L'Association pour la santé environnementale du Québec / Environmental Health Association of Québec

Recognizing the Invisible – Everyday Exposures and Health Effects

People who are more sensitive to chemicals often refer to themselves as the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. This is because they have become sensitized and react to low levels of common chemical exposures that everyone else can tolerate, and which they used to tolerate as well. The reactions are biological, provoking a myriad of adverse symptoms. These “canaries” are warning the rest of us that the thousands of chemicals that we are all regularly exposed to are increasing the prevalence and severity of most chronic diseases. Most of our exposures are in the air we breathe indoors but our bodies are also contaminated from conception with a multitude of chemicals from a variety of sources. The burden of these exposures causes changes in cell structure and function, potentially leading to a variety of chronic problems, including chemical sensitivities.

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