The Ninth Annual International Symposium on Man and His Environment in Health and Disease

Special Focus: Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields

February 28 - March 3, 1991

 

ASymptom-Based Classification of Envrionmentally Ill Patients: An Exploratory Study@

Joel R. Butler, PhD, William Joseph, PhD, and E.H. Harrell, PhD

University of North Texas

Denton, TX

The purpose of the present study was to discern a symptom pattern for environmentally ill patients and provide evidence of the uniqueness of the resultant pattern to this population. Patients= environmental exposure was confirmed by the presence of toxins in the blood serum. All patients were administered psychological and physical symptom checklists, the Clinical Analysis Questionnaire, and a standardized intermediate neuropsychological examination.

Results indicate a response pattern of symptoms, including fatigue, low energy, weakness, poor concentration, poor memory, poor comprehension, headaches, aches and pains, clumsiness, sinus discomfort, mucus, eye problems, restlessness, and present performance inferior to prior level of functioning. Presence of these symptoms, as well as the uniqueness of this symptom pattern, was supported by comparisons of the patient and standardization groups on the two standardized tests.

 

ANeurological Abnormalities in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome@

Thomas J. Callender, MD

Environmental Occupational Medical Research

Lafayette, LA

During the development of new methods for the evaluation of 36 workers with well-defined chemical exposures resulting in a diagnosis of toxic encephalopathy, an observation was made that these patients have a high incidence of symptoms consistent with the new onset of an intolerance to odors (97%) and persistent fatigue (100%). A new type of brain scan, SPECT-SINGLE PHOTON EMISSION COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAM, were positive in 84.2% of the cases and, in general, revealed decreased regional brain blood flow. The most frequently affected areas involved the frontal and temporal lobes and the basal ganglia. One patient without well-defined occupational exposure, but with a diagnosis of multiple chemical sensitivity and chronic fatigue was evaluated with the same methods and had similar results. One patient was scanned with a more sensitive device, PET (POSITRON EMISSION TOMOGRAM), by imaging regional brain glucose metabolism and had similar results to the SPECT, but additionally showed lesions of the amygdala, putamen, thalamus, and hippocampus. EEG, CT scans, and MRI of the head were negative in all but two cases and gave very little useful information.

These results suggest that the Multiple Chemical Sensitivity/Chronic Fatigue Syndromes could be variations of a neurological disorder involving the olfactory-frontal temporal lobe-limbic system and pons. Becuase of the symptoms produced by these lesions, this disorder would have the appearance of chronic fatigue, atypical allergies to any substance, multiple organ system symptoms, and would not fit into classical disease categories. Such an illness would most likely be misinterpreted as a psychological illness.

 

ACoherence in Water and Living Systems@

Emilio Del Giudice

Instituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare

Milano, Italy

Quantum Field Theory predicts that a large number of particles (atoms and/or molecules) mutually coupled by the radiative electromagnetic field (e.m.f.), when a density threshold is exceeded, undergoes a phase transition. Particles move coherently, kept in tune by a resonating coherent e.m.f. trapped within a region (coherence domain) whose size is the wavelength of the e.m.f. The above coherent dynamics account for the dynamic properties of water.

It is possible to analyze the collective properties of biomolecules and water by using the same kind of dynamics. Some qualitative features of the dynamics of living matter are predicted.

 

AHealth Hazards of Radon@

Ervin J. Fenyves, PhD

University of Texas at Dallas

Richardson, TX

Review of health hazards of radon. Enhancement of the exposure to radon as a consequence of smoking and passive smoking. Analysis of lung cancer death rates in industrial countries generated by occupational and environmental exposure for smokers and nonsmokers in connection with the radon exposure problem. Addressing the most important question: What is the cause of the almost complete lace of any public reaction and EPA regulation?

 

AFood Allergy, Fact or FictionCA Ten-Year Study@

Ronald Finn, MD, FRCP

Royal Liverpool Hospital

Liverpool, Eng.

Food allergy remains a controversial subject, and this is partly due to some of the diagnostic methods such as hair analysis and kinesiology, which have been used by some practitioners. These methods, which are hardly credible, have brought the subject and its practitioners into disrepute. The decade has produced some well-designed, double-blind studies on Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn=s Disease, Migraine and Arthropathy, and there is now conclusive evidence that immunological reactions to foods occur as shown by the demonstration of IgG antibodies to several foods such as casein and lactalbumin. It is suggested that Food Sensitivity should be used as a general term, which can be subdivided into food allergy, pharmacological reactions, partial enzyme deficiencies and reactions of undetermined etiology.

 

AThe Response of Avians to the EEE Virus@

Bertie Griffiths, PhD

Environmental Health Center-Dallas

Dallas, TX

The dominant immunoglobulin, and the longevity of the hemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibodies against the eastern equinine encephalomyelitis (EEE) virus were studied by enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assay (ELISA) and HI test, respectively.

Domestic chickens, ten weeks to eighteen months, were used as sentinels, immunized and hyperimmunized, of varied pedigrees and from different countries. Results (as observed in all chickens studied) show that the H1 antibody (IgG) is short-lived. It peaks and disappears below detectable levels within 30 days. IgM is the dominant immunoglobulin relatively long-lasting and constitutes the secondary response.

