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Sandy, Toxic Mold, and (at last) a theory potentially explaining 'Sick Building Syndrome'

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In a particularly telling observation, an observation upon what might be termed as a further similarity between GWI and SBS, the Committee pointedly observed that GWI had been "poorly understood and, for too long, denied or trivialized".(2)

However, regardless as to one's position upon the relation of GWI to AChEis, Golomb's study does note that there is a history of illness among agricultural workers -- suffering AChEi exposure -- whose symptoms "mirror those" of GWI (1), implying a similar 'mirroring' with those of SBS.(3,4)    

As quite potent AChEis are known to naturally occur in mold species associated with SBS,(5,6,7) there indeed appears to be a common denominator to explain the stated similarities of the symptoms/maladies in question.  Of course, beyond the fact of such similarities, a question is highlighted as to what the full public health impact of AChEi exposures may be, what maladies such exposures -- in fact -- may be the cause of.  

GWI, AChEis, and SBS
"Each of the major types of AChEi exposure that GWV (Gulf War Veterans) experienced... is linked epidemiologically to illness with remarkable consistency.  A dose-response relationship is present", (1) read the Spring 2008 findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.  Notably, the study emphasized that criteria widely accepted for the determination of causality based upon observational data, Hill's causality criteria, had been "arguably satisfied".(1) 

Golomb noted that only Hill's final criterion, that of specificity, was somewhat in question, Golomb highlighting that causal relationships -- by their nature -- "routinely violated" this demand that an "exposure be linked only to the outcome examined", citing alcohol's generation of multiple problematic outcomes (accidents, liver problems, neuropathy, cancer) to illustrate her argument.(1)  Then, assuming the linkage between GWI and AChEis as firm, an extraordinary similarity between symptoms of GWI and those of SBS would seem to suggest the possibility of common biochemical processes in play within both complaints.    

Examining this GWI/SBS similarity, according to the so-called Kansas definition of GWI, there must be "multiple or at least moderately severe symptoms in three or more of six symptom groups, focused on fatigue/sleep, pain, neurological/cognitive/mood, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and skin problems."(1)  Providing a virtual 'mirror image', according to a 1997 study by Redlich, Sparer, and Cullen, symptoms of SBS include: "mucus-membrane irritation -- eye irritation, throat irritation, cough; neurotoxic effects -- headaches, fatigue, lack of concentration; respiratory symptoms -- shortness of breath, cough, wheeze; skin symptoms -- rash, pruritus, dryness; chemosensory changes -- enhanced or abnormal odour perception, visual disturbances".(3)  In 1988, the World Health Organization listed similar symptoms, but also included "gastrointestinal complaints".(4) 


                                      GWI     SBS

Fatigue                         yes       yes

Pain                              yes       yes

Respiratory                  yes       yes

Skin                              yes       yes

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Ritt Goldstein Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I am an American investigative political journalist living in Sweden, and have lived in Sweden since July 1997. My work has appeared fairly widely, including in America's Christian Science Monitor, Spain's El Mundo, Sweden's Aftonbladet, Austria's (more...)
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