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All of the following chemical updates were located in scientific sources by Dr. Ziem.  A brief summary accompanies each link to give you the important findings in the article to which the link leads.


Estrogens and estrogenic chemicals increase breast cancer risk

Estrogenic chemicals, including but not limited to DDT, dioxins, organochlorines, and others, could reduce the body’s natural defense against breast cancer.  Read more estrogens and estrogenic chemicals and their effects on the body.


Autism and Pesticides

Children with increased exposure to pesticides were shown in recent research to have very significant increased rates of autism. In this study, babies whose mothers were exposed during pregnancy showed a six-fold increased rate of autism. Article: E.M. Roberts etal, “Maternal Residence Near Agricultural Pesticide Applications and Autism Spectrum Disorders Among Children in the California Central Valley”, Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 114:1482-1489, 2007



Pesticides are sprayed frequently in many airplanes

This endangers children, adults and flight crew. Less toxic alternatives are available. See Pesticides on this website. To show your support for nontoxic pest control, contact: www.beyondpesticides.org.


There are undisclosed cancer agents in baby products

Many of these products are fragrance industry products. The fragrance industry lobbied to be exempt from the law to disclose ingredients to the user, the public or their doctors! A bill to disclose cancer-causing chemicals in baby products was defeated (and opposed by the chemical industry). For more information on cancer-causing chemicals and safer alternatives, visit the Cancer Prevention Coalition. To continue the effort to stop the poisoning our of children, contact your senator(s) and congressperson(s).


Phthalate chemicals in toys have been banned by the European Union.

Phthalates are chemicals that cause hormonal disturbance and liver effects. They are widely used in various plastics to make the plastics more soft, despite the availability of alternatives. When sucked or chewed by children, phthalates in toys and other children's plastics are swallowed. The phthalates are also widely used in medical equipment, including many oxygen masks, medical tubing, transfusion bags, etc. These unnecessary uses expose babies, children and individuals who are already ill to additional harm. Article from Environmental Health Perspectives, January 2005.  Also see Phthalates in the Hazardous Chemicals section of this web site.


More danger in scented products

Scented products contain chemicals that cause significant health risk. Recent research shows that synthetic musk chemicals in scented products interfere with the ability of body cells to defend themselves against toxic compounds, and this effect can last for days. Article from Environmental Health Perspectives, January 2005.


Further poisoning of our Great Lakes

Together our Great Lakes contain 20% of the surface fresh water on the planet. Because of industrial pollution, they contain dangerous levels of toxic chemicals which persist for many decades, including the former herbicide DDT residue and the former transformer chemical PCBs. Chemical flame retardants called polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDE) have now been rising dramatically and rapidly in Great Lakes fish. Our chemical use and disposal policies thus continue to poison an important food supply, affecting men, women and children. Article from Environmental Health Perspectives, January 2005.


Chlorpyrifos and cancer

Chlorpyrifos, a very toxic and widely used organophosphate (nerve gas family) insecticide in the United States is known to cause damage to the brain and nervous system.  A recent study of pesticide applicators showed increased lung cancer with chlorpyrifos exposure.  Chlorpyrifos is still used on turf (e.g., golf courses etc.), warehouses, ship holds, boxcars, factories and food processing plants. There are 800 registered products containing this poison. Article from Article from Environmental Health Perspectives, March 2005.


Trees and plants can reduce water pollution

Trees and other woody plants alongside streams help reduce levels of certain pollutants as they move through the water.


Lead exposure can lead to cataracts and Parkison’s diseases

Lead exposure and cataracts

Lead exposure results in accumulation in the body over many years, depositing in the bone and other organs.  Recent research shows significant excess cataracts among people with higher body lead levels. Article from Environmental Health Perspectives, March 2005.

Lead exposure and Parkinson’s disease

Repeated or chronic exposure to lead can later cause increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. Lead can come from paints, welding/soldering, water contamination, food from cans using lead coating/solder, some pottery glazes, some industrial pollution. Article from Environmental Health Perspectives, March 2005.


Lupus and chemicals

Lupus is an increasingly common autoimmune disease. Recent research indicates that organochlorine pesticides increase Lupus, and that the mechanism of action can be unrelated to the estrogenic affect of the chemical. Article from Environmental Health Perspectives, March 2005.

Lupus is a common autoimmune disease among the chemically injured patients in Dr. Ziem's medical practice.  During the 38 years that Dr. Ziem has been practicing medicine, Lupus has increased among the general population in a very dramatic extent: once rare, now common.  Other autoimmune diseases are also increased, both among chemically injured patients as well as among the general population. The steady increase of autoimmune disease is in significant part another form of chemical injury.