These results are contrary to classical expectations. If these responses are characteristic to avians, in general, then the present standard method of EEE virus seroepidemiological surveillance must be modified to be effective; these result also effect an opportunity to study the dominant immunoglobulin involve in human beings to specific micro-organisms and antigens.

 

ABiomagnetics in the Treatment of Human PainCPast, Present, Future@

Robert R. Holcomb, MD, PhD

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Nashville, TN

A 2x2, randomized, double-blind, crossover study was done to assess the efficacy of the Magna BlocJ in reducing low back and knee pain in 54 patients at two centers. The Magna BlocJ is a magnetic treatment device, which contains a quadripolar permanent magnet system. Pain was assessed using a visual analog scale, ranging from zero (no pain) to 100 (maximal pain). Prior to any treatment, the average pain rating was 52.9 " 23.3 points (mean " standard deviation). With treatment, the Magna BlocJ reduced pain by an average of 8.11 " 3.38 points more than did the placebo treatment (p=0.023, Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test, two-sided). The largest improvement occurred at the end of each treatment period (11.96 " 5.24 points after 24 hrs of treatment, p=0.030). If confirmed, this would suggest that the Magna BlocJ is effective in reducing chronic low back and knee pain.

 

AImpairment of the Near Triad in VDT Operators@

Satoshi Ishikawa, MD, Iehiko Tsujisawa, MD, Shigeru Aoki, MD, and Hirohiko Higuchi, MD

Kitasato University

Sagamihara, Japan

Eye strain is a frequent complaint among visual display terminal (VDT) operators who worked 25-30 hrs per wk. We have investigated the effect of sustained accommodative stimulus on th tonic level of accommodation, pupil, and convergence. The results were compared with non-VDT operators. The near triad was definitely abnormal in VDT operators. Asymmetric response of the near triad in the right eye and the left eye was seen. The existence of a hysteresis of the response was also noted.

Various factors were considered to produce above phenomenon. An influence of electromagnetic wave would be considered.

The results will be shown by video.

 

AEosinophilia Myalgia Syndrome (EMS) Secondary to Contaminated Tryptophan II: Clinical Experience@

Russell M. Jaffe, MD, PhD

Princeton BioCenter

Skillman, NJ

An unexplained 1989 outbreak of EMS (elevated absolute eosinophil blood counts, myalgia, and a syndrome of disability unresponsive to treatment) brought prompt epidemiologic and basic science research response. The apparent culprit was the amino acid L-Tryptophan. To protect public health and safety, USFDA issued a voluntary recall of L-Tryptophan containing products. Most researchers developed hypotheses that directly linked a toxic effect or metabolite of L-Tryptophan to the syndrome. An alternate hypothesis was that a contaminant in L-Tryptophan preparations accounts for the EMS. To differentiate between these hypotheses, a clinical study was undertaken. The study made use of the similarity between EMS and allergic autoimmune vasculitis. The author will explain the outcome of the study.

 

AThe Biochemical-Immunology Window: A Molecular View of Psychiatric Case Management@

Russell M. Jaffe, MD, PhD, and Oscar Kruesi, MD

Princeton BioCenter

Skillman, NJ

Molecular regulation of brain metabolism and function can now be measured selectively. Patients with mood and thought disorders can often be classified based on this information. Clinical management can often be improved by therapeutic interventions based on advanced chemical and immunologic testing techniques. The relevant information is distributed over various medical, laboratory, and research disciplines and, thus, is not easily accessible by practicing psychiatrists. This lesson seeks to bridge this gap. This lesson focuses on a molecular and cell biology look at the diagnosis and clinical management of the depressions and the schizophrenias.

 

AEvaluation of the Autonomic Nervous System Response by Pupillographical study in the Chemically Sensitive Patient@

Alfred R. Johnson, DO, Satoshi Ishikawa, MD, William J. Rea, MD, and Shinji Shirakawa, MD

Environmental Health Center-Dallas

Dallas, TX

It is well-known that chemically sensitive patients have the symptoms of autonomic nervous system dysfunction after they are exposed to pesticides or chemical solvents. However, no objective studies have been done to address the change of the autonomic nervous system in chemically sensitive patients. We evaluated the autonomic nerve function using open loop pupillography in 43 chemically sensitive patients, proven either by intradermal or inhaled challenge under environmentally controlled conditions and 18 controls. Of 43 patients, 20 had orgaochlorine pesticides in their blood and 23 had chemical solvents (aliphatic and aromatic) in their blood. The significant differences of autonomic nervous nervous system function were seen in velocity of constriction and dilation time in the chemical solvents patients group, compared to the control group. In the pesticide patients group, the significant differences were seen, not only in the velocity of constriction and dilation time, but also pupil area and velocity of dilation. These results showed that the patients with chemical sensitivity usually had deregulation of their autonomic nervous system. The pupillary abnormalities that were the result of autonomic nerve disturbances were seen in 33 out of 43 chemically sensitive patients by pupillographical examination as compared to a control group. When analyzing the type of autonomic nerve disturbance in the patients, the inhibitory (sympatholytic) type of ANS function was seen in 21 of 33 patients while cholinergic changes were seen in nine patients. This present pupillographical study suggests that there is autonomic nervous system dysfunction in chemically sensitive patients, and their dysfunction can be accurately measured under environmentally controlled conditions.

