• Welcome to Phoenix Rising!

    Created in 2008, Phoenix Rising is the largest and oldest forum dedicated to furthering the understanding of and finding treatments for complex chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), long COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and allied diseases.

    To register, simply click the Register button at the top right.

Ontario (Canada) announces Task Force for Environmental Health, but wait...

ScottTriGuy

Stop the harm. Start the research and treatment.
Messages
1,402
Location
Toronto, Canada
https://johnmolot.com/2016/05/12/timely-news/

I cannot find a press release from the govt to confirm, but presumably true as Dr John Molot is on the task force.

But wait...how is ME an environmental illness? How is FM?

I can see how multiple chemical sensitivities is environmental.

Is this another example of category error for ME?

Molot claims that Dr Hu, the Chair, "is a strong proponent of MCS as a biological condition". I'm curious as to his beliefs about ME, and how ME is categorized as an 'environmental' illness.
 

Chrisb

Senior Member
Messages
1,051
The ambiguities may be of a linguistic nature. There is the use of the old problem term "people with....". Does this mean, all people with, some people with, people within a particular subgroup? It may all be perfectly sensible,... or not....time will tell.
 

Old Bones

Senior Member
Messages
808
https://johnmolot.com/2016/05/12/timely-news/
But wait...how is ME an environmental illness.

I consider the task force good news, especially since many would consider evvironmental illness to fall under the category of MUPS (medically unexplained physical symptoms). But . . .

After having our home renovated with well-researched and environmentally-safe building products, and carefully choosing every item we bring home (furniture, etc.) using the same strict criteria, my MCS symptoms are much reduced. However, I'm still disabled by ME.
 

shannah

Senior Member
Messages
1,429
M.E. is certainly impacted by the environment but other than a subgroup coming down with what appears to be M.E. or something similar through toxic exposure, it puzzles me why they continue to keep it under Environmental Illness.

Wonder who else will be on this task force and who is responsible for appointment. It could be good ... or it could be not so good.

"As a clinician, I am one of 15 people selected to be on the Task Force. There is representation from other important stakeholders, such as patient groups, researchers, and public health professionals, and there are several full time employees of the Ministry assigned to work with the Task Force as well."

https://johnmolot.com/2016/05/12/timely-news/
 

shannah

Senior Member
Messages
1,429
Perhaps we could find out what the process is to apply and get some strong knowledgeable advocates from Ontario to put forth their names or have others nominate them.

@ScottTriGuy would seem an obvious candidate but have no idea whether this is something he would consider or not.
 
Last edited:

ScottTriGuy

Stop the harm. Start the research and treatment.
Messages
1,402
Location
Toronto, Canada
Good to see 5 patient representatives on the team - and an acknowledgement of "stigmatization in clinical settings" - seems like a good thing...

http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/environmentalhealth/default.aspx

Task Force on Environmental Health
Many Ontarians live with conditions triggered by environmental factors that are difficult to diagnose and treat.

These conditions may include:

  • Environmental Sensitivities/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity;
  • Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; and
  • Fibromyalgia.
People diagnosed with these types of conditions face challenges in their experiences as patients, from diagnosis to treatment to living with the long-term impacts. People also suffer from stigmatization in clinical settings, the workplace and other areas of their lives as a result of a general lack of understanding of these complex conditions.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) has announced the establishment of a Task Force on Environmental Health to provide recommendations and advice to:

  • inform possible guidelines and policies to support patients with conditions triggered by environmental factors;
  • increase public and health care providers' knowledge of health conditions triggered by environmental factors;
  • identify gaps in evidence, knowledge transfer and care for those affected by these conditions; and
  • identify patient-focused actions to improve health outcomes of affected patients.
The Task Force consists of 15 members appointed by the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, of which 1/3 are patients or caregivers. The Task Force has a term of up to three years beginning in 2016 and ending in 2019. The Task Force members are:

  • Howard Hu (Chair), Dean, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
  • Neil Stuart (Vice-Chair), Health Care Consultant
  • Bill Manson, Senior Director, Performance Management, Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network
  • Cornelia Baines, Professor Emerita, Dalla Lana Faculty of Public Health, University of Toronto
  • Denise Magi, Vice-President, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Association of Ontario
  • Dona Bowers, Physician, Somerset West Community Health Centre
  • Izzat Jiwani, person with lived experience
  • Joanne Plaxton, Director, Health Equity Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
  • John Molot, Staff Physician and Medical/Legal Liaison, Environmental Health Clinic, Women's College Hospital
  • Julie Schroeder, Standards Development Branch, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
  • Maureen MacQuarrie, person with lived experience
  • Mike Ford, person with lived experience
  • Nancy Sikich, Director, Health Technology Assessment, Health Quality Ontario
  • Sharron Ellis, person with lived experience
  • Varda Burstyn, person with lived experience
Secretariat support for the Task Force is provided by the MOHLTC. Regular updates will be provided to interested stakeholders.

