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Disorders of Environmental Origin - Top 30 Publications

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.

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.

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.

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.

Comparing cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy and psychoeducation for non-specific symptoms associated with indoor air: a randomised control trial protocol.

Indoor air-related conditions share similarities with other conditions that are characterised by medically unexplained symptoms (MUS)-a combination of non-specific symptoms that cannot be fully explained by structural bodily pathology. In cases of indoor air-related conditions, these symptoms are not fully explained by either medical conditions or the immunological-toxicological effects of environmental factors. The condition may be disabling, including a non-adaptive health behaviour. In this multifaceted phenomenon, psychosocial factors influence the experienced symptoms. Currently, there is no evidence of clinical management of symptoms, which are associated with the indoor environment and cannot be resolved by removing the triggering environmental factors. The aim of this study is to compare the effect of treatment-as-usual (TAU) and two psychosocial interventions on the quality of life, and the work ability of employees with non-specific indoor air-related symptomatology.

Women growing older with environmental sensitivities: A grounded theory model of meeting one's needs.

This article describes a telephone interview study of 21 women over the age of 65 with environmental sensitivities (ES), including both chemical and electrical hypersensitivities. We employed Charmaz's constructivist grounded theory, using incident, focused, and theoretical coding levels. We were interested in how informants thought their needs would be met as they grew older with ES. We found a central process (that which motivates informants) of "balancing on a changing tightrope with great overwhelm" with three categories: No Safety Net, The Knowing, and Going Through the Cracks. No Safety Net refers to the inaccessibility of most community and health resources for persons who must avoid chemicals, electromagnetic fields, or both. The Knowing refers to having the awareness that one has been dealt out of the equation and will not receive help from conventional sources. Going Through the Cracks describes living one's life by finding small openings and opportunities for living and experiencing what most take for granted. We describe these categories in detail and appeal to health care providers and the general public to view culture through the eyes of those who are unable to participate in it to an extent considered "normal."

Carbon Dioxide Detection and Indoor Air Quality Control.

When building ventilation is reduced, energy is saved because it is not necessary to heat or cool as much outside air. Reduced ventilation can result in higher levels of carbon dioxide, which may cause building occupants to experience symptoms. Heating or cooling for ventilation air can be enhanced by a DCV system, which can save energy while providing a comfortable environment. Carbon dioxide concentrations within a building are often used to indicate whether adequate fresh air is being supplied to the building. These DCV systems use carbon dioxide sensors in each space or in the return air and adjust the ventilation based on carbon dioxide concentration; the higher the concentration, the more people occupy the space relative to the ventilation rate. With a carbon dioxide sensor DCV system, the fresh air ventilation rate varies based on the number ofpeople in the space, saving energy while maintaining a safe and comfortable environment.

Pollutant Levels at Cooking Place and Their Association with Respiratory Symptoms in Women in a Rural Area of Delhi-NCR.

Household air pollution resulting from biomass and coal stoves is implicated in more than one-third cases of annual deaths from chronic lung diseases worldwide and nearly 3% of lung cancer deaths. This burden is borne largely by poor women in the developing countries. We carried out a study to evaluate its association with respiratory symptoms in women in a rural area.

Lack of contralateral suppression in transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions in multiple chemical sensitivity: a clinical correlation study.

Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is a chronic disorder characterized by a variety of symptoms associated with the exposure to chemicals at a concentration below the toxic level. Previous studies have demonstrated peculiar responses in brain activity in these patients with respect to sensory stimuli while the association between chemical sensitivity and other environmental intolerances such as noise sensitivity has been questioned by researchers. In this study, a cohort of 18 MCS patients underwent transient-evoked otoacoustic emission (TEOAE) testing with and without contralateral suppression to evaluate the functionality of the medial olivocochlear (MOC) reflex involved in speech-in-noise sensitivity. Results were compared with an age- and gender-matched control group (n = 20) and correlation analysis with disease onset and quick environmental exposure sensitivity inventory (qEESI) symptom severity scale was performed. Subjects affected by MCS showed statistically significant impairment of MOC reflex, and the onset of the disease and several symptom subscales showed to be correlated to such reduction in some of the frequencies tested. These data suggest that alterations of MOC reflex could be part of the complex features of this disease although more studies are needed to further explore auditory perception disorders in environmental intolerances.

Possible association between acetazolamide administration during pregnancy and multiple congenital malformations.

