What is Toxic Encephalopathy?
of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a division of the National Institutes of
Health, definition: Disease of the brain that alters brain function or
structure caused by: Infectious agent (bacteria, virus or prion), Metabolic or
mitochondrial dysfunction, Brain tumor or increased pressure in the skull,
Prolonged exposure to toxic elements (including solvents, drugs, radiation,
paints, industrial chemicals and certain metals), Chronic progressive trauma,
Poor nutrition, Lack of oxygen or blood flow to the brain.
What is Neuro-toxicity?
Exposure to natural
or manmade toxic substances (neurotoxicants) that alters the normal activity of
the nervous system, Disrupts or even kills neurons---key cells that transmit
and process signals in the brain and other parts of the nervous system,
Exposure to substances used in chemotherapy, radiation treatment,
organ transplants, Heavy metals such as lead and mercury, Certain foods and
food additives, Pesticides, Industrial and/or cleaning solvents, Cosmetics and
artificial or man-made fragrances, Some naturally occurring substances,
Symptoms may appear immediately or be delayed.
Does it have any more common names?
ADD, ADHD, Parkinson’s, Chemical Injury, Environmental
Illness, Gulf War Syndrome, Autism, Alzheimer’s. All of these have some
relation to chemical exposures.
What causes it?
of normal brain function is caused by: depletion of oxidative energy,
deprivation affecting nerves and neurons, exposure to foreign material which
may be( exogenous in origin, generated within the central nervous system, or
generated within the body1), Inflammation.
1Jacob Valk and M. S. van der
Knaap, Toxic Encephalopathy, AJNR 13:747-760, Mar/Apr 1992, 0195-6108/ 92/1302-0747
are some of the signs and symptoms?
They can be either
immediate or delayed onset: Sensory, Voice/speech, Respiratory, Muscular,
Dermatological, Neurological, Insomnia, Short-term memory loss, Aphasia,
Executive function and self-regulation skills, Syncope/consciousness, Mental
clarity/intoxication, Intelligence decline, Headaches/Migraines, Decreased
concentration, Excitability/convulsions, Motor/sensory disturbances,
How prevalent is it?
30.5% of the general
population found scented products on others irritating, 19.0% reported adverse
health effects from air fresheners, 10.9% reported irritation from scented
laundry products vented outside, Results were nearly twice as high for people
How is it diagnosed?
Neurological work up, Chemical/food provocation/neutralization,
Mitochondrial, Urine, Comprehensive Thyroid, Organophosphates Profile, Volatile
What is the treatment and
irreversible, treatment is primarily symptomatic, Elimination/avoidance
modifications, Natural/organic diet, Filtered water, Nutritional supplements,
Counseling, disability acceptance, Brain/cognitive exercises, Exposures increase
Are there any barriers that impact
fragrances/Personal care products, Air fresheners, Cleaning products,
Pesticides, Ozone Generators, New Buildings/Renovations, Furniture, Natural
Gas, Electro-magnetic radiation, Laundry products.
Is this covered by the ADA and what
accommodations are reasonable?
Yes, this is
covered. Fragrance-free policies, Telecommute for employment, telephonic
participation, Integrated Pest Management/barrier protocols, Metal desks and no
carpet, Chemically neutral cleaning supplies, Non-VOC building materials,
Increased air exchanges, Identify and remediate all noxious odors (water
damage), Wired internet, VOC removal air filters, Non-VOC furniture or seal
furniture to prevent off-gassing.
Please visit: NTEF-USA.Org.