An icon of environmental medicine visits Germany

Evidence for the causes of environmental diseases have been around for a long time

The doctor and scientist Doris Rapp is one of those who not only practice environmental medicine, but has also made environmental medicine the most important thing in her life. The American spent two weeks in Germany. The reunion with Prof. Rapp was very productive and we were lucky enough to spend a beautiful day on the Moselle. Here is a small summary.

Researcher documented environmental disease

I met Prof. Rapp for the first time at a congress in Bad Emstal about 18 years ago. It was a crucial experience. In her presentation, she showed a video about a teacher who became ill from contaminated carpeting in the school. The teacher was filmed during a reaction to contaminated dust from the carpet. This video vividly conveys to the viewer what MCS is and what a reaction can look like. At that time I was at the very beginning of my own illness and had had similar reactions to certain pesticides. The teacher experienced convulsions and fell unconscious. I thought “my goodness, that’s me, that’s exactly like me, that’s what you have…“ After the lecture I spoke with Prof. Rapp and that was the beginning of an ongoing exchange of information and an interesting friendship. We met again at conferences in Germany, Holland and in the U.S., visited each other in Germany and the United States and exchanged e-mails. When I visited her in Scottsdale, she showed me one of her video archives. She had stored thousands of videos of children whom she had treated. They showed the patients during and after therapy and during testing of foods, mold, pollen, dust mites or chemicals. They displayed impressive evidence that can remove any last doubts as to the existence of environmental illnesses and allergies.

We can no longer ignore environmental illnesses

Dr. Binz and his wife invited the environmental doctor for this most recent visit to Germany. We had actually arranged to meet for a trip along the Moselle, which would start before lunch. We had a warm reunion and before we knew it we had already exchanged information and ideas and were in the midst of planning for future projects.

“I’m over 80 years old now and have no children, I don’t really need to be doing all this and I could be enjoying my peace at this age, but I see what’s going on, and I simply cannot remain silent. We have so many chemicals in our environment, in the food we eat, in the water we drink and the air that we are constantly breathing. They affect each of our body systems and we can no longer ignore this. Almost every second person in my country has cancer and that is just not acceptable”, says Doris Rapp.

“The politicians and the public must realize the impact the flood of chemicals has on us and no one should keep insisting that we do not know where all the increasing diseases that occur are coming from. The evidence is there. We have animal testing to prove it. That’s why, as a doctor, I ask: How much more has to happen before we admit to the real causes? I won’t accept hearing when one says, “Yes, but there’s nothing we can do about it.” Yes, there is, because you can educate yourself and there’s a hell of a lot you can do,” says Prof Rapp, who is enraged about the current situation.

Solutions are often very simple

Prof. Rapp is no one who can be at odds with the world and ignore the solutions. She is in the process of writing another book. “It will be a small book, only 30 pages. Every reader can easily understand how he/she can shape his environment in order to stay healthy. The tips in this book will not cost anyone a fortune, they can easily be implemented without major expense. It will help anyone who wants to change something and wants to improve his health. The doctor cites two examples:

“Many people react to foods, but are not sure towards which foods. Expensive tests are not necessary. I advise people to think about what they eat most, foods that they downright crave. Experience has shown that these are the foods that are eaten every day and most likely those which cause reactions. The solution: omit the suspected food for a week. You can test one food after another. This costs nothing! ”

“Some people live in a house that is contaminated with pollutants or contaminated by mold. My experience is that five out of seven people can improve their health by 70% if they obtain a high quality air cleaner that is capable of filtering hundreds of chemicals from the air in your home. Such a device may cost a bit, but I have often seen patients who got better over night. So it’s worth it if you are unable to directly move out of the apartment or house.”

The new book will be published this year, and Professor Rapp has authorized me to translate it into German. She also gave me permission to translate videos and other books into our language, contributing knowledge to allergy sufferers and chemically sensitive people in the German-speaking countries, helping them to find a way back into life.

