoms, and treatment of heat-related illness, cold-related illness, and altitude-related illness are discussed.
  17. Matt G, Hovell M, Quintana P, Zakarian J, Liles S, Meltzer S, et al. The variability of urinary cotinine levels in young children: implications for measuring ETS exposure. Nicotine Tob Res. 2007;9:83-92 pubmed
  18. Greenberg S. Serious waterborne and wilderness infections. Crit Care Clin. 1999;15:387-414 pubmed
    ..Pathogens causing serious infections include bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa. Epidemiologic help can be obtained from local or state health departments as well as the Centers for Disease Control...
  19. Basting I, Hoopmann M, Ehrenstein V, Suchenwirth R, Todt H, Reichert J, et al. [Acute effects on the health of children after accidental exposure to epichlorohydrine]. Gesundheitswesen. 2006;68:309-15 pubmed
    ..We aimed to describe the geographical distribution of and potential risk factors for acute symptoms among children residing in Bad Muender...
  20. Kleeberger S, Cho H. Gene-environment interactions in environmental lung diseases. Novartis Found Symp. 2008;293:168-78; discussion 178-83 pubmed
    ..This 'bench to bedside' approach may provide an understanding of gene-environment interactions in complex lung diseases is essential to the development of new strategies for lung disease prevention and treatment...
  21. Afeiche M, Peterson K, Sanchez B, Schnaas L, Cantonwine D, Ettinger A, et al. Windows of lead exposure sensitivity, attained height, and body mass index at 48 months. J Pediatr. 2012;160:1044-9 pubmed publisher
    ..To examine longitudinal associations of prenatal, infancy, and early childhood lead exposure during sensitive periods with height and body mass index (BMI)...
  22. Brewer J, Thrasher J, Straus D, Madison R, Hooper D. Detection of mycotoxins in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Toxins (Basel). 2013;5:605-17 pubmed publisher
    ..Prior testing in a healthy control population with no history of exposure to a WDB or moldy environment (n = 55) by the same laboratory, utilizing the same methods, revealed no positive cases at the limits of detection...
  23. Huhta J, Linask K. Environmental origins of congenital heart disease: the heart-placenta connection. Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2013;18:245-50 pubmed publisher
    ..The cellular mechanisms by which drugs and other environmental factors disrupt embryonic development and induce cardiac abnormalities have remained undefined. ..
  24. Nishio H, Kasuga S, Ushijima M, Harada Y. Prenatal stress and postnatal development of neonatal rats--sex-dependent effects on emotional behavior and learning ability of neonatal rats. Int J Dev Neurosci. 2001;19:37-45 pubmed
    ..Thus, prenatal stress might have sex-dependent effects on emotional behavior and learning ability of neonatal rats...
  25. Rundell K. Pulmonary function decay in women ice hockey players: is there a relationship to ice rink air quality?. Inhal Toxicol. 2004;16:117-23 pubmed
    ..Five of 9 controls had symptoms, and 10 of 14 subjects had symptoms. This preliminary study suggests [PM(1)] is related to airway function decay in ice rink athletes...
  26. Haeberle H, Lupic D, Midoro Horiuti T, Kiefer R, Schroeder T, Unertl K, et al. Role of cross-allergies to latex in clinical routine of anesthesia. J Clin Anesth. 2003;15:495-504 pubmed
  27. Ezratty V. [The hypothesis of environmental causes of damage to the endocrine system: science of sensationalism?]. Presse Med. 1999;28:758-63 pubmed
    ..In 1998, an international convention set up regulatory control of sales of certain chemical compounds...
  28. Music S, Levine R. Follow-up on Trinity. AIHA J (Fairfax, Va). 2002;63:382-3 pubmed
  29. Niedzielska G. [Current opinions on pathogenesis and treatment of otitis media with effusion in children]. Otolaryngol Pol. 2006;60:683-9 pubmed
    ..Recommended methods of treatment depending on the clinical condition and the age of children are also presented. The initiation of appropriate therapy is crucial because of the possibility of remote complications...
  30. Boxall A, Tiede K, Chaudhry Q. Engineered nanomaterials in soils and water: how do they behave and could they pose a risk to human health?. Nanomedicine (Lond). 2007;2:919-27 pubmed
    ..This will require research in a range of areas, including detection and characterization, environmental fate and transport, ecotoxicology and toxicology...
  31. Ubeda J. Comparative features of the epidemiology of multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease: environmental factors of potential etiological importance. J Neurol Sci. 2007;262:54-9 pubmed
    ..Ecology and genetics could not be the appropriate lines of research in the etiology of MS/PD because they are supported only in part by the epidemiology...
  32. Pruss A, Corvalan C, Pastides H, de Hollander A. Methodologic considerations in estimating burden of disease from environmental risk factors at national and global levels. Int J Occup Environ Health. 2001;7:58-67 pubmed
    ..Any such method will require a framework (i.e., causal inference model) able to take into account the contributions of distal and proximal causes, and the possible interactions between risk factors...
  33. Bates D. Lines that connect: assessing the causality inference in the case of particulate pollution. Environ Health Perspect. 2000;108:91-2 pubmed
    ..All of the useful guideline criteria customarily applied to such questions seem to have been met, although there is still much to be learned about interactive effects and the possibility of statistical thresholds...
  34. Buka I, Koranteng S, Osornio Vargas A. Trends in childhood cancer incidence: review of environmental linkages. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2007;54:177-203, x pubmed
    ..This article explores the available evidence for this process, primarily from the environmental linkages perspective but including some evidence of the genetic factors...