Body solvent levels

When used in liquid from, various petroleum-derived chemicals are called solvents. When they evaporate, they are called "volatile organic compounds" or VOC's.  A study of children showed both school and home sources of body solvent levels in children. Sources include "air fresheners" or "deodorizers" which are pleasant smelling petroleum-based chemicals that enter the body. The results indicated that not only evaporating chemicals were significant sources, but that substances absorbed through the skin, such as in cosmetics, creams, etc. were likely also significant factors.  These solvents can go to the brain, nerves, and cell membranes, where they can persist for months or years. Environmental Health Perspectives March 2005


Asthma among farm children

Children raised on farms that produce hogs raised in confinement buildings and add antibiotics to feed develop high rates of asthma. This is another reason to encourage free range grown food. Such food is not only healthier for the consumer, but also for the farmer.  Farmers with exposure to hog confinement buildings are well known to have high levels of respiratory disease. Article from Environmental Health Perspectives, March 2005.


Screening questions for neurotoxic exposure

From American Journal of Industrial Medicine, December 2004.

European researchers have found that specific screening questions, when taken together, point to risk of neurotoxic exposure. These questions include weakness or clumsiness of arms or feet, decreased sensation on the face, arms and legs, change in sense of smell or taste, slowness in carrying out daily activities, trembling of hands, and dizziness or problems with balance. Those questions relate to neurologic effects.

Other questions include headache or feeling of a band around your head, sweating for no obvious reason, shortness of breath without exertion, heart fluttering/palpitations, ringing in the ears/tenatous, general exhaustion loss of sexual interest, diarrhea/constipation/stomach pains and loss of appetite or nausea.

Mood changes can also indicate neuro toxic exposure. These questions include feeling irritable, impatient or restless, feeling depressed, rapid changes in mood, feeling of detachment, lack of drive, lack of interest in social activities and difficulty controlling anger, mood changes occur because of biochemical changes in the brain.

Questions related to memory and concentration are also important.  These include feeling confused when you try to concentrate, difficulty in concentrating, difficulty remembering what you have read or seen on TV, forgetting what you were going to say or do, difficulty remembering names and dates, having to write notes to remember things.

Fatigue is also common in chemical illness.  These questions include sleepiness and unusual tiredness.

For a quick version of questions to take to your doctor, print the Quick Environmental Health Questionnaire on this web site and write down any additional effects.

Disturbances also occur because of biochemical brain changes.  These questions include difficulty falling asleep, broken sleep, waking up too early (because of respiratory congestion in many cases).

If many of these symptoms occur in you or someone you know, evaluation for chemical illness is needed.  The more symptoms involved and the more frequently they occur, the greater the risk., but act before disability occurs. Check out other web site sections to find out what chemicals you are exposed to.


Particles in Air Pollution and Infant Death

Many studies now confirm that air pollution containing particles (combustion products from vehicles and industrial pollution), causes excess respiratory death in newborn babies. This type of pollution also causes excess asthma, hypertension, coronary heart disease, and hospitalizatization. Article from Environmental Health Perspectives, April 2005.


DEET repellent is neurotoxic

Insect repellents containing DEET are commonly used by children and adults. They quickly enter the blood stream by penetrating the skin. Severe illness such as toxic brain damag (encephalopathy) and seizures have been reported after use of DEET on children. Numbness or burning sensation can also occur. These are symptoms of toxic changes in the brain and nervous system.  Death can also occur from sprays, lotions, towelettes, etc. Article from American Journal of Industrial Medicine, January 2005.


Hormone Abnormalities Caused by Chemicals

Use in the workplace, schools and home cause abnormal estrogen function.  See Dr. Ziem's October 2003 paper on Endocrine Changes In Patients With Chronic Illness Following Chemical Overexposure. These hormone-damaging chemicals disturb estrogen messages, and cause estrogen-related tumors such as breast and uterine cancer. They can also act to increase oxide (see Neural Sensitization section on this web site). Article from Environmental Health Perspectives, April 2005.


Symptoms for over-exposure to organophosphate pesticides

A study of persons exposed to organophosphate pesticides showed that common warning symptoms included headaches, burning eyes, pain in muscles/joints or bones, rash or itchy skin. A smaller portion had blurred vision and burning eyes. These are considered important warning symptoms.  Burning eyes occurs with Neural Sensitization. Find out whether you have been exposed to organophosphate pesticides (exposure to other chemical irritants can also cause burning eyes.) Article from American Journal of Industrial Medicine, December 2004.


Pesticides and leukemia

Research indicates that children have up to a six-fold excess risk of developing leukemia when pesticides are used in the home and garden. Article referenced: Environmental  Health Perspectives 110:955-960


Neurologic Damage in Children is Increasing

17% of school children now suffer from neurologic disorders developing in the uterus and/or infancy/childhood. Within a decade there has been an increased diagnosis of autism by almost ten fold. Studies of early lead exposure show increase of later Alzheimer’s. Attention deficit/ hyperactivity increased by 2 ½ times and a two-fold increase of children with learning disorders. Two-thirds of high volume chemicals in the US have not been tested for neurotoxicity. Environmental Health Perspectives Jan 2006.

A diet of organic food (grown without pesticides) significantly reduces body levels of toxic pesticides. Environmental Health Perspectives Jan 2006.


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