 

ADevelopment of a Diagnostic Test for Sensitivity to Electromagnetic Fields Based on Quantitative Analysis of Brain Waves@

Andrew A. Marino, PhD, Glenn B. Bell, and Andrew Chesson

LSU Medical Center

Shreveport, LA

Epidemiological studies suggest that chronic exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) increases the risk for disease, particularly cancer. Clinical observations suggest that acute exposure to EMFs produces a broad range of symptoms. Our hypothesis is that EMF effects are post-translational with respect ot the EMF-detecting cell (PDC): Fields are detected by a neural electrogenic protein that mediates subthreshold changes in membrane potential, which modify ongoing oscillatory behavior. The resulting efferent CNS signals initiate nonspecific adaptive responses to the EMF, which may trigger reactions in sensitive individuals. Chronic activation of the adaptive system adversely affects immunosurveillance by natural killer cells, thereby increasing the occurrence of disease. The portion of the theory dealing with the prediction of altered brain-wave activity was tested by exposing subjects to EMFs and comparing the brain waves (in the form of their Fourier transform) with those obtained from the same subject when the EMF was not applied, using the Wilcoxon signed-ranks test. Sham exposure (no field applied) was used as a negative control, light was used as the positive control. The results were (N, # of subjects; ND, # of subjects that detected the stimulus.

 

Experiment #

Stimulus

Normal Subjects

Neurology Patients

 

 

 

 

N

ND

N

ND

1

Sham

16

0

12

0

 

 

Light

16

6

12

5

 

 

2.5 C 0.5 G, 40 Hz

12

8

8

1

2

Sham

10

0

10

0

 

 

0.784 Gm DC

10

3

10

4

 

 

0.784 G, 60 Hz

10

7

10

5

 

 

0.784 G, DC & 60 Hz

10

5

10

6

It is clear that EEG sensitivity to weak magnetic fields is a general characteristic of human subjects, as predicted by the PDC theory.

 

AThe Effects of Strong, Steady Magnetic Fields on the Spiking of Cultured Neurons In Vitro@

M.J. McLean, MD, PhD; R.R. Holcomb; A.W. Wamil; J.D. Pickett*; and R.B. Palmer*

Depts. of Neurology and Neurosurgery*

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Nashville, TN

The firing of action potentials recorded intracellularly from somata of adult mouse sensory neurons in cell culture was decreased reversibly by a static 10 milli Tesla (mT) field produced by an array of four permanent magnets of alternating polarity. Resting membrane potential and input resistance were not affected significantly. A 13.7 mT field produced by two magnets of alternating biological effects of static magnetic fields produced by arrays of permanent magnets may be determined by the configuration of the field or its gradient.

 

AElectric Fields Inside of Cells: Determinants of Structure@

William J. Meggs, MD, PhD

East Carolina University

Greenville, NC

A number of biological processes are characterized by the rapid polymerization of cytoplasmic monomer to form a functional structure which, after the function is completed, rapidly dissolves. These structures have a high degree of spatial organization, which is reproducible from cell to cell. Examples include the polymerization of tubulin monomers to form the spindle apparatus in mitosis, and the polymerization of actin to form the cytoskeletal structure of the pseudopod in the direction of the chemotactic gradient in chemotaxis. A number of observations suggest that electric fields are involved in these phenomena:

We propose that the mechanism by which internal electric fields determine the spatial organization of labile cellular structures is the switching-on of an internal electric field that interacts with the electric dipole moment of cytoplasmic monomers to orient them in the direction of the electric field. The resultant enhancement of the polymerization rate is calculated and found to grow exponentially with chain length, making this an excellent mechanism to explain the rapid switching observed. Polymers will form parallel to the field lines in the model, so simple charge distributions will determine complex structures. This approach allows the calculation of intracellular structures by postulating charge distributions. In the case of mitosis, assuming a dipole field with foci at the spindle poles allows the calculation of the spindle apparatus at metaphase, and excellent agreement with light and electron microscopy data is obtained. Excellent agreement is also obtained with many aspects of chemotaxis.

 

AThe Office Illness Project in Northern Sweden, Part 1: A Prevalence Study of Skin Symptoms among VDT Workers Related to Work Characteristics and Building Factors@

Kjell Hansson Mild, PhD, Monica Sandstrom, PhD, and Berndt Stenberg

National Institue of Occupational Health

Umea, Sweden

An epidemiological screening study of 6,000 office workers in Northern Sweden has been conducted. The workers were selected in a proportional stratified manner from all office employees from workplaces with more than ten office employees. A questionnaire, tested and validated in a prestudy, was used to gather data on the perceived indoor climate and psycho-social work load, demographic data and reported symptoms, work characteristics and building data at work and at home.

The study is the first part in a study of sick building syndrome (SBS) and video display terminal (VDT)-related skin symptoms in office workers. It is followed by two case-referent studies and a complementary study on 15 buildings with high and 15 buildings with low prevalences of SBS.

The data from the questionnaire confirmed that women, more than men, suffer from SBS symptoms and from negative physical climate factors. SBS cases are more prevalent among workers with a personal history of atopy and among VDT users. Two-thirds of the office workers used VDTs on a daily basis; 30% less than 1 hr, 20% more than 4 hrs/day. The skin symptoms from the questionnaire showed a clear dose response increase with the time spent in front of the VDT, reaching an odds ratio of about two for the group with the highest exposure compared with the lowest.