A trip along the Moselle

During the drive to the historic Moselle wine village, Bernkastel, to Traben-Trabach and the drive back to Trier, Prof. Rapp was bursting with innovative ideas that we will begin to put into action in the next few months and they will benefit the environmentally ill in many ways.

Author: Silvia K. Müller, CSN – Chemical Sensitivity Network, 12 September 2011

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Environmental diseases are not unexplained mysteries

More attention needed to the disease factor in indoor pollutants

The awareness of the importance of uncontaminated food and pollution-free products in everyday life is growing worldwide. People are striving for a healthy and unpolluted living environment. Especially noteworthy are efforts that have been observed recently in Norway. In this Scandinavian country, efforts are prioritized to protect children, particularly against pollutants and allergens. One of the most active pioneers is Kjell Aas, a retired professor who supports the Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Association, with his profound knowledge. This scientist is anxious to clear ignorance about environmental and pollution-related diseases. He clarifies the facts to the authorities and population in ways which are understandable.

Environmental diseases are not mysteries, but scientifically explainable

For many people it is still difficult to understand that polluted air can also cause health problems or symptoms beyond just the respiratory tract. Research has delivered to us today only fragmentary explanations, but there are some entirely understandable explanations and solid scientific evidence of things not delivered to us, which Kjell Aas tries to make as general knowledge for the public.

The scientist Kjell Aas said, “Medical science has not yet managed to explore all the biochemical mechanisms behind the disease. The same goes for the so-called environmental diseases, such as hyperactivity, migraines, and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). To think that these environmental illnesses are something mysterious or inexplicable, or even that they are psychologically conditioned is just incorrect. This can be explained by one or more biochemical reactions. Both the physical and mental functions and activities are regulated by more or less complex chemical processes. The reactions are dependent on the dose and individual tolerance levels.”

Individual biochemistry sets the pace

“From a scientific aspect,” says Kjell Aas, “one must internalize that our internal biochemistry relies on the smooth functioning of a variety of cells with specific receptors and signal systems operating, and upon thousands of enzymes and co-enzymes. These biochemical processes can lead inhibitory and stimulatory mechanisms and integrated “amplifier systems” to gain significant effects.”

Kjell Aas says that the following is important for the public to realize, “Every person is an individual with his/her own individual biochemistry. A few milligrams of cocaine can change the personality and emotional life of an individual,” says the scientist, and continues, “or imagine alcohol having the same affect on the population, but as everyone knows, the tolerance threshold is different for each unique individual.”

The air we breathe daily

The scientist points out in his illustrative design, that adults consume 12 to 15 kg of air per day, and those gaseous chemicals are in the air we breathe, in a more or less high concentrations. Some of these gases combine with others, making them more harmful. These include ozone and other gases that lead to oxidation processes.

In addition, we take in particles in the air we breathe each day without ceasing. We breathe millions of fine particulate matter every hour of every day. These include chemical substances that are associated with the particulate matter which are in a position to pass as easily as breathing gases, and to move fully into blood, lymph and tissue fluid, the researcher points out.

Children are not little adults

Kjell Aas thinks special attention should focus on improving the current situation for children. He justifies this by saying that children can tolerate very little and will get sick easily from chemicals. “We have a variety of cells in our body,” the scientist explained, “all based on chemicals. The chemicals must agree to allow the cells to function properly and then the body will not get sick. ”

The Norwegian elaborated his statement and says, “If an unwanted chemical substances are inhaled, then the chemical balance is upset and so are the cells, and thus we get sick. The cells are blocked by these unwanted chemicals and cannot send out important chemical messengers responsible for our health.”