For more information or to receive regular updates please contact TFEH@ontario.ca.
 

Kati

Patient in training
Messages
5,497
I think it's a big problem to categorIze ME and FM as an environmental illness. Then is Zika an environmental illness? How about Lyme disease? Why is LD not included there?

@ScottTriGuy i believe that MEAO placed a proposal a few years ago to the Ontario Ministry to have have a center of excellence in Environmental illness which included Me and FM in there. They supported that. I don't think the gov of Ontario approved that, (extra funding) so the status quo remains and basically Molot is one of the rare one and since no one in the medical filed is interested in changing anything, no one wants ME as a medical illness, status quoremains and Molot is happy with that.

I think a lot of the problem stems from attitude from the physicians and influence from psychiatrists at UofT. Dr Shorter's incident is only the tip of the iceberg.
 

ScottTriGuy

Stop the harm. Start the research and treatment.
Messages
1,402
Location
Toronto, Canada
i believe that MEAO placed a proposal a few years ago to the Ontario Ministry to have have a center of excellence in Environmental illness which included Me and FM in there.

Here's some info about that process:

https://lindasepp.wordpress.com/201...f-excellence-in-environmental-health-project/



I'm still finding it hard to wrap my head around how ME (and FM) are decidedly environmental illnesses. Where's the science? What's the theory?

It seems like it may be another category mistake - just like categorizing ME as a psychological illness, or putting ME under women's health.

So I'm unsure if this Task Force will be helpful or harmful (wasting time / money / energy chasing environmental causes).

On the other hand, I'm just grateful ME is getting any attention from any level of government and at least its not categorized as psychobabble. So there is that.

Initially, it seems like a step in the right direction. But the direction should be more accurate.
 

Old Bones

Senior Member
Messages
808
I think it's a big problem to categorIze ME and FM as an environmental illness.

I agree -- ME and FM are not primarily environmental illnesses. But, exposure to environmental toxins was a factor at time of onset for me both times. At age 12, it was mold exposure in an old school, and moving into a new home, full of formaldehyde in manufactured wood products. Twenty years later, it was renovations at home, and at work -- chemically-treated carpets, wood-finishing products, vinyl wallpaper, and manufactured wood products.

On the other hand, I'm just grateful ME is getting any attention from any level of government . . .

Absolutely. At my worst, I had to leave buildings (eg. office towers, shopping malls) within two minutes of arriving. These days, after years of avoidance, my MCS symptoms are much less severe. With recognition of environmental sensitivities, perhaps governments will start to enact legislation against the manufacture and use of toxic materials/substances. This will help to reduce illness burden in some patients. Although not a solution for ME per se, anything that reduces symptom number/severity has to be a step in the right direction.
 

Kati

Patient in training
Messages
5,497
Here's some info about that process:

https://lindasepp.wordpress.com/201...f-excellence-in-environmental-health-project/



I'm still finding it hard to wrap my head around how ME (and FM) are decidedly environmental illnesses. Where's the science? What's the theory?

It seems like it may be another category mistake - just like categorizing ME as a psychological illness, or putting ME under women's health.

So I'm unsure if this Task Force will be helpful or harmful (wasting time / money / energy chasing environmental causes).

On the other hand, I'm just grateful ME is getting any attention from any level of government and at least its not categorized as psychobabble. So there is that.

Initially, it seems like a step in the right direction. But the direction should be more accurate.

In my opinion it stigmatizes ME and FM patients further in believing they are different than mainstream diseases- and no we are no different than mainstream diseases. We simply do not have a clear pathology attached as of yet. But suppose that Dr Davis is right and this is a mitochondria problem. Which would make more sense to you, be sent to a metabolic clinic or to an environmental clinic? Which one will give you more access to testing and treatment for your problems?

Here is what wiki has to say about Environmental medicine:

Not to be confused with Clinical ecology (sometimes also called "environmental medicine").
Environmental medicine is a multidisciplinary field involving medicine, environmental science, chemistry and others, overlapping with environmental pathology. It may be viewed as the medical branch of the broader field of environmental health. The scope of this field involves studying the interactions between environment and human health, and the role of the environment in causing or mediating disease. As a specialist field of study it is looked upon with mixed feelings by physicians and politicians alike, for the basic assumption is that health is more widely and dramatically affected by environmental toxins than previously recognised.

Environmental factors in the causation of environmental diseases can be classified into:

  • Physical
  • Chemical
  • Biological
  • Social
  • Any combination of the above
In the United States, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OCOEM) oversees board certification of physicians in environmental (and occupational) medicine. This board certification is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.


Current focuses of environmental medicine
While environmental medicine is a broad field, some of the currently prominent issues include:

According to recent estimates about 5 to 10% of disease adjusted life years (DALY) lost are due to environmental causes. By far the most important factor is fine particulate matter pollution in urban air.[1]
 
Last edited: