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Re: A bit of history, for those new to the anti-dioxin move
Jon thanks for the reponse. As I think about my personal health history, I
think about the asbestos wrapped pipes in the basement of our old house,
my father as a four pack a day smoker, living in a polluted city near an
auto paint shop and a field trip to Seveso a year before the diagnosis.
Not a list that would make an epidemiologist clap her hands with the joy
of indisputable correlation, but interesting none the less.
The immune system reponse is fascinating. I am still wondering what a
Health and Society Programme
Social Science Division (Arts)
Note New E-Mail Address: email@example.com
On Fri, 28 Nov 1997, Jon Campbell wrote:
> Hi, Harriet,
> I'm gratified that you would quote me regarding the introduction of
> plastics into industrial chemicals and products.
> There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that something really
> quite odd is going on with respect to asthma, diesel exhaust, incinerators,
> and dioxin (or maybe other organochlorine by-product, but dioxin is the most
> potent of them...). The dioxin air emissions from incinerators are primarily
> carried clinging to microscopic and sub-microscopic particulates. Diesel
> exhaust is also known to contain dioxin, and the pattern of dispersion is
> likely to be the same. As you know, the incidence of asthma in cities in
> general and incinerator cities specifically has skyrocketed, to the point
> where 1/3 of the kids have asthma and many adults are developing it as well.
> There are many possible scenarios, for instance:
> 1. Dioxin interferes with the immune system. That much is known. The immune
> system also has something to do with the Ah receptor, but the research is
> sketchy. General immune system depression (to common colds and flu) is a
> common symptom of dioxin exposure. It is also a common affliction of
> "modern" allergy/asthma sufferers. Maybe there is a connection or
> correlation there.
> Whatever it is, breathing sub-microscopic particulates with dioxin molecules
> clinging to them cannot be good for one's lungs.
> 2. Dioxin causes dysplasia - the growth of a type of cells that don't belong
> in the place where they are growing. (An example is endometriosis, for which
> dioxin is a known cause and, I believe, the only known cause). I have heard
> of stomach acid cells growing on the lining of the esophagus.
> At least one researcher has found a correlation between stomach acid
> irritation and asthma. Another possible avenue of research.
> In the city, asbestos is also a factor. Its irritative potential is
> magnified by orders of magnitude when there are also aromatic hydrocarbons.
> I hope this helps...
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Harriet Rosenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: Jon Campbell <email@example.com>
> Cc: Multiple recipients of list <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Date: Thursday, November 27, 1997 4:16 PM
> Subject: 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: email@example.com
> >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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> >> To: Multiple recipients of list
> >> <email@example.com>
> >> 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: firstname.lastname@example.org