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Environmental and Chemical Toxins and Psychiatric Illness
     

Environmental and Chemical Toxins and Psychiatric Illness

by James S. Brown
 

During the past 60 years, the number of chemical disasters worldwide from military, occupational, and environmental sources has risen at an alarming rate. The profound controversy surrounding many chemicals makes objective analysis nearly impossible. Yet now more than ever -- with the daily exposure to a wide range of chemicals and the increased threat of chemical

Overview

During the past 60 years, the number of chemical disasters worldwide from military, occupational, and environmental sources has risen at an alarming rate. The profound controversy surrounding many chemicals makes objective analysis nearly impossible. Yet now more than ever -- with the daily exposure to a wide range of chemicals and the increased threat of chemical terrorism -- it is critical that we understand the role of chemicals in causing psychiatric illness.

Unlike related books, this remarkable reference is intended specifically for psychiatric applications and is thus the definitive sourcebook for the many professionals called on to respond to these events.

This work stands alone as the first on this topic to be written by a psychiatrist and the first to bring together the military, occupational, and environmental exposures causing psychiatric illness, including multiple chemical sensitivities, mass hysteria, radiation exposures, community stress reactions, and Gulf War and other syndromes.

Unique highlights include • A summary of the reported psychiatric symptoms attributed to each chemical class (chemical weapons, pesticides, fumigants, metals, solvents, gases, PCBs, Agent Orange, and other miscellaneous chemicals) in tables for easy reference. We use personal care products, take prescription drugs, pump gasoline, drink alcohol, and spray insecticides as part of our everyday lives. Yet rarely do we realize that significant exposures to the chemicals described in this book -- many of which we are exposed to in daily activities -- can damage the central nervous system, causing psychiatric illness. • A comprehensive bibliography, in every chapter, of all the important material in English-language medical journals and books that has appeared on this subject since the late 19th century. These bibliographies cover everything from the first published reports of the dangers of carbon disulfide in the French rubber industry -- dangers that American medicine ignored for years -- through more recent large-scale chemical exposures that have serious long-term consequences. (e.g., Love Canal). • The latest information about terrorist and military uses of chemical weapons -- of critical relevance in psychiatry today -- from World War I combatants exposed to chlorine, phosgene, mustard gas, arsenic, and cyanide to the first organophosphate, or nerve, gases (such as tabun and sarin) developed by the Germans before and during World War II (and used by Iraq in the Gulf War and by a religious cult in the terrorist subway attacks in Tokyo and Matsumoto, Japan).

Quite simply, this book is a "must have" for psychiatric and medical professionals everywhere, with extended appeal among laypersons such as environmental/consumer advocates, attorneys, insurance professionals, industrial hygienists, disaster planners, and medical librarians.

American Psychiatric Publishing

Editorial Reviews

Donald W. Black

This book fills a needed gap....James Brown has assembled an impressive amount of information on known environmental and chemical toxins and presents it in a user-friendly format. For those wanting information on the physical and psychiatric side effects of heavy metals such as mercury or lead, pesticides, solvents, and other agents, this book has it all.

Martin K. Williams

James S. Brown Jr. M.D., has completed a timely form of community service for psychiatric caregivers in his thorough overview of potential psychiatric symptoms in Environmental and Chemical Toxins in Psychiatric Illness.

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Philip Khoury, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is a compilation of the broad array of environmental and chemical toxins that have been linked to psychiatric illness. Information is organized in an easily accessible fashion and is well referenced and indexed.
Purpose: The purpose is to enhance one's recognition of toxic exposures that have mental health consequences and provide treatment strategies. The material includes possible future disasters as well as toxins found in common practice. The author accomplishes this objective completely with concise text and a complete reference section for further reading. The book is timely and essential reading given recent events.
Audience: The book is geared toward the mental health professional and it reads in a fashion familiar to physicians.
Features: An extensive range of toxins is covered, from stress to food additives, with many of the usual and unusual suspects brought to light in concise sections. What is best about this book is that along with the apt material are extensive sections of up-to-date bibliographies of further readings and references, making it easy to expand one's understanding. Of the few suggestions I have, the most significant would be the use of flow charts/decision trees rather than the book's complete reliance on tables for more rapid assessment and treatment of patients.
Assessment: This is extremely useful book to have in clinical work. It is well written and to the point and covers an area often ignored in training. I do not know of any other book that encompasses the material as neatly as his. It is a handy reference that stays on my office shelf.
3 Stars from Doody

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780880489546
Publisher:
American Psychiatric Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
02/28/2002
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.85(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Martin K. Williams
James S. Brown Jr. M.D., has completed a timely form of community service for psychiatric caregivers in his thorough overview of potential psychiatric symptoms in Environmental and Chemical Toxins in Psychiatric Illness. (Psychiatric Services)
Charles M. Davis

Environmental and Chemical Toxins and Psychiatric Illness is a wonderful reference compendium describing largely unappreciated psychiatric syndromes associated with commonly and uncommonly encountered toxic substances. It is a particularly timely work that fills a previously neglected niche in the psychiatric literature.

Donald W. Black
This book fills a needed gap....James Brown has assembled an impressive amount of information on known environmental and chemical toxins and presents it in a user-friendly format. For those wanting information on the physical and psychiatric side effects of heavy metals such as mercury or lead, pesticides, solvents, and other agents, this book has it all. (American Journal of Psychiatry,)

Meet the Author

James S. Brown Jr., M.D., is Director of the Mental Health Clinic at McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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