“Who exactly needs to understand these statements?” Kjell Aas wonders. It is important for all of us to realize the significant consequences for children, in particular, whose bodies are still under construction and development. This enlightenment is exactly what Kjell Aas hopes to awaken in all of us in hopes that we all begin to act accordingly. The Norwegians therefore ask in conclusion that we should internalize the following important fact:

“The air in a room which is acceptable for children, it is also acceptable for adults, but indoor air which is not acceptable for adults, can already make children ill.”


Silvia K. Müller, CSN – Chemical Sensitivity Network, Alena Jula, Just Nature, July 1, 2011

Translation: Christi Howarth

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WHO receives delegation of representatives for the environmentally ill

MCS stakeholders sign petition to the World Health Organization

On May 13, a petition from the WHO delegation of stakeholders from MCS and EMS patients, physicians, scientists, lawyers and journalists in Geneva will be received. The delegation will be welcomed by Dr. Maria Neira, Director General of Public Health and Environment, WHO confirms.

WHO confirmed hearing from MCS organizations

Dr. Neira will receive the relevant documents from the delegation, a bibliography regarding environmental diseases, a list of countries that already have a ICD-10 code for MCS and / or EMS, and some other relevant documents for the meeting. All documents being submitted support the science-based arguments, and finally create a mandatory basis for environmental health conditions worldwide, so that the medical care of patients can be assured.

MCS and EMS organizations sign the WHO petition

The petition, which seeks to ensure that the situation for people, who are chemically sensitive or electro-sensitive, was improved by the Spanish organization „Asquifyde”. The petition was signed by many organizations, researchers, and practitioners from around the world. The hope is that WHO will implement this petition, which would apply a consistent international code of disease (ICD) in all countries worldwide for those with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and electromagnetic sensitivity (EMS). This ICD code is important because it will allow patients’ doctors to give an accurate diagnosis with expected benefits from the health insurance, which already exists for other disabilities and illnesses. The existence of MCS and EMS has already been demonstrated.

In all countries, binding ICD-10 code for MCS and EMS

Currently, Japan (T65.9) and Germany (T78.4) have the ICD-10 code for MCS. Other German-speaking countries like Switzerland, Luxembourg and Austria ,through their Ministry of Health, say that in their countries the ICD-10 code for MCS, T78.4, is valid and can be used as well.

Submission of evidence to the WHO

It is possible to contribute and submit other important documents regarding the scientific aspects of MCS and EMS, to the WHO. During the next few days a PDF may be sent via e-mail to: which is the Spanish organization. All documents received by medical experts and lawyers for environmental law will be organized in terms of their relevance and then selected for submission to the WHO.

Confirmed participation in the WHO hearing

Until May 3rd, 2011 it possible for organizations, academics, lawyers, and doctors to register for consultation with WHO in Geneva. This requires a binding confirmation take place with Asquifyde. The organization will report the final number of participants on May 3rd to Dr. Neira, after which it is appropriate to reserve a space.

WHO press conference after hearing

According to the WHO, a press conference will take place after the hearing. It will be headed by Sonia Miguel Jara and journalists. To fund this important press conference following the WHO hearing, Asquifyde and other MCS and EMS organizations, are asking anyone who is concerned about the environmental concerns of those ill from environmental factors to contribute financial support.

Help the environmentally ill

Scientists estimate that about 15-30% of the general population in industrialized countries suffer with MCS. The number of EMS stakeholders increases by the progressive expansion of mobile networks also. These people are almost without exception, without the help and support, which contradicts the international disability convention and applicable laws. Ignoring and negation of environmental diseases in recent years has led to indescribable suffering and to considerable financial losses to the economy. It is hoped that the leaders at the WHO, will respect the suffering of those patients with MCS and EMS and take seriously the international petition and act according to their stated mission which is to provide assistance to those disabled internationally.

Author: Silvia K. Müller, CSN – Chemical Sensitivity Network, 2 May 2011

Translation: Christi Howarth for CSN

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Environmental Diseases: To understand or ignore

This is Eva’s contribution about the cinema published in the magazine Delirio that she has translated into English. The script about toxics and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is entitled “Rear Window” and it’s a tribute to the great filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. The photos, as usual, are made by David Palma.