 

ACedeta@

Jean A. Monro, MD

Breakspear Hospital

Herfordshire, Eng.

Cell demodulated electronically targeted analgesia treatment device is described. This unique equipment, which has been on trial at the Breakspear Hospital, has been found to be effective in two studies for dental treatments, including fillings and teeth removal and the replacement of epidural anesthesia in labor in a study of 500 patients.

In our evaluation, we have used it for patients with a variety of medical complaints, including arachnoiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, herpes zoster with peripheral neuritis, and others. The theoretical background to this equipment and its eficacy will be discussed.

 

 

ASeasonal Affective Disorder@

Jean A. Monro, MD

Breakspear Hospital

Hertfordshire, Eng.

In recent years, it has become clear that a syndrome of depression during the winter months is quite common. Various causes have been suggested, but the consensus is that it is hormonally controlled. It is usually associated with longer periods of sleep during the winter months and often an increase in weight associated with carbohydrate craving.

It has been described in blind patients and is, therefore, not normally associated with light perception variations with the seasons. It is possible to treat relatively simply, and there is good response to this treatment in most patient. It is also clear that, where the seasonal variations are relatively slight, benefit can still be gained from treatment.

A questionnaire has been devised for patients and a survey undertaken. An analysis of these results will be undertaken and discussed.

 

AElectromagnetic Field Sensitivity@

Yaqin Pan, MD

Peking Union Medical College Hospital

Beijing, China

A single-blind study to assess electromagnetic field sensitivity was performed on 28 environmentally sensitive patients and 24 healthy controls under environmentally controlled conditions using challenge test frequencies from a 3030 sweep/function generator made by the B-K Precision Dynascan Corporation. Patients and controls were evaluated for responses to an electromagnetic field that was generated at various frequencies in range of 0.1 Hz to 5 M Hz. On the average, they were exposed to five placebos. Nineteen patients (68%) had reactions. Of these patients, 6 (32%) reacted to an average of 0.4 placebos (ranged 1 to 2) who could react to the EMF challenge, which was tested immediately before the placebo was given. The greatest positive percentage of patients was at 1 Hz, 2.5 Hz, 10 Hz, 20 Hz, 60 Hz, and 10K Hz. A variety of symptoms were evoked with the neurological being common. All of these patients= reactions were reproduced partially by retest. None of the 24 controls showed any response to the EMF test. This study appears to substantiate that electromagnetic field sensitivity can be elicited under environmentally controlled conditions.

 

ANeuroelectric Therapy (NET) in Chemical Addictions@

Meg Patterson, MD

Visting Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Neuro Systems, Inc.

Dallas, TX

NeuroElectric Therapy (NET) is a ten-day treatment for all drugs of dependence, including alcohol and tranquilizers (four days for cigarettes) by a transistorized, pre-programmed electric stimulator, which rapidly reduces both acute and chronic withdrawal symptomatology of all substances of abuse, without administering drugs, and without any negative side-effects.

It is hypothesized the NET acts by specific electrical frequency stimulation of endorphin production that has been decreased due to chronic substance abuse. There is possibly a chain effect on other neurotransmitters, since both craving and anxiety are demonstrably diminished.

NET used in our rat models has shown that cortisol, serotonin, and hepatic enzyme activity were significantly altered. The findings of other scientists will also be reported.

The latest follow-up of NET-treated patients over seven years showed that 98% were successfully detoxified and that, between 1 and 8 years later, 80% were free of their substance of abuse.

It will be demonstrated that the frequency and shape of the wave are of critical importance.

 

AResponse of Physiological Parameters to Low-Frequency and Low-Intensity of Pulsed Magnetic Fields@

E.A. Rauscher, PhD, and W. Van Bise, EE

Magtek Research Laboratories

Reno, NV

In this paper, we briefly present our research on biological effects of specific frequencies and waveforms of magnetic and electromagnetic field emissions. We have conducted extensive experimentation involving field effects on such physiological parameters as EEG, EKG, and GSR, by externally generated, low-frequency, low-intensity, magnetic, and electromagnetic fields. We have also developed a theoretical model that describes some aspects of the process of information processing in the human body. This work has been conducted over the last eleven years and may give new insights into central and peripheral nervous system functioning as well as cardiac physiology.

The reason we believe these fields can have effect on biological processes in humans, as well as canines (which we have also studied) is that they match some of the natural electromagnetic signals used in transfer of information associated with life processes, i.e., biocybernetics.

The incredible sensitivity of biological systems to extremely low intensity magnetic fields of highly complex combinations of waveform, different frequencies, and intensities is of interest not only because it may help physicians in the clinical setting but to help scientists better understand information processing in living systems.

 

AEnvironmental Magnetic and Electromagnetic Field Monitoring: An Analysis of Field Effects on Biological Systems@

E.A. Rauscher, PhD, and W. Van Bise, E.E.

Magtek Research Laboratories

Reno, NV

The public and the scientific community are in a controversy over the possible harmful or beneficial biological effects of weak electromagnetic and magnetic fields. This controversy can only be resolved by careful scientific research. The issues involved are:

The two major phases of the research conducted, which is described briefly in this report, were the following:

The main emphasis in our laboratory has been to characterize natural and manmade fields in various parts of the United States and Canada as to their frequency content, waveform shape, intensity, possible source location, frequency of occurrence, and degree of variability over time.

