Environmental Medicine is a discipline concerning the impact of environmental factors on individual health risks and common welfare. Clinical Environmental Medicine encompasses the medical care of persons with health complaints and medical findings which can be traced back to environmental factors.
Environmental Medicine deals with physically, biologically and chemically caused health disorders due to e. