Does anyone else think we're "canaries in the mine"?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ravenpaige, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. ravenpaige

    ravenpaige New Member

    I've been thinking a lot about the neuro-immune conditions like CFS, FMS. MCS, etc., and I'm wondering if we're just canaries in the mine? In other words, are we all, for some reason (maybe a virus for some, maybe heredity for others, maybe just acute exposure for some), are we all just a sign of things to come? Or maybe a more dramatic manifestation of what is? It seems that so many illnesses have been on the increase lately...cancer, autism, alzheimers...is this all just related to how much we haven't cared for our environment and the world around us? So now, we're maybe the ones with most dramatic effects, but almost everyone in the world is suffering from a world environment that's sick? What do you think?
  2. GigglePoet

    GigglePoet New Member

    HI Raven,
    I have been a MCS-EI sufferer for 20 years this year. Our environment gets more and more toxic all the time,Where can a person go to find clean air and things that are back to basic? it is hard. I believe we are the canaires that the world should be listening to. It is sad to know that Our world is under global warming now, but in a way, I think that gives me hope. Within the years to come I hope humankind will clean up their act and we will have different things to use besides things such as gasoline etc that are poluting our environment. One think I will share with you is that my husband went out and bought a whole bunch of those new energy saving lighbulbs,and we had to take them back as I reacted to them they had a very strong chemical smell at the very base of them. I could smell the fumes coming off of them even after they were placed into the sockets, they have murcury inside of them. These were the General Elictric brand I believe. I was very disapointed, gosh how dangerous though if one of those bulbs were to explode just thinking of that mercury. I think they need to go back to the drawing board on that one.On a positive note, I have seen some changes in 20 years, there has been more of a trend towards natural clothing. When I first got sick I couldn't find cotton garments anywhere except for the salvation army now you can find them in more stores..Yeah! Yes we as a society are killng ourself tring to better ourselves with these modern convieniences,plastics,Microwaves Etc. World wake up and listen to this conarie signing tring to warn you!

    God Bless and Hugzzzzzzz Dee
  3. 545

    545 New Member

    Canaries are supposed to be the first to die; but CFS & FM aren't too associated with a shortened lifespan.

    Moreover, wouldn't you expect proportionally more cases in cities with lots of cars? rather than, initially, places like the desert & up-state New York?

    To give some perspecitve, maybe we are exceeding our limitations with "environmental toxins" and what-not, but we're also exceeding our limitations by living over 30. Here's some data below pasted from wikipedia of different average lifespans of humans during different ages.


    Humans by Era Average Lifespan
    Upper Paleolithic 33
    Neolithic 20
    Bronze Age 18
    Classical Greece 28
    Classical Rome 28
    Medieval Britain 33
    End of 19th Century Western Europe 37
    Current world average 66
    Present Day Native Groups 34

    Not to be overly argumentative, it's just if that if we're going to call ourselves canaries we should have more solid reasons.
    [This Message was Edited on 03/23/2007]
  4. PrariWolf

    PrariWolf New Member

    But your data includes infant mortality. When that is taken into account, lifespans are really not that much greater today, and there IS an increase in degenerative disease and the like in industrialized societies. Mere lifespan averages only tell a small part of this omplex tale -- look at rates of cancers in younger populations, diabetes, etc, and even average heights.

    I DO believe we're canaries in that we're more sensitive to pollutions (including dietary ones such as HFCS, trans fat, & chemical additives) than the average population. After all, someone has to be more sensitive than the general population, and someone has to be more resistant. The "canary in a coal mine" is a good analogy in that respect. The average among us would be wise to see what's coming and shift gears before it's too late.
  5. 139864

    139864 New Member


    I for one am most certainly " a Canary " .Having worked in Electro- Platings toxic environment for eighteen yrs.

    This is a recent abstract from "PUB MED "

    "Neuropsychological studies have documented frontal dysfunction in patients with a history of exposure to organic solvents. The deficits typically observed in these patients appear to be related to working memory (WM).

    This study used [15O] water positron emission tomography (PET) to examine the pattern of neural activation during verbal working memory in patients with a history of exposure to solvents.

    Six individuals with solvent exposure were compared with 6 age- and education-matched controls. On the 2 WM tasks examined with PET, with equivalent task performance, participants with solvent exposure demonstrated frontal peaks that were atypical for the tasks, whereas the posterior peaks were typical for the tasks.

    The results support frontal dysfunction and compensatory use within anterior regions of the WM system in patients with solvent exposure "


    I have spent the last three years trying to educate my doctors ,by taking many ,many of these abstracts /articles to my hosp apps. they believe me now !!!

