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Common Toxins in our Homes, Schools and Workplaces

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Message Cheryl Wisecup
Today, the Global Indoor Health Network released its position statement titled "Common Toxins in our Homes, Schools and Workplaces."  The purpose of this paper is to highlight the main threats to human health hidden in our homes, schools and workplaces. Some agents are radioactive and some are toxins, while others are outright poisons. The list includes mold, bacteria, mycotoxins, endotoxins, microbial particulates, radon, lead, asbestos, chemicals, pesticides, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and other contaminants. Many of these contaminants occur in the interior of water-damaged buildings (WDB), but some of these exist in buildings without water damage. Some sick buildings lead to slowly deteriorating disease while others can bring death quickly.

Astute physicians and healers have been aware of the existence of environmental toxins for over a thousand years. The list of substances, both naturally occurring and manmade, which may cause harm to the human organism, is continually growing. Curiously, while heart disease, cancers and rare exotic illnesses frequently grab headlines, illness due to environmental sources, though incredibly common, often receive little or no media coverage.

According to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spokesman, indoor air pollution causes 50% of illnesses globally. This statistic should catch the attention of every physician, every lawmaker and every layperson reading this paper. That's more than all the cancers and all the heart disease combined. It is time we started to pay more attention to the indoor air we breathe. It is staggering to comprehend the enormous impact on our global society as literally millions of individuals and families are harmed by contaminants inside our homes, schools and workplaces.

Mold illness, mold-related illness and biotoxin--related illness are euphemisms which are collectively referred to as Multi-system Exposure Related Illness (MERI) in this paper. MERI is a multi-symptom, multi-system disease occurring in many people due usually to long-term exposure to the interior of water-damaged buildings. While a massive acute exposure can lead to MERI, the most common mechanism is chronic exposure to low level toxins leading to an inflammatory response in the body. Written by treating physicians and researchers in the field, this paper is a collaborative effort which provides detailed information on the pathophysiology and diagnosis of MERI, as well as details regarding the treatment protocols used by some of the leading physicians.

It is time to move beyond the focus of "establishing the fact of mold disease," because it has already been established in numerous research papers and in the treatment of thousands of patients. It is time for our national and world leaders to develop a comprehensive public health response to this devastating epidemic that has the potential to cripple our individual and collective futures. We have highlighted the extensive research which clearly demonstrates many of these principles and look forward to collaborative efforts in this search for better health and safer living and working conditions.

Authors: Scott W. McMahon, MD; Janette Hope, MD; Alan R. Vinitsky, MD; Jack Dwayne Thrasher, PhD; William J. Rea, MD; and Michael R. Gray, MD.

The paper can be found, in its entirety, at:

The Global Indoor Health Network (GIHN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is uniting experts and laypersons from the world. GIHN's vision is a global community of individuals and organizations working together to ensure that comprehensive information and guidance concerning medical treatment, investigative techniques and solutions are available to address the effects of contaminants in the indoor environment of homes, schools and businesses. Visit our website at:

Scott McMahon, M.D.   
Global Indoor Health Network   
(575) 627-5571

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