  35. Galvez M, Peters R, Graber N, Forman J. Effective risk communication in children's environmental health: lessons learned from 9/11. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2007;54:33-46, viii pubmed
    ..This article describes the theory behind effective risk communication using examples from events following September 11, 2001. It shares lessons learned and provides a template for risk communication that can guide pediatric providers...
  36. Lee C, Sheffer A. Primary acquired cold urticaria. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2003;24:9-12 pubmed
    ..This article reviews the clinical presentation, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management of primary ACU...
  37. Friedlander Y, Kark J, Sinnreich R, Tracy R, Siscovick D. Fibrinogen and CRP in Israeli families: genetic and environmental sources of concentrations and longitudinal changes. Atherosclerosis. 2006;189:169-77 pubmed
    ..To estimate the genetic and environmental determinants of plasma fibrinogen and C-reactive protein (CRP)...
  38. Woodruff T, Axelrad D, Kyle A, Nweke O, Miller G, Hurley B. Trends in environmentally related childhood illnesses. Pediatrics. 2004;113:1133-40 pubmed
    ..7% of children aged 5 to 17 were reported to have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in 1997-2000, and approximately 6 of every 1000 children were reported to have received a diagnosis of mental retardation during the same period...
  39. Anyanwu E, Ehiri J, Akpan A. Application, effectiveness, and limitations of the electrophysiological diagnosis of neurotoxic effects of chronic environmental mycotoxins in humans. Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2004;16:107-18 pubmed
    ..Detection of nervous system toxicity and other measures of toxicity could be achieved using a combination of these neurodiagnostic techniques...
  40. Pedersen M, Giorgis Allemand L, Bernard C, Aguilera I, Andersen A, Ballester F, et al. Ambient air pollution and low birthweight: a European cohort study (ESCAPE). Lancet Respir Med. 2013;1:695-704 pubmed publisher
    ..Ambient air pollution has been associated with restricted fetal growth, which is linked with adverse respiratory health in childhood. We assessed the effect of maternal exposure to low concentrations of ambient air pollution on birthweight...
  41. Lee D, Shaddick G. Spatial modeling of air pollution in studies of its short-term health effects. Biometrics. 2010;66:1238-46 pubmed publisher
    ..An epidemiological study from Greater London is then presented, which estimates the relationship between respiratory mortality and four different pollutants...
  42. Edmondson D, Barrios C, Brasel T, Straus D, Kurup V, Fink J. Immune response among patients exposed to molds. Int J Mol Sci. 2009;10:5471-84 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, IgE mediated or other non-immune mechanisms could be the cause of their symptoms...
  43. Wiesner G, Pedrosa Gil F, Nowak D. [Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) -- a case series]. Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2005;130:329-32 pubmed
    ..This case series deals with the question if in addition to a standardized interview a routine psychiatric-psychosomatic examination alters the classification if a patient suffers from symptoms compatible with MCS or not...
  44. Cohn S, Dyson C, Wessely S. Early accounts of Gulf War illness and the construction of narratives in UK service personnel. Soc Sci Med. 2008;67:1641-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Informed by the general literature on illness narratives, we explore how the transmission of ideas and causal theories were themselves instrumental in the emergence of the condition as it was experienced...
  45. Bland J. Functional somatic syndromes, stress pathologies, and epigenetics. Altern Ther Health Med. 2008;14:14-6 pubmed
  46. Burr M. Health effects of indoor molds. Rev Environ Health. 2001;16:97-103 pubmed
    ..Knowing how important mold exposure really is in health terms is difficult, owing to the tendency for mold growth to be associated with other factors that are prejudicial to health...
  47. Kimber I, Basketter D, Gerberick G, Dearman R. Allergic contact dermatitis. Int Immunopharmacol. 2002;2:201-11 pubmed
    ..This article seeks to consider skin sensitization and ACD in holistic fashion, bridging experimental observations with clinical disease and basic mechanisms with practical toxicology...
  48. Wu F, Jacobs D, Mitchell C, Miller D, Karol M. Improving indoor environmental quality for public health: impediments and policy recommendations. Environ Health Perspect. 2007;115:953-7 pubmed
    ..In this article we describe health risks associated with indoor environments, illuminate barriers to overcoming these risks, and provide policy recommendations to achieve healthier indoor environments...
  49. Biggeri A, Catelan D. [NHL mortality in Tuscan municipalities with urban solid waste incinerators active in 1970-1998]. Epidemiol Prev. 2006;30:14-5 pubmed
  50. Bulsing P, Smeets M, van den Hout M. The implicit association between odors and illness. Chem Senses. 2009;34:111-9 pubmed publisher
    ..A dual-processing theory of olfactory information is proposed leading to new hypotheses regarding the development and maintenance of odor-induced health symptoms...
  51. Hutter H, Moshammer H, Wallner P. [Determinants of patient satisfaction with services of the Vienna environmental medicine counseling center]. Gesundheitswesen. 2001;63:238-41 pubmed
  52. Mork L. Breaking the mold. Occup Health Saf. 2002;71:80 pubmed
  53. Anyanwu E, Campbell A, Ehiri J. Mycotoxins and antifungal drug interactions: implications in the treatment of illnesses due to indoor chronic toxigenic mold exposures. ScientificWorldJournal. 2004;4:167-77 pubmed
    ..Since some of the antifungal drugs are derived from molds, and since they have structural and functional groups similar to those of mycotoxins, the knowledge of their interactions are important in enhancing preventive measures...