What is Environmental Medicine?

People are exposed to a wide variety of contaminants on a daily basis. Living in a supposedly pristine environment does not rule out toxic exposures. We can be exposed to a variety of toxins from many different sources. People who live in the Northeast for example are exposed to toxins in the air that actually originated from factories in the mid west. So even if you live in the Adirondacks or the upper reaches of Maine you still have some exposure from air pollution that originated many, many miles away. Then there are contaminants that are in our food, in products that we buy, and in the materials that we use to construct our homes and offices. Even the clothing that we wear and the bedding that we sleep on can emit low concentrations of toxic vapors. Frequently, through work, play, or just living, people are exposed to a high level of one or more toxins and symptoms begin to arise. For example, the industry worker exposed to manufacturing chemicals, the fire fighter exposed to the multitude of toxins in a structure fire, workers and volunteers responding to hazardous material emergencies such as the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill, the home gardener applying pesticides to their lawn and garden, or simply the person who remodeled their home and was exposed to contaminants in both old and new building materials.

When the body burden of toxic chemicals, aka the toxic load, becomes too great, symptoms can arise such as thyroid dysfunction, prostate enlargement, high cholesterol levels, reproductive problems, bladder incontinence, arthritis, high blood pressure, weight gain and inability to lose weight, hair loss, fatigue, insomnia, gallbladder problems, irritability and depression, and constipation.

The Standing Committee of European Doctors stated in September of 2005 that “the current proliferation of a number of diseases is a consequence of environmental degradation and that chemical pollution poses a serious threat to children and to the human race”. Television programs such as CNN’s Toxics In America are continuing to shed light on this wide spread problem.

I believe that exposure to toxic contaminants is one of the top health issues our generation faces. There is a growing body of evidence linking endocrine, immune, and neurological heath issues to low dose exposures to multiple chemicals and toxins. It is becoming widely recognized that most cases of cancer can be attributed to exposure to toxic chemicals. In fact, the American Cancer Society reports that environmental factors account for 75% of all cancers and it has been estimated that 1 in 3 people will get cancer in one form or another. I like what Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald says in her book The Detox Solution: We are spending billions of dollars looking for the cure to cancer while we are also spending billions of dollars creating the cause.

Dr. Ferreira is an environmental specialist and has studied environmental medicine with Dr. Chris Spooner of Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Dr. William Rae of the Environmental Health Center-Dallas Tx.

hand icon, links Links
Learn more about healthy living at some of these sites!
form icon Forms for New Patients
Here you will find the forms needed for your first appointment here.
acupuncture, icon Acupuncture
Learn about it here!
clipboard, appointment icon Set Up An Appointment!
Start living your new healthier life now!