Air Date: 10-18-2013| Episode: 302
This week on IAQ Radio we welcome Steve Temes, founder of Airways Environmental Services located in Red Bank, NJ. Mr. Temes is an indoor environmental health professional that specializes in working with chemically sensitive individuals in New Jersey and New York City…
Proclivity, chemical sensitivity
Steve Temes is an indoor environmental health professional who specializes in working with chemically sensitive individuals. On today’s episode of IAQ, Steve provided his take on MCS.
Nuggets mined from today’s episode:
•Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, aka environmental illness, chemical intolerance, all imply sensitivity to substance(s): chemical biological or particulate. There is no medical diagnostic test for MCS. The subject of MCS is controversial due to: source of responsibility, the need to choose sides, politics, etc.
•According to Steve, chemical sensitivity is a neurogenic reaction. While individuals may react differently and suffer from a wide range of symptoms, the common thread is neurological inflammation.
•Every sensitized person is a unique case. Some people have genetic predisposition.
•Women are more to report symptoms. Women are more in tune with their bodies and more willing to share personal information.
•It’s not the people with emotional or psychological issues are more prone to suffer from MCS, but rather people with MCS aren’t normal. People with MCS may be isolated, unable to live in their home, go shopping, etc. Meds that quiet the nervous system, reduce serotonin uptake have been reported to be beneficial to people suffering with MCS.
• Spreading phenomenon, once a person has been sensitized to a substance, it’s not unusual for sensitivity to spread to chemically similar substances and potentially beyond.
•Dust is an irritant. World Trade Center dust is a known irritant due to source based alkalinity. Dust also can adsorb and transport other substances.
•In industry, chemical sensitivity workmen’s comp claims are often unchallenged.
•Mold related illness may begin with sensitization to MVOCs and then expand to sensitivity from fragrances, gasoline, etc.
•Odor plays an associational role in MCS. Both pleasant odors and unpleasant odors can trigger fight or flight response. Heightened awareness may develop.
•”The body’s immune system has a memory mechanism.” Innate immunity is a nonspecific defense mechanism that surfaces immediately or within hours of the appearance of antigen in the body. Adaptive immunity refers to antigen specific immune response. “Adaptive immune activity enables the body to mount an early defense against exposure to a recognized foreign substance. Allergenic reactions to proteins are mediated by IgE antibodies and typically have a mast cell surface receptor. Chemical sensitivities involve receptors on sensory neurons.”
•When clients make their own diagnosis as to what’s causing their problem’s Steve becomes deputized to exonerate the innocent and find “the real killer”.
•”Narrowing the focus of the investigation requires that the client become “unmasked”. They must allow the sensory nerves to be in a receptive state before isolating samples of potential irritants outside the environment and then exposing themselves to them one at a time.”
•The client needs to be the investigators “sensory instrument”.
•Remediation strategies include: source removal, “odorless cleaning”, post remediation removal of “odor sinks” (porous materials such as: paper, sheetrock, ceiling tile, etc. Additional tactics include: bake outs, dilution via added ventilation, encapsulation of structural materials. Residual volatiles may remain after remedial cleaning.
•Customers need to evaluate all remediation products by “sniff testing” prior to use.
•Steve’s rules of client engagement are: good faith, trust and honesty.
•He doesn’t guarantee his clients livability of remediated space or freedom from symptoms. He does guarantee to demonstrably make it better. He doesn’t guarantee that better will be good enough.
•Recommends IEPs read papers by: Martin L. Pall, Ph.D and William Joel Meggs, MD
•Steve’s last word: “It’s about the immunology and neurobiology, not the toxicology.”
Today’s music: “Allergic to the 20th century” by Kim Palmer
Z-Man signing off