Article of Interest: Mothballs, A Short History and Guide For Use

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

Mothballs: A Short History & Guide For Use” from Rinse.

Clothing care has evolved over time as trends and technology change how we clean, preserve, and protect our garments. Mothballs have a storied past as a form of insecticide created to keep cloth-eating moths from damaging garments being stored away in drawers at home.

Mothballs are a concern for indoor air and wool garments, rugs, etc., said Dr. Claudia Miller, allergist/immunologist, professor emeritus, and leader of the Hoffman TILT Program at UT Health San Antonio.

“We measured vapors from mothballs and moth crystals inside several homes during our Environmental House Calls study. The air tests alerted us to their presence. Otherwise we might have missed them,” Miller said. “Interestingly these were produced synthetically even before WWll.”

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!