Environmental and Chemical Toxins and Psychiatric Illness
During the past 60 years, the number of chemical disasters worldwide from military, occupational, and environmental sources has risen at an alarming rate. The profound controversy surrounding many chemicals makes objective analysis nearly impossible. Yet now more than ever -- with the daily exposure to a wide range of chemicals and the increased threat of chemical terrorism -- it is critical that we understand the role of chemicals in causing psychiatric illness.Unlike related books, this remarkable reference is intended specifically for psychiatric applications and is thus the definitive sourcebook for the many professionals called on to respond to these events.This work stands alone as the first on this topic to be written by a psychiatrist and the first to bring together the military, occupational, and environmental exposures causing psychiatric illness, including multiple chemical sensitivities, mass hysteria, radiation exposures, community stress reactions, and Gulf War and other syndromes.Unique highlights include ? A summary of the reported psychiatric symptoms attributed to each chemical class (chemical weapons, pesticides, fumigants, metals, solvents, gases, PCBs, Agent Orange, and other miscellaneous chemicals) in tables for easy reference. We use personal care products, take prescription drugs, pump gasoline, drink alcohol, and spray insecticides as part of our everyday lives. Yet rarely do we realize that significant exposures to the chemicals described in this book -- many of which we are exposed to in daily activities -- can damage the central nervous system, causing psychiatric illness. ? A comprehensive bibliography, in every chapter, of all the important material in English-language medical journals and books that has appeared on this subject since the late 19th century. These bibliographies cover everything from the first published reports of the dangers of carbon disulfide in the French rubber industry -- dangers that American medicine ignored for years -- through more recent large-scale chemical exposures that have serious long-term consequences. (e.g., Love Canal). ? The latest information about terrorist and military uses of chemical weapons -- of critical relevance in psychiatry today -- from World War I combatants exposed to chlorine, phosgene, mustard gas, arsenic, and cyanide to the first organophosphate, or nerve, gases (such as tabun and sarin) developed by the Germans before and during World War II (and used by Iraq in the Gulf War and by a religious cult in the terrorist subway attacks in Tokyo and Matsumoto, Japan). Quite simply, this book is a ",must have", for psychiatric and medical professionals everywhere, with extended appeal among laypersons such as environmental/consumer advocates, attorneys, insurance professionals, industrial hygienists, disaster planners, and medical librarians.
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