I thought you would enjoy this piece of an article taken from Sequoia Education Clincal Rounds that I read.
Every year thousands of teachers are afflicted with a condition that simply "zaps" the life right out of them. Most physicians are at a total loss to understand what is behind this mysterious illness. Unfortunately, many people are looked at as hypochondriacs and continue to suffer year after year.
The Diagnosis By a stroke of luck and a lot of prayer, Jan stumbled on a medical article that "painted" an exact picture of her health challenges. She was amazed to find that she was not alone and that thousands of other teachers were experiencing the same problem. She was able to find a physician who was trained in making this difficult diagnosis and learned that she was suffering with something called "Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS)." Some physicians have coined the term "The Toxic Teacher Syndrome" due to the numbers of teachers suffering with the same symptoms.
What is MCS? Chemical Sensitivity is not a new term. It has been around for many years. The diagnosis MCS was researched by allergist Theron G. Randolph, M.D. (1906-1995). Dr. Randolph discovered that many of his patients became ill from chemical substances that were normally considered safe at the recommended dosage. In the 1950s, Dr. Randolph concluded that people were failing to adapt to modern-day synthetic chemicals. As more research was done on the effects of MCS, doctors suggested that the immune system is like a barrel that continually fills with chemicals until it overflows and symptoms appear.
Potential chemical toxins include:
• Formaldehyde which can be found in foam insulation, plywood, particleboard and press cabinets, fabric finishes, new carpet, polyurethane foam rubber (used in pillows, cushions, mattresses and rug padding), mobile homes, adhesives, synthetic clothes that crease resistant, wrinkle resistant
• Oil vapors: from oil furnaces, motor-oil air-conditioning filters, electric kitchen appliances such as food processors, blenders, can openers.
• Polyethylene plastics: fake leather, artificial flowers, shower curtains. • Household chemicals such as dry cleaning chemicals in clothes, mothballs, rug-cleaning products, paints, solvents, stain removers, air fresheners, window washing compounds
• Polyesters in clothing, upholstery, drapery, furniture and stuffing for pillows and quilts. • Pesticide residue on cottons and woolens; residues from exterminators.
• Epoxy adhesives on plastics, electronic equipment (TVs, microwaves,) which release gases when heated up.
• Common school paraphernalia such as carbon paper, ink, mimeographic and duplicating chemicals, glue.
How Do These Chemicals Cause Health Problems? For most people the constant exposure to the above chemicals may not pose any health challenge. However, an individual may come in contact with a freshly painted room and begin to experience dizziness, nausea, headaches etc.. Usually, however, it requires the constant everyday exposure to various toxins that simply become cumulative and eventually overwhelm the body's ability to eliminate them.
When your detoxification system is in good working order, it protects you from low level chemical build-up. It is interesting that most of the sixty thousands chemicals in current use today have been developed in the last forty years. In other words, it seems quite clear that these chemicals are being made at a faster rate than our bodies are able to get rid of them. Chemicals are known to injure the part of the cell that produces energy causing swelling of the cell membrane and a decreased ability to pump out chemical toxins. When this occurs you can experience fatigue, weakness, poor memory, migraine headaches, insomnia, anxiety, etc..