Eva recommends this number of the magazine Delirio dedicated to the cinema because you will find amazing photographs and illustrations.

Rear Window

By Eva Caballé

The room is almost empty; nothing but a bed and an old bedside table without any decor or curtain, all in light colors. It seems calm and quiet. The woman sits on the edge of the bed in front of the window, looking at the sunlight, which is orange because of the sunset. She has a quick look out the window and then observes more carefully, stretching her neck as if she is looking for something. She turns and talks to the young woman who has just entered the room with an ironic and concerned smile.

Woman: Don’t you see how everybody is disappearing? It is no coincidence! They started to spray the park, day after day, while children were playing, and parents and grandparents sat in the sun chatting while watching them.

The young woman puts her hand to her waist with a tired look and responds, gesturing with her other hand, while she snorts, implying that she is tired of talking always about the same thing.

Young woman: You only see conspiracies; for you all is very simple. How can you be so sure if you hardly leave home? When you live through your window! Instead of spending hours writing pamphlets that I’m sure nobody reads, and taking pictures, shouldn’t you focus on your next book?

The woman’s expression becomes serious and she turns angry replying with some indignation.

Woman: But it’s obvious! It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes! The dog of the first floor neighbors died a few days after the first fumigation. They say that he was intoxicated by something that he ate… A few days ago an ambulance took the old woman who lives upstairs in the middle of the night and she is still hospitalized, when in the 40 years I have lived here I had never seen her having a cold! And what about the children on the fourth floor? (She takes a break to breathe because she speaks so fast that she is even short of breath.) Every day I see them with their bronchodilators and every other minute in the ER! Their neighbor has cancer and since she’s having chemotherapy she can no longer tolerate perfumes and now she has to wear a mask when she walks along the street. (Now almost shouting.) They say that she has Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and doctors don’t pay attention to her!

The woman makes faces parodying the young woman’s lecture that she already expects and knows by heart.

Young woman: You are a bit alarmist! There are only a few people who suffer from MCS; there is no need to worry. Today almost everyone has allergies or asthma. Authorities warn us that one out of every four people will have cancer in their lifetime. (Goes back and speaks from the doorway leaning on the door frame.) This is the modern life. We all have to die of something!

The woman turns and answers indignant from the bed.

Woman: And does it seem normal to you? Really? And when this affects you, will you still think the same?

The young woman finally leaves the room and her voice is heard from the hallway with a tone between weary and sarcastic.

Young woman: Well, see you next week. Do not keep on spying on your neighbors because you will end up crazy. You should amuse yourself and don’t fantasize anymore.

The woman answers raising her voice while the young woman closes the front door and leaves the house.

Woman: Don’t worry, my attitude has no solution. (And finishes angrily talking to herself.) And neither does your stupidity.

The woman is still staring out the window with indignation and with a worried face and thinks aloud.

Woman: Does anyone realize? I see everything so clearly that it scares me. Makes me want to open the window and shout it from the rooftops, but will anyone hear me? Why don’t they listen even when you alert them? (With a sarcastic tone.) Having no time and the fast pace of life sounds like cheap excuse to me. (She stands up and gets closer to the window.) It’s simple. We’ve become worse than donkeys, because it is not needed to put blinders on us to not look beyond the established road. We no longer have the instinct to do it! We are afraid of what we might see, lest we have to react. (The sun has set and she begins to close the blind.) It must be that I have no fear of looking or I have nothing to lose. It must be that my window is different…

Author: Eva Caballé, No Fun Blog, February 2011

Original article: LA VENTANA INDISCRETA, artículo sobre tóxicos y Sensibilidad Química Múltiple publicado en la revista DELIRIO

German Version at CSN Blog: Umweltkrankheiten: Hinschauen oder wegsehen?

