Resources and Support for Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Environmental Illness, and Chemical Injuries in Canada

Nicholas Ashford, Ph.D., J.D.

Associate Professor of Technology & Policy
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Allergy and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities Distinguished Multiple Chemical Sensitivities: Addendum to Biologic Markers in Immunotoxicology (1992). Miller and Ashford. Pages 47-64.

Case Definitions for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Multiple Chemical Sensitivities: Addendum to Biologic Markers in Immunotoxicology (1992). Miller and Ashford. Pages 41-46.

Chemical Exposures: Low Levels and High Stakes by Nicholas A. Ashford and Claudia S. Miller, 2nd ed, 440 pp, with illus, $39.95, ISBN 0-4712-9240-0, New York, NY, Van Nostrand Reinhold/Wiley, 1998. Reviewed by James E. Cone, MD, MPH. JAMA. "The debate over the toxic effects of low-level exposures to a wide range of chemical substances in the modern environment continues. It has been amplified by illness reports from veterans of the Gulf War of 1990-1991 that bear striking resemblance to complaints heard over the past 20 to 30 years from civilians, diagnosed variously as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia syndrome, or multiple chemical sensitivities. Chemical Exposures provides a scorecard for this debate, effectively updating the first edition by adding four new chapters on recent developments: summaries of major workshops, legal developments, research findings, and polemics. It ends with the authors' view of a future research agenda. Two useful appendices have been added on health effects associated with chemicals and foods, and clinical tests and a questionnaire used by one of the authors to evaluate patients with potential chemical sensitivities ..."

Chemical Exposures: Low Levels and High Stakes by Nicholas A. Ashford and Claudia S. Miller. Extract (translated from French) "... With regard to our experiment, the incidence of a significant psychiatric disease as major causative factor of MCS is very weak, probably less than 2 to 3%."

Informational And Regulatory Challenges For Low Level Exposures Abstract 1988. The Sixth Annual International Symposium on Man & His Environment in Health and Disease.

Legal And Regulatory Challenges For Low Level Exposures Abstract 1989. The Seventh Annual International Symposium on Man & His Environment in Health and Disease.

Low-Level Chemical Exposures: A Challenge for Science and Policy Environmental Science and Technology. Viewpoint, November 1, 1998, Volume 32, Issue 21, pp. 508 A-509. Nicholas A. Ashford and Claudia S. Miller. "Once thought to be safe, there is mounting evidence that human exposure to chemicals at low levels can be harmful. The exposures are linked with adverse biological effects, including endocrine disruption, chemical sensitivity, and cancer). Prior susceptibility of an individual, whether inborn or environmentally induced, followed by other lifetime exposures, can cause irreversible injury. Unfortunately, although emerging scientific knowledge associated with these exposures indicates a need to change the way we think about chemicals and health, new theories are slow to emerge ... We are just now beginning to recognize the link between chemicals and new public health problems that challenge the tenets of traditional toxicology and medicine. These include birth defects and other damage due to developmental toxicants, autoimmune diseases (including lupus, scleroderma, and Sjogren's Syndrome), chronic conditions in children (such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, and asthma) that have become more prevalent in the past few decades, chemical sensitivity including its overlaps with sick building syndrome, unexplained illnesses of Gulf War veterans, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, toxic encephalopathy, and new links to cancer, including childhood cancers ..."

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities: Challenges and Opportunities Abstract 1990. The Eighth Annual International Symposium on Man and His Environment in Health and Disease - Special Focus: The Health Effects of Indoor Air Pollution.

Pesticides are most serious environmental threat Nicholas Ashford, a leading environmental scientist and health adviser to the United Nations told a recent closed meeting at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that pesticides may pose a far more serious threat to public health than has previously been thought ... " Professor Ashford, co-author (with Claudia Miller) of the book Chemical Exposures: low levels and high stakes, explained that pesticides - particularly organophosphates, implicated in the deaths of farmers involved in sheep dipping, and permethrin, sprayed in around 5,000 British homes every week as a woodworm treatment-may be the most common initiators of MCS, an illness which leaves sufferers sensitised to other common chemical substances such as detergents, tobacco smoke and traffic fumes. There is no known cure for the condition ... " [This article first appeared in Pesticides News No. 41, September 1998, page 16.]

Possible Mechanisms for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: The Limbic System and Others Multiple Chemical Sensitivities: Addendum to Biologic Markers in Immunotoxicology (1992). Miller and Ashford. Pages 139-150.

Public Participation In Contaminated Communities N.A. Ashford and K.M. Rest, 1999. Available online in PDF files.

Risks, Health and Environment - NGO background document for the Third Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health and parallel Healthy Planet Forum, London 16-18 June 1999. Maureen E. Butter, Editor.

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