By Elvira Truglia in Huffpost Living.
It’s already been 50 years since a health condition known as environmental sensitivities (ES) started to emerge. People with ES are the proverbial canaries in a coal mine — warning the rest of the population of danger ahead, kind of like extreme weather.
It’s time to start paying attention to the “canaries” — in the medical profession, in the public health care system, in the workplace and in society at large. Ignoring them puts a big strain on the purse strings of a health care system unable to meet the complex needs of three per cent of the Canadian population (and growing).
According to a Statistics Canada survey, there are at least 850,000 people diagnosed with environmental sensitivities in Canada. This number went up by a whopping 34 per cent from 2005 to 2010.
There is now growing consensus that continual exposure to low doses of everyday chemicals can trigger dysfunction of the immune system and changes in brain activity (neurobiological sensitization).
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