In this presentation, we will present a brief, but detailed account of our environmental monitoring on an almost daily basis from 1979.

 

AResults of Treatment for EMF Sensitivities@

William J. Rea, MD, FACS

Environmental Health Center-Dallas

Dallas, TX

Seventy-three patients with electromagnetic sensitivity were treated on a regimen of rotary diet, nutrition, with injection for metals, biolgical inhalants, foods, and chemicals. They also were placed on an avoidance program for electromagnetic generating substances. The length of the follow-up was 1 to 20 months. Twenty-five patients (34.2%) improved, 46 patients (63.1%) stayed the same, and 2 patients (2.7%) got worse.

 

ADiagnosis of EMF Sensitivity under Controlled Conditions@

William J. Rea, MD, FACS

Environmental Health Center-Dallas

Dallas, TX

Seventy-three patients (M-15, F-58), ages 44 " 13.4 years had 116 EMF challenge tests under environmentally controlled conditions. Room measurements of EMF were done before and during the blind challenge. A 3030 Sweep/Function generator (BK Dynascan Corporation) was used for the frequency challenge. Challenges were done at the whole sweep of the scan. Positive reactions were measured by sign and symptom scores and the Iriscorder. The most common positive frequencies were 10K Hz, 60 Hz, 10 + 1 Hz. Sign and symptom changes and Iriscorder changes occurred in 73 testsC49% of the patients. Double-blind challenge was performed in 19 patients with 24 tests. Nine tests and eight patients had positive frequency reactions with negative placebo reactions.

 

AThe Electromagnetic Spectrum: Influence on Pineal Melatonin Production and Potential Health Effects@

Russel J. Reiter, PhD, DMed (Hon.)

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

San Antonio, TX

The human pineal gland, a neuroendocrine organ near the center of the brain, produces an important hormone, melatonin, which has a number of effects on both endocrine and nonendocrine tissues. Melatonin is synthesized by the pineal in a circadian manner with low levels being produced during the day and high levels at night. Melatonin is rapidly released into the blood vascular system; melatonin concentrations during the day are 10-20 pg/ml while at night they are 40-70 pg/ml. The circadian rhythm of melatonin production is normally regulated by visible radiation (light), which is detected by the retina and transferred to the pineal over a series of neurons in the central nervous system. The exposure of humans to light at night is followed by a precipitous drop in both the synthesis and secretion of melatonin. In humans, there is a fluence-response relationship between the intensity (or irradiance) of light and the degree of melatonin suppression. The wavelengths that are most capable of inhibiting melatonin synthesis are 500-525 nm light, i.e., blue light; thus, preliminary data suggest that rhodopsin, which is activated by blue light, is the retinal chemical mediator of the inhibitory effects of light on the pineal gland. Besides visible radiation, extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic (EM) radiation also suppresses nocturnal pineal melatonin production. Thus, in experimental animals (including nonhuman primates and presumably humans), combined 60 Hz electric and magnetic field exposure prevents the nocturnal rise in pineal melatonin synthesis. Also, the exposure of animals to pulsed, static MF is severely detrimental to pineal melatonin synthesis. The pulsed magnetic fields seem to produce their effects by inducing electric currents (eddy currents) in the animals; these currents cause the formation of phosphenes (visual impressions of light), which, like light, suppresses pineal and blood melatonin levels. Since melatonin is a natural anticancer agent, these observations have implications for cancer incidence. The inhibitory effects on these wavelengths on melatonin also relate to immunodeficiency, reproductive dysfunction, cardiovascular problems, and depression.

 

AA Statistical Study of the Reduction in Chemical Sensitivity with a Modified Macrobiotic Diet@

Sherry A. Rogers, MD

Northeast Center for Environmental Medicine

Syracuse, NY

Patients who claimed that exposure to common xenobiotics exacerbated their varied symptoms were asked to evaluate a modified macrobiotic diet. It is a demanding diet requiring total restructuring of the kitchen, diet, household, and life, putting new demands not only on the patient, but on friends and family as well. Many choose not to make this commitment.

To 160 patients who were asked to evaluate the diet, a questionnaire was sent. Many chose not even to try the diet. Forty-eight responded. Of these, 17 questionnaires were disregarded as they had not answered every question on the form. The 31 (13%) remaining responders rated their degress of strictness with the diet on an average of 71% (range 20 to 100%). The average length of time on the diet was 11 months (range 1.5-36). They rated themselves as 67% (10-100%) chemically less sensitive and felt that their overall improvement in total health problems was 76% (30-100).

This overall improvement included other modalities such as injections, nutrient corrections, Candida programs, and a reduction in stress. They felt that 51% (10-100) of their reduction in chemical sensitivity was directly due to the modified macrobiotic diet. Specific case examples will demonstrate dramatic improvement in documented cases of rheumatoid arthritis, acute myelogenous leukemia, chemical, food, mold and electromagnetic sensitivity, Stage IV lymphoma, and multiple sclerosis. The possible mechanisms will be explored.

