Published on Sep 04, 2012 with 0 comment
Yes. This allergist is a skeptic.
Like many of you, I subscribe to Google Alerts. This is a wonderful tool provided by Google where by their mighty search engine forwards to one’s inbox a brief synopsis of media reports on given subjects which one chooses. I have chosen allergies and asthma, so everyday I receive dozens of references to these subjects. The problem is that the overwhelming majority of the articles that Google picks up are not reputable sources. Therefore, anyone can write anything about any subject in a blog or article and the Google search engine may find it and send it to me and thousands of others. Fortunately, being an allergist with 30 years of experience, I can sort out the nonsense, and there is plenty of it!
I am constantly amazed at the myriad of posts which try to explain the factors which cause or exacerbate allergies or asthma. Some are reputable, but some are so bizarre that they are laughable. I probably know the real causes and worsening factors as well as anyone, and they are numerous and well documented. So, what arrived recently from Google Alerts caught my eye.
A “leading global interdisciplinary design firm” ( I don’t really know what that means) is about to publish a list of 374 substances found the the built environment which are potentially hazardous materials to an asthmatic individual. These include personal care products, household building products, byproducts of central heating/ AC systems and humidification systems, building materials and household furnishings. Yes, you read it correctly: 374! I can’t wait to see their sources. Maybe they too subscribe to Google Alerts.
So, this is a call to all asthmatics to build a bubble to live in while we digest the list and sort out fact from fiction. Will the “public service” provided by this company cause all asthmatics to read the labels on the furniture they might buy or have to read the fine print on the central air conditioner that might need to replaced? Only time will tell. But, as I opened this blog, I am a skeptic.