Chemical Exposures: Low Levels and High Stakes / Edition 2

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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

Detailed review of recent research on sensitivity to low- level chemical exposure & its associated health effects.

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Editorial Reviews

Based on a report commissioned by the New Jersey Dept. of Health, this work explains how day-to-day variations in chemical exposure can cause unusual and seemingly unpredictable symptoms (e.g. headache, breathing problems, anxiety, fatigue), including many that have in the past been termed psychosomatic. Acidic paper. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471292401
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/22/1998
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Authors Nicholas A. Ashford, Ph.D., J.D., is Professor of Technology and Policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he teaches courses in Environmental and Occupational Health Law and Policy. He was Chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, served as Chairman of the Committee on Technology, Innovation, and Economics of the EPA National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, and was a member of the EPA Science Advisory Board. He is a Fellow of the American Association of Science and serves as an advisor to the United Nations Environmental Program. He holds a Doctorate in Chemistry and a Law Degree from the University of Chicago, where he received graduate training in Economics. Claudia S. Miller, M.D., M.S., is Assistant Professor in Environmental and Occupational Medicine in the Department of Family Practice at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. She is boarded in Internal Medicine and in Allergy and Immunology, and holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Health. Prior to entering medical school, she worked as an industrial hygienist and served on the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health. Since 1993, she has been an environmental consultant to the Houston VA Regional Referral Center for Gulf War veterans. She holds appointments on two national scientific panels, the Department of Veterans Affairs' Persian Gulf Expert Scientific Committee and the National Toxicology Board of Scientific Counselors. Her research focuses on the health effects of low-level environmental chemical exposures including indoor air pollutants, pesticides, and chemicals used during the Gulf War.

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Table of Contents


Chemical Exposures and Sensitive Populations.

Key Terms and Concepts.

Origins of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Effects on Health.


Mechanisms of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.

Diagnosis and Treatment.


Needs, Concerns, and Recommendations.


Recent Developments.

Key Research Findings Since the First Edition.

Reviews, Commentaries, and Polemics.

Research and Medical Needs.





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