More articles written by Eva Caballé:

The last few months of the life of Angelika S. who was chemically sensitive

Chemical Sensitivity – MCS is recognized as a disease and as a physical disability in Germany. The disease is coded at ICD-10 with T78.4 as an organic disease. One might think that people with MCS get proper medical treatment, are treated with fairness like other disabled people, get special workplaces and receive help. Sadly all of this is still lacking in Germany. People with MCS are left without medical attention and accommodations. If their families are unable to take care of them they are lost. For the very sick this sad and unacceptable situation can end in disaster as in the following authentic case.

The last few months of the life of Angelika S.

The last few months of the life of Angelika S.

Six months ago Angelika S. was still doing fairly well. She lived with her family in a suburb of a German town. She loved animals and had a small animal hostel. She also cared deeply about other people.

I got to know her through my cousin who often visited her and mentioned four months ago that Angelika too had strange symptoms similar to my own. Suddenly, she didn’t tolerate fabric softeners – the shower gel of her family, the deodorants and a lot more now made her sick. My cousin told her about me and so we got in touch, first writing letters. She was looking for informational material about chemical sensitivity and I was sending it to her. About the same time I heard that she couldn’t tolerate the furniture and the flooring anymore and was sleeping on the kitchen floor on blankets. From now on everything went incredibly fast…

Nearly every day my cousin called me to report new intolerances. Because of the heat in August, she could only sleep outside on the patio on a kind of futon mat made from compatible materials. Then even this wasn’t possible anymore for her…

Calling an environmental doctor she was told, she would have to wait several weeks (vacation etc.). Then I could contact to her on the phone too. She was able to talk only five or seven minutes, because in addition now she had become electromagnetically sensitive.

Then I gave her the advice to drive to a nature area in her neighbourhood. She did so with her husband each morning between 7 and 8 o’clock. There she did much better. But it speeded up:  difficulty in breathing… heart palpitations …. decreased muscle tonus in the arms and legs …. pulmonary problems …. everything took a turn for the worse.

Since she couldn’t use the phone anymore, I talked to her husband instead. In September he brought her to an abandoned campsite of his club and they slept in the car…in small cars…she in her car and he in his car because his one was contaminated with chemicals from his work. During the daytime he had to drive 25 kilometres to his workplace and to leave her alone there. In the evening he was cooking the meals for her and brought them to her… again 25 kilometres … The nights in the car… bad for the joints.

Then her husband called the environmental doctor again and got the advice to arrange a clean room for her in their house. He should tile the room and keep her in it. So he removed the floor, tiled the room and painted the walls with safe chalk paint. Angelika still was at the campsite, alone during the daytime and it started to get colder…Two air purifiers where bought from PureNature, oxygen for the ride to her home… and then the attempt to bring her back to the new safe room. During the whole time her husband had to take time off from work which got more and more difficult. They had to worry that he would lose his job too.

When she was back at home, my cousin couldn’t come for a visit anymore. Also no one from the family could come to see her. When her son came, she had to escape, and had no contact to her beloved grandchild.

I have had Multiple Chemical Sensitivity for over ten years now, but I had the chance to grow into the situation and I know what isolation means. The soul suffers…tears come…sometimes depression…and when there is no or little hope and you do not really know what will happen to you…then everything is even worse.

But Angelika was learning fast and tried to avoid everything which made her sick; she ate organic food and changed everything.  But it takes time until all smells are out of a general household.

I supported her as much as I could by calming her down and providing her with information…Then the appointment with the environmental doctor came…He said that she has full blown Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and suggested a therapy only of B12 shots for six weeks daily with added B1 and B6. She started his therapy, but everything got worse.

Angelika had reached the end stage of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity in only six months.

When she still wasn’t doing so badly – that was in September this year – I had offered her a invitation to come to my place and try it here, but she wanted to try first the tiled room at home.