Congenital malformations might occur because of environmental or genetic factors, and sometimes occur because of unknown causes. Acetazolamide is a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor that is used to treat idiopathic intracranial hypertension, glaucoma, and epilepsy. The use of acetazolamide has not been recommended for pregnant women because of reported teratogenic risks. Congenital malformations, such as ectrodactyly, syndactyly, cleft lip/palate, and retarded incisor teeth development, have been reported in experimental animals. However, tooth agenesis due to the use of acetazolamide has not been reported yet. Oligodontia is a severe type of tooth agenesis involving six or more congenitally missing teeth. The causes of oligodontia are attributed to environmental factors, such as irradiation, drugs, trauma, tumors, infection, genetic factors, or a combination. There is no credible evidence of undesirable effects of acetazolamide use in human pregnancy. However, we report a case of a 12-year-old Saudi boy who was exposed to maternal acetazolamide (1,000 mg/day) for treatment of idiopathic intracranial hypertension before pregnancy, during the first trimester, and throughout the pregnancy. This treatment might have resulted in some congenital malformations, such as ectrodactyly, syndactyly, and oligodontia.

Multidimensional assessment of self-reported chemical intolerance and its impact on chemosensory effects during ammonia exposure.

Healthy individuals differ in self-reported chemical intolerance (CI). It is unclear whether this inter-individual variability impacts well-being and performance in environmental and occupational settings with chemical exposures. So far, operational definitions and questionnaires of CI have either emphasized physical symptoms or affective/behavioral disruption. In contrast, this study focused on healthy individuals who reported strong CI which generalized to awareness, physiology, affect, and behavior. We investigated whether generalized self-reported CI is associated with hyper-reactivity and reduced cognitive functioning due to chemosensory-mediated distraction during ammonia exposure.

Psychological symptoms and health-related quality of life in idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields.

Need for better understanding of the etiology of idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) motivated the present study of psychological symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in person who attribute health problems to electromagnetic fields.

Investigating paternal preconception risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcomes in a population of internet users.

Paternal preconception risk factors such as smoking, exposure to environmental substances, medication use, overweight and advanced age correlate with the occurrence of malformations and birth defects in the offspring. Nonetheless, the prevalence of risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcomes in the male population has been scarcely investigated and no report on preconception interventions targeting prospective fathers is available. We conducted a web-based survey to measure the prevalence of paternal preconception risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcomes in an Italian population of Internet users.

Air Pollution and the Risk of Birth Defects in Anqing City, China.

This study aimed to explore evidence for the influence of air pollution on the risk of birth defects in China and contribute to establish prevention strategies.

Long-Term Follow-Up in Patients With Airway Chemical Intolerance.

A 5-year follow-up study showed that a group of patients with airway symptoms from chemicals and scents had lasting symptoms, together with enduring increased capsaicin cough sensitivity. The aim was to follow up the same patients after another 5 years.

The health threat of climate change: working in partnership with patients.

Dispositional aspects of body focus and idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF).

Body focus is often considered an undesirable characteristic from medical point of view as it amplifies symptoms and leads to higher levels of health anxiety. However, it is connected to mindfulness, well-being and the sense of self in psychotherapy. The current study aimed to investigate the contribution of various body focus related constructs to acute and chronic generation and maintenance of medically unexplained symptoms (MUS). Thirty-six individuals with idiopathic environmental intolerance to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) and 36 controls were asked to complete questionnaires assessing negative affect, worries about harmful effects of EMFs, health anxiety (HA), body awareness, and somatosensory amplification (SSA), and to report experienced symptoms evoked by a sham magnetic field. Body awareness, HA, SSA, and EMF-related worries showed good discriminative power between individuals with IEI-EMF and controls. Considering all variables together, SSA was the best predictor of IEI-EMF. In the believed presence of a MF, people with IEI-EMF showed higher levels of anxiety and reported more symptoms than controls. In the IEI-EMF group, actual symptom reports were predicted by HA and state anxiety, while a reverse relationship between symptom reports and HA was found in the control group. Our findings show that SSA is a particularly important contributor to IEI-EMF, probably because it is the most comprehensive factor in its aetiology. IEI-EMF is associated with both a fear-related monitoring of bodily symptoms and a non-evaluative body focus. The identification of dispositional body focus may be relevant for the management of MUS.