An article on MSNBC (www.msnbc.msn.com) on 3.21.07 reported on the toxic fumes found in new cars. Bromine and chlorine were the most common toxic elements reportedly found in automobiles. These elements are found in the seats, armrests, door trim and shift knobs and other areas of the car. Think about it, you spend perhaps two hours a day in your car, with the windows rolled up and little air circulating. It is no wonder that I have seen many patients who feel that they can become ill from exposure to the air in a new car. These are the canaries of our population. Many of these patients have to undergo detoxification for the buildup of dangerous chemicals in their body.
Bromine and chlorine are members of the halide family which is a group of elements that includes iodine. If we are exposed to too much of one halide, it will cause our body to release other halides. My research has clearly shown that we are exposed to too much bromine and chlorine. These elements are found in many plastic products including computers. In addition, bromine is a fire retardant found in carpet, clothing, mattresses and many other consumer items. The consequence of this overexposure to toxic halides has been a depletion of iodine in our bodies. Clinically, the result of too much bromine and chlorine and not enough iodine are the high rates of thyroid disorders as well as cancer of the breast, ovary and prostate. I describe this in more detail in my book, Iodine Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It, 4th Edition.
One patient, Ann, complained that her health began going downhill when she purchased a new car. I diagnosed Ann with Hashimoto’s disease (an autoimmune disorder) of the thyroid gland. The car dealer would not believe that a new car could cause her health concerns. Testing found Ann severely deficient in iodine (nearly zero) and toxic with elevated bromine levels. Ann was detoxified from bromine with a combination of Vitamin C, unrefined salt and magnesium. I also had her do salt baths and she was treated with iodine. As Ann’s bromine levels fell and her iodine levels elevated, she began to feel better. About 1.5 years after starting therapy, Ann felt that she had regained her health. In fact, her thyroid blood tests now returned to normal, without the use of thyroid hormone. Ann said, “All of my symptoms have improved. I can’t believe how much better I feel. I never knew anything about bromine,” she said.
One statement I would make to those who are ill with chemical sensitivity: Don’t give up. You can overcome your illness by detoxifying and supporting the body’s normal physiologic function.