 

AAutonomic Pupillographic Responses to Double-Blind Electromagnetic Challenge in the EMF Sensitive Patient (Case Presentation)@

G.H. Ross, MD

Environmental Health Center-Dallas

Dallas, TX

A 36-year-old female software engineer presents with a history of fatigue, headaches, inhalant allergies, memory loss, poor concentration, and short attention span for about one year, which was considerably worse after being at work for one hour. She reported widespread chemical sensitivities and other somatic complaints, and stated that she could not read and comprehend well. She had worked as a software engineer for five years, writing actuarial programs, using two computer monitors all day. She was also a part-time graduage student in computer science at a local university. The electromagnetic milieu of her place of work, the university setting, and how it affected her will be described. The patient was tested using the Iriscorder, which is a computerized assessment of autonomic nerve function. A series of double-blind EMF exposures was conducted to see if there would be specific frequencies that would provoke symptoms or that induced changes in the computerized pupillographic testing. The results of a screening challenge of multiple frequencies will be shown, along with the results of a specific double-blind, placebo-controlled challenge of 1.0 Hz. The changes induced in the autonomic nerve function were statistically significant. The implication of this confirmed electromagnetic sensitivity will be discussed in the context of the overall treatment of the patient.

 

AThe Interaction of Vitamin A and Dexamethasone on Post-Natal Behavioral Development@

Colin G. Rousseaux, B.V.Sc., PhD

University of Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

All-trans retinoic acid (RA) and dexamethasone (DEX) are teratogens in mice. A 2x2 factorial design experiment was undertaken using RA and DEX to determine whether RA and DEX interact on post-natal murine development. Forty timed pregnant mice [x2] (bred 08:00-09:00) were divided into four groups. RA was given orally (200 or 50 mg/Kg) on day 10.5 (plug date day=0) in 10 ml/kg corn oil. DEX was diluted in sterile saline and given ip (1.25 mg/Kg) on days 10, 11, 12, and 13 at a volume of 10 ml/kg. RA and DEX reduced maternal hepatic and splenic weights (p<0.05). Maternal weight, feed consumption, implantations, sex of the fetuses and duration of pregnancy did not differ among treatment groups; however, survival and growth were affected. RA (200 and 50 mg/kg) and DEX caused synergistic loss of pups within the first 24 hrs (RA p<0.01; DEX p<0.01; interaction p<0.05). Mice treated with DEX had pups which, on day 21, were heavier than the other groups (p<0.01); interaction with RA (p<0.05) can be explained as removal of the DEX effect. Crown-rump length was initially shorter in RA and DEX groups (p<0.05), but rapidly became longer than the control and RA/DEX groups (p<0.05). No differences were noted in time for developmental milestones to occur (eyes and ears open, hair growth, and independent feeding). RA and DEX increased activity and decreased balance at 14 days. It was concluded that RA and DEX produced synergistic decreased post-natal survival, but minimal interactive effects on postnatal development.

(Support: NSERC OGP0036697)

 

AEvaluation of Subclinical Toxic Insults: Research Strategies@

Colin G. Rousseaux, B.V.Sc., PhD

University of Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Subclinical toxicology, by definition, is a field in which application of the scientific method is difficult. Subclinical toxicity implies lack of overt clinical manifestations of disease following toxic insult; therefore, sensitive methods of detecting subtle changes must be used to determine these toxic effects. This presentation aims to first alert the audience to the problem of toxicity testing, and how a few individuals are going to slip through the safety net. Later suggested methods of research to solve the problem of subclinical toxicity will be put forward. The presentation will firstly outline the methods presently used for toxicity testing, risk assessment, and regulation of compounds. Next a glance at the balance of how the risk assessment process tries to achieve a best results for most individuals will be given. The field of subclinical toxicology will then be outlined, and some of the methods used to determine the subtle endpoints of such toxicity given. Research methods detailed will then be organized in a reductionist method to show how basic questions of toxicity may be evaluated.

(Support: NSERC OGP0036697)

 

ATherapeutic Uses of the Essential Fatty Acids@

Charles J. Rudolph, Jr., DO, PhD

McDonagh Medical Center

Kansas City, MO

The author will discuss the chemistry of the omega three and omega six polyunsaturated essential fatty acids. The metabolic interrelationships and biochemical pathways will be delineated as well as the ability of man to dietarily manipulate the prostaglandins formed from these metabolically significant fatty acids. The relationships between allergic and inflammatory disorders and the dietary fatty acid composition will be covered in an attempt to demonstrate how these dietary manipulations can augment the therapeutic regimes used in the environmentally ill patient.

AThe Office Illness Project in Northern Sweden, Part II: A Case Referent Study of Skin Symptoms Among VDT Workers Related to Electromagnetic Fields@

Mondica Sandstrom, PhD, and Kjell Hansson Mild, PhD

National Institute of Occupational Health

Berndt Stenberq

Dept. of Dermatology

University of Umea

Umea, Sweden

Skin symptoms among VDT-workers have been reported frequently in the last years. The cause for the symptoms has not yet been established. VDT-factors such as electric and magnetic fields, electrostatic charge, indoor climate factors, and psychological factors have been suggested. From a screening study of 6,000 office workers, a group of 150 VDT-workers were selected for a case-referent study. Cases were defined as VDT-workers with sensory and visual facial skin symptoms. Referents were VDT-workers free from such symptoms and matched for age, sex, and living area.

The investigated parameters can be divided into four sections; environmental physical factors as temperature, humidity, and personal charge; background 50 Hz electric and magnetic fields; VDT-related fields both in the line frequency range and the refresh rate range; and other VDT-related factors such as line frequency. The methods used for these measurements will be described.

