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Re: A bit of history, for those new to the anti-dioxin move

  I am joining a discussion on asthma and dioxin which may have long since
  petered out.But I am very interested for personal reasons. 
  My academic and political interest for many years has been in
  social and political struggles of women in toxic politics. 9 months ago, i
  was diagnosed as having asthma. living in polluted downtown Toronto and
  having a mother who had adult onset asthma, I thought I knew pretty much
  why i contracted this horrible disease. But in reading more about it, I
  agree with whoever wrote about it not just being a problem of respiration
  of bronchial irritants. Jon Campell's discussion of the industrial
  revolution  makes sense to me. It would make  sense
  that introducing plastics incineration into the picture would alter the
  If dioxins and furans act as endocrine system hormones, might they not
  also disrupt other hormones in the body? My understanding is that the body
  reads certain triggers as dangerous and sends out a lot of histamines,
  create a lot of thick mucous in the lungs which restricts breathing. How
  does this reading occur? Could it be affected by dioxins/furans as ah
  receptors are affected?  
   What  are histamines? An article on asthma epidemic in Time said they
  were hormones. My doctor says not.
  The conventional treatment to control asthma is inhaled corticosteroids
  which work to depress the immune system and to prevent the "over-reaction
  response " which stops the over-production of histamines. I think...
  Actually the literature on asthma is confusing. There is another  body of
  lit that connects it to underproduction of CO2 in the lungs as well as the
  discussion already cited about the inspiration of various pollutants which
  act to mechanically irritate the lungs.
  Any further thoughts anyone?
  Harriet Rosenberg
  Health and Society Programme
  Social Science Division (Arts)		 
  York University
  Note New E-Mail Address: hrosenbe@yorku.ca 
  On Sun, 10 Aug 1997, Jon Campbell wrote:
  >  Hi,
  > Those are precisely my thoughts on the subject. I have
  > been thinking
  > about the fact that, in the early part of the
  > Industrial Revolution, when
  > London, New York, Liverpool, and other early industrial
  > cities were
  > thick with smoke, the amount of bronchial asthma in the
  > population
  > was still very, very small. Lots of emphysema, lots of
  > lung cancer,
  > but few reports of asthma, whose symptoms are very
  > specific
  > (not chronic lung insufficiency, but acute
  > sensitivity). There were
  > also lots of incinerators - one in virtually every
  > apartment building -
  > burning everything imaginable (but NOT organochlorine
  > plastics,
  > because there weren't any!) SOMETHING
  > in "modern" smoke is interfering in some way with the
  > bronchial
  > immune response. Again, this is a complete surmise, a
  > total
  > guess, that organochlorines (not even necessarily TCDD)
  > might be involved. Of course, Sam and Alex, you might
  > be
  > right about heavy metals. Those were also absent in
  > turn-of-the-century
  > smoke. ...
  > By the way: to Sam and Alex:
  >  I hope you two didn't take my disagreement
  > with you about GP sampling the wrong way. I have a
  > great
  > deal of respect for your contributions both to this
  > mail-list
  > and also to the environmental movement in general. I
  > just
  > disagree about whether extraordinary (read: illegal)
  > means
  > are occasionally justified. And we needn't beat the
  > stuffed
  > horse about it more...
  > Thanks,
  > Jon
  > -----Original Message-----
  > From: Rebecca Leighton Katers <cwac@execpc.com>
  > To: Multiple recipients of list
  > <dioxin-l@essential.org>
  > Date: Saturday, August 09, 1997 7:45 PM
  > Subject: Re: A bit of history, for those new to the
  > anti-dioxin move
  > Regarding the question of a possible dioxin and asthma
  > link:
  > My understanding is that asthma is more than just
  > a response to air pollutants entering the lungs.
  > It's the result of an immune system malfunction.
  > While evidence of a direct breathing response to
  > dioxin may not be in the literature --- dioxin
  > and other chlorinated organics are suspected of
  > damaging the immune system.
  > Isn't it possible that dioxin's damage to the immune
  > system is making people more vulnerable to
  > developing an asthma response to other
  > pollutants?
  > Rebecca Leighton Katers
  > Clean Water Action Council of N.E. Wisconsin
  > 2220 Deckner Avenue
  > Green Bay, WI 54302
  > Phone:  414-468-4243
  > Fax:  414-468-1234
  > E-mail:  cwac@execpc.com