Last Saturday her husband called me to tell me that they had to drive to the forest or to a graveyard each night.  Otherwise she wasn’t able to breathe…The heating period made the air in the town intolerable for Angelika. Each night she suffered from heart palpitations, shortness of breath and many more symptoms.

I told them to try to come over to me and so they arrived at nine o’clock Saturday, October 25th.

The last days of the life of Angelika S.

She arrived totally exhausted with a mask and heavy use of oxygen on the ride. We placed her on the porch.

For me her clothes were totally contaminated from her environment. I had to keep distance. Then she wanted to change her clothes.  I offered her some of my clothes, but she couldn’t tolerate them. I had used an unscented safe washing powder which I tolerate very well.

AngelikaTo let her into the house we had to shower her in the evening. I found old jogging pants of my husband’s and a cotton pullover; both had not been washed for a long time, and socks…

But on what should she sleep? She couldn’t tolerate wood anymore, no natural wood furniture. It didn’t matter if it was old or not. She even couldn’t tolerate the very old closet in the room we arranged for her. She wanted to sleep on the floor on linen which had not been washed for a long time and on a blanket which had been hanging in the attic for a long time too.

The windows to the forest were open all night and all day…

We live here in Germany in a wide forest area at Vogelsberg and so she was doing well with the clean air. However, last Monday it got damp and foggy and we had bad weather.

Her hope vanished that she would slightly recover here, but she wanted to try.  She didn’t want to go back…

Angelika - Very sick woman - Multiple=

Either she lay or sat on the porch …. I cooked for her, gave her much water to drink …. tried everything possible to help her to restore her soul and mind …. told her about CSN and other sufferers who had recovered by avoiding substances and by isolating themselves. Each day we left for a walk in order to get some fresh air. So far she was still able to walk for an hour.  On Tuesday, though slowly, she was able to walk until a car passed by and left exhaust emissions, which affected her in spite of her mask.

Then she said she couldn’t live a life as I do, without people around her and in isolation for such a long time and then it got worse and worse.  She had no hope that she could stay here any longer because she couldn’t tolerate the damp air especially during the nights.  She refused to eat or drink anymore.  She was in despair and her mucous membranes were – as in her home – bright red and swollen.

She had to leave, but where to go????

We were considering many possibilities: Switzerland, North Sea…back to the campsite because there is not that much forest in its neighbourhood…setting up an aluminium shed…but how to heat it…and so forth…

On Wednesday at 3 o’clock p.m. the son of my cousin came with a big car which was safer than her car. Her husband and we said goodbye…

They didn’t know where to go…they didn’t know…what to do….so they first drove back to her tiled room and then to the close-by nature site.

She survived the ride at five degrees Celsius inside the car and then I heard nothing from them anymore.

On Thursday afternoon when her husband had to go to work and go shopping for food, she put an end to her life!  I did not learn of it until Friday evening because it was the wish of her husband.

We are in deep grief about this lovely person…a human…who still could be living if there was accommodation for cases like hers in Germany. If there was just one clinic to go to which had clean rooms as at the Environmental Health Center in Dallas / USA. If we just had doctors who could diagnose chemical sensitivity in time.  If we just had support for the relatives who don’t know why all this happens.

This ignorance and intolerance about environmental diseases MUST stop. These are diseases that have been described by scientists like Prof. Martin Pall and others.  It’s well known what these diseases DO exist.

I have seen two suicides since last July.

  • Two precious humans who didn’t know what to do because of their boundless despair.
  • Two humans who felt as a burden to their families.
  • Two humans who had worked hard all their lives.

We lament Angelika S. and we are shocked because of the lack of help for people with severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.

May the God of solace comfort the suffering of the relatives and may they find hope that their suffering is not forever…

That it will not be like this forever…

That the suffering stops some day…

And that some day there will be a recovery of all things lost…

Authors: Wolfgang and Mona B., Silvia, CSN – Chemical Sensitivity Network November 2009