A comparison between number of cases and referents regarding most of these various parameters showed no difference due to exposure. However, more cases than referents were found among VDT-workers with a high background 50 Hz electric field. Comparing the lowest exposed group with the highest exposed the odds ratio (OR) was a 3.0 (95% CI:1.2-7.2). An increased OR was also found among VDT workers with a high magnetic field in the refresh rate range. The same comparison gave in this case an OR of 2.5 (95%) CI:1.0-6.4).

 

APollution in Paradise: Finding an Eco-Safe Retreat@

Douglas B. Seba, PhD

Environmental Medicine Consultant

Key West, FL

This luncheon talk will relate the speaker=s own personal saga in locating a healthy environment from which to recover from major heart surgery. An environmental illness patient himself with extensive knowledge of pollution sources, it seemed that Key West, Florida, might provide such a location. This, like most such quests for the perfect EI environment, proved to be elusive. One must be aware that there are three distinct sources of environmental insult: physical, biological, and chemical. Contemporary examples of each type will be given and possible methods for mitigating their effects. The road to EI paradise is long and requires numerous compromises between the three types of hazards. In advising patients to modify their habitats, one must strive to strike an appropriate balance between health and hazard.

 

ACoronary Risk Factor Hypothesis: A New Perspective@

A. Rashid Seyal, MD

Seyal Medical Centre

Multan, Pakistan

Behavioral disorders often referred to type AA@ behavior pattern is now a well-documented major coronary risk factor. As a result of our own clinical trials and epidemiologic studies as well as confirming studies of other investigators, it now seems appropriate to initiate studies direct toward uncovering and identifying the intermediary mechanisms that allow a specific emotional complex to accelerate the course of such a complex process, i.e., coronary atherosclerosis. Finally, it now seems appropriate to initiate measures designed to alter or modify type behavior pattern in order to determine whether this pattern can be modified by changing the blend of garments worn next to the skin, and, if so, whether such modification might change the incidence of CHD.

The symptoms related to various behavioral disorder are palpitation, extrasystole, fatigability, generalized autonomic disturbances, precordial oppression, sleeplessness, stabbing over heat, body aches, and respiratory distress. We encountered similar symptoms in patients wearing synthetic clothing. We, therefore, decided to study the relationship between cardiovascular function and clothing. Two groups of patients were studied. Fifty test subjects wore cotton clothing next to the skin. Fifty controls wore clothing made of synthetic fabrics next to skin. The total score reduction for the individual symptoms was 55% in the test group and only 9.5% in the control group. This study also showed a significant reduction in blood pressure and heart rate in subjects who switched over to cotton garments. We, therefore, studied the influence of blend of garments on blood pressure and heart rate, which are independent coronary risk factors. The results showed that the contribution of quality of garments for blood pressure was 27% in children and 74% in adults. These results also showed that the SBP was higher in the range of 11-14 mm Hg in subjects who wore synthetic clothing and DBP was higher in the range of 5-17 mm Hg when we compared it with those wearing cotton clothing.

Similarly, we observed that heart rate in people wearing synthetic clothing was higher in the range of 9-11/min when we compared it with those wearing cotton blends.

 

AElectromagnetic Fields and Health@

Cyril W. Smith, PhD

University of Salford

Salford, Eng.

The role of electromagnetic fields in the development, function, and homeostasis of the healthy human organism is discussed with particular reference to the electromagnetic properties of water. Electromagnetic fields provide yet another environmental stressor that man must succeed in coping with in order to retain health.

 

AElectromagnetic Fields and Diseases@

Cyril W. Smith, PhD

University of Salford

Salford, Eng.

Disease in the human organism is considered as the failure of one of the endogenous regulatory systems intended to maintain homeostasis. The extent to which there may be an electromagnetic component to the processes constituting the disease state as well as the possiblity of the electromagnetic environment contributing to the disease condition is considered.

 

ABiological Effects of Static Magnetic Fields@

Thomas S. Tenforde, PhD

Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories

Richland, WA

A description will be given of the mechanisms through which static magnetic fields interact with living systems. These mechanisms include electrodynamic interactions with moving ionic charges (blood flow and nerve impulse conduction), magnetomechanical interactions (orientation and magnetomechanical interactions (orientation and translation of molecular structures), and interactions with electronic spin states in charge transfer reactions (photo-induced electron tranfer in photosynthesis). A general summary of biological effects of static magnetic fields will also be presented, including experimental evidence for magnetoreception mechanisms in several classes of organisms. In many species of animals, there is no evidence that the interactions of static magnetic fields with flux densities up to 2 Tesla (20,000 Gauss) produce significant behavioral or physiological alterations. Although large electrical potentials are induced in the central circulatory system of animals exposed to high-intensity magnetic fields, there is no indication from extensive laboratory studies with rodents, dogs, or subhuman primates that these electrical stimuli produce alterations in cardiovascular functions. These conclusions, based on controlled studies with laboratory mammals, are supported by epidemiolgical surveys on human populations exposed occupationally to static magnetic fields.

Research support received from the U.S. Dept. Of Energy under Contract DE-AC06-76-RLO 1830 with the Pacific Northwest Laboratory. The Pacific Northwest Laboratory is operated from the U.S. Dept. of Energy by the Battelle Memorial Institute.

 

AMagnetic Fields from Steady Bioelectric Currents@

John P. Wikso, Jr., PhD

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

In contrast to the well-characterized, time-varying electric and magnetic fields associated with action potentials in nerve and muscle tissue, other biological systems produce a variety of steady or slowly-varying electric and magnetic fields that are poorly understood. For technical reasons, the electric fields are difficult to study. The elctrodes used for measuring biologically-produced potentials generate electrochemical potentials at the tissue-electrode interface that are affected by local ionic concentrations, pressure, and movement, and, as a result, produce slowly varying voltage artifacts. The vibrating microprobe, developed by Jaffe and his colleagues, affords measurement of steady potentials in cellular systems, but with this technique, the measurements must be made in a saline bath surrounding the specimen, which prohibits the study of steady currents deep within solid tissue. Magnetic techniques may overcome some of these limitations, since a high-sensitivity Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) magnetometer can noninvasively detect a steady magnetic field emanating from within living tissue, and matematical models can be used to discern the strength and location of the currents that produce this field. Magnetic particle contamination must be avoided, and the measurements must be made in a magnetic shield. Steady field measurements conducted in several laboratories worldwide include observations of transient injury currents associated with myocardial ischemia, and 1-10 pT steady fields from the scalp, abdomen, and limbs. Magnetic measurements of the intact human brain and exposed or isolated animal preparations demonstrate the presence of steady magnetic fields associated with epileptic seizures, migraine, and spreading depression. Developmental currents have been recorded from chicken embryos after only 18 hrs of incubation. The role of steady currents in the development and function of complex biological organisms may have a yet unappreciated significance. While there is a possibility that in certain cases these currents are epiphenomena of little physiological significance, it is as yet premature to dismiss the currents as having no role in either development of homeostasis. If they have a role in physiology, they could as well provide a mechanism for interactions between biological systems and externally-applied magnetic fields. SQUID magnetometers may provide the requisite means for studying these currents.

 

AMagnetic Measurements of Cellular Action Currents@

John P. Wikso, Jr., PhD

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

The human body utilizes propagating action currents to carry information along nerves and to trigger the contraction of cardiac, smooth, and skeletal muscle cells. The elctric potentials associated with these currents can be as large as 10 to 100 mV. These potentials can be readily measured even in the presence of typical environmental electric (E) fields that may be several orders of magnitude stronger, in part because the body is such a good conductor of electricity that it reduces the environmental E fields inside the body. In contrast, the magnetic (B) fields from biological electrical activity are in the range of 0.1 nT to 10 fT, i.e., six to ten orders of magnitude weaker than the B field of the earth, and magnetic transparency of the body does not aid the magnetic measurement. The development of Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) magnetometers have made it possible to record B fields from electrical activity in skeletal and smooth muscle, heart, brain, and nerve. High resolution magnetometers allow recording of the magnetic signals from single isolated nerve and muscle fibers. These measurements and detailed theoretical calculations have helped elucidate the relationship between the E and B fields associated with propagating action currents in the body, and have provided us with models that can be used to test our understanding of the biological effects of electromagnetic fields. Electrical measurements provide information about voltages, while magnetic techniques measure currents, so that by Ohm=s law, combined E and B measurements allow the direct determination of resistance. This capability is proving useful for studying injury and subsequent regeneration of peripheral nerves and may extend our understanding of skeletal muscle plasticity and degenerative neuromsucular disorders. The sensitivity of action currents to the strength of electrical coupling provided by intercellular junctions may simplify studies of the effects of pharmacological agents on cardiac and smooth muscle. Model studies also show that the weakness of the B fields produced by action currents make it unlikely that these fields have any physiological function, in contrast to the electric action potentials. Similarly, efforts to understand possible effects of weak externally applied B fields on biological systems might best be directed primarily to the effects of induced electric currents rather than direct cellular interactions with the B field.

 

ANeuroendocrine Effects of Electromagnetic Field Exposure: Possible Inplications for Cancer, Depression, and Negative Birth Outcome@

Bary W. Wilson, PhD, Larry E. Anerson, and Richard G. Stevens

Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory

Richland, WA 99352

There is now substantial evidence that exposure to 50-60 Hz electromagnetic fields (EMF) can suppress the nightly increase in production of the pineal hormone melatonin. Although the specific characteristics of these fields that are important in determining pineal gland response have not been identified, changes in melatonin production attributable to EMF exposure have now been reported in several species, including rodents, nonhuman primates, and man. Based on the known endocrine, as well as the neuro- and immuno-modulatory roles of melatonin, we have postulated EMF-induced changes in circulating levels of this hormone as a possible etiologic factor in diseases or disorders that appear to be linked with EMF exposure. As suggested by recent epidemiologic studies, these disorders include certain cancers and emotional depression and suicide, as well as possible reproductive and developmental defects. The Amelatonin hypothesis@ suggested, for example, mechanisms by which increases in certain hormone-dependent cancer risk might be associated with elevated EMF exposures. Studies testing this hypothesis have subsequently shown elevations in estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer and testosterone-dependent prostate cancer risk in ocupationally exposed males. The melatonin hypothesis will be presented and discussed, as will petinent data from epidemiologic and laboratory studies, along with results of efforts to determine the important characteristics of the fields themselves. This discussion will be focused on the relationship of these factors to possible increased risk of cancer, affective disorders, and negative outcome in reproduction and development.