    Stay WELL
    Brenda uk
  6. woofmom

    woofmom New Member

    The MCS support groups are petitioning to have MCS recognized as a legitimate illness so that research and funding will go towards finding a treatment. Salvadore Lourdes of MCS-America is doing a fantastic job. More people suffer from MCS than diabetes. Did you know that the Governor of Louisiana is very sensitive to fragrance? Alan Moses, who writes for the American Chronicle, has some very good articles about our environment and the illnesses we have that were not around 100 years ago.
  7. victoria

    victoria New Member

    a lot of testing of different types have been done in the desert, not to mention the pesticides in agricultural and lower population density areas...

    There was one small company mfg something (don't remember what, sorry) on the SC side of Lake Hartwell, that polluted the whole lake by flushing prpoduction wastewater into the creek that emptied into the lake ... sediments have covered it up now, but the surrounding area near the mill is still affected... as is groundwater...

    so maybe it's not too surprising at all since that seems to be all too typical. Not many areas are 'pristine' anymore no matter where you live.

  8. 545

    545 New Member

    Good point, PrariWolf, on the infant mortalities; I'd overlooked that in the article, and I'm sure it inflates the figures (but at the same time I'm sure that average lifespan has still increased at least somewhat over history; and wouldn't environmental toxins also lead to infant mortality?-maybe not)

    Hmm, Victoria, I hand't thought of that with regard to types of places - I wonder if there's something about certain areas that makes them harder for the environment to clear toxins, or that somehow "collects" toxins. I mean, obviously big cities have more visible pollution, but maybe somehow something gets sifted over to these other areas. Is there anything in common with the areas where the first "outbreaks" were - the only thing I can think of is that they're all at sea-level, but so are a lot of places.

    Interestingly, around when I'd began feeling tired I'd moved from Santa Fe (very high altitude & clean air) to Baltimore (sea level, polluted as most cities I'd assume). I've been wondering whether the altitude change might have had an effect; I began thinking about this after reading a neat study on a sample of healthy people who exercised regularly; the researchers stopped them from exercising for a week or two and saw that they developed, I suppose, subclinical CFS, the conclusion being that regular exercise "guards" against developing CFS in some people who might otherwise be prone to it; I always loved to exercise. To return to the altitude thing, essentially, moving from high altitude to low altitude, in the short run, has a similar effect as exercising less; and now that I think about it, whenever I'd leave the Santa Fe & return to regular altitude, I'd often be lightheaded & dizzy when I stood up, which is strange b/c I'd think you'd be more lightheaded when acclimating than when de-acclimating. & I wonder if the pollution change might have further qualified the effect somehow...I wonder if anyone's had similar experiences regarding moving to different places right before onset.

    [This Message was Edited on 03/27/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 03/27/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 03/27/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 03/27/2007]
  9. 545

    545 New Member

    Perhaps I worded things wrongly - the idea was more that among healthy people regular exercise "masks" CFS-like symptoms, such that when the exercise subsides or the symptoms get out of hand, things go awry. I didn't mean "guards" as in "helps prevent", more like "postpones".

    Even though exercise is often studied in CFS patients, the link between onset of CFS & premorbid exercise - though validated - seems downplayed; is it just a coincindince that, for an individual before onset, exercise might pose a risk of CFS / postpone its onset, but then later, exercise is a key component of his/her symptoms? Perhaps we should discuss it on a new thread & I could post that study's abstact (the one on the effects of stopping exercising); but overall I'm starting to get the impression that we might have as much to learn about CFS by studying exercise before onset.

    I've also been trying to understand why de-acclimization would have made me feel dizzy & lightheaded during the few years that I was both living & vigoriously exercising at a high climate; I would adjust to the altitude fine, but then I'd visit my grandma in Florida for a week and I'd be absolteuly dizzy & naseaous the whole time - and these are the symptoms associated with acclimating, not de-acclimating, and they highly overlap with neurally mediated hypotension symptoms. Sorry for the tangent - perhaps also worth a new thread - but I'd be curious if anyone's had similar experiences / explanataions / explanations with regard to CFS.

    With regard to pollution, perhaps similar mechanisms are at play; I'm not familiar with exercise's healthful effects upon an individual at the cellular level, but, to speak in very general terms, if exercise is known for washing out the body or detoxing - and maybe it's possible for the body to become dependent upon this - then it would seem like toxins in the environment would make things worse since now the body can't clean itself.
    [This Message was Edited on 03/28/2007]