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Health community call on governments to acknowledge environmental causation of chronic illnesses

In April, health professionals met to discuss the latest science and policy developments on the increasing prevalence of chronic multisystem illnesses. The conference was hosted be HEAL member organisation, the European Academy for Environmental Medicine (EUROPAEM) and was held in Wuerzburg, German, April 23 to April 25, 2010.

The well attended event saw renowned national and international scientists and health care professionals and patient groups share knowledge on the growing incidence of chronic multisystem illnesses - such as multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CSF), fibromyalgia (FMS) as well as cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, neurodegenerative diseases, auto immune diseases, and cancer.

The conference highlighted that chronic diseases are based on similar pathological mechanisms, many of which are influenced by environmental factors such as chemical pollutants, biological infectious agents, and electromagnetic field (EMF) triggers.

Chronic diseases mean long-term patients and such patients require consecutive higher medical costs. This often leads to social exclusion of the affected people. Facing the appalling reports of Europe´s growing financial constraints, especially in public health, a further increase of chronic illnesses will accelerate the ongoing collapse of the National Health Service and medical insurance companies in Europe.

Remedy is only possible with a change of priorities from today´s unilaterally symptomatic oriented medicine to causally oriented medicine focusing on cost-effective primary prevention.

Conference participants issued a call to European policy makers, urging them to take these findings into consideration and to place more weight, and investment, into precaution, early detection and diagnosis. Conference participants called for the implementation of the already ratified decisions of the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health Ministers held in Budapest in 2004.

Last updated on 8 June 2011

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »

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HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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