Article of Interest: As Workers Battle Cancer, The Government Admits Its Limit for a Deadly Chemical Is Too High

Our team at the Hoffman Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share this important external article:

As Workers Battle Cancer, The Government Admits Its Limit for a Deadly Chemical Is Too High” from Pro Publica.

It’s no secret that the plant’s workers are being exposed to poison. Government scientists began testing their urine more than 30 years ago. And Goodyear, which uses ortho-toluidine to make its tires pliable, has been monitoring the air for traces of the chemical since 1976. A major expose even revealed, almost a decade ago, that dozens of the plant’s workers had developed bladder cancer since 1974.
What is perhaps most stunning about the trail of sick Goodyear workers is that they have been exposed to levels of the chemical that the United States government says are perfectly safe.

Read the full article.

This is important because these chemical exposures are frequently reported initiators of toxicant-induced loss of tolerance (TILT), said Dr. Claudia Miller, allergist/immunologist, professor emeritus, and leader of the Hoffman TILT Program.

“Fossil fuels, their combustion products and chemical derivatives are not only harming us ‘from without’ via climate change, but also ‘from within’ by sensitizing our immune systems’ ancient ‘first responders’—mast cells—which evolved more than 500 million years ago to protect our internal milieu from the external environment,” Miller said. “By sensitizing and triggering our mast cells, fossil fuels and their derivatives are defeating a critical but overlooked immune defense mechanism—mast cells. Besides climate change, this is contributing to the loss of species diversity and our own extinction.”

How chemically sensitive are you?

Answer these three questions from Hoffman TILT’s Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI):

  1. Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
  2. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
  3. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?

If you answer YES to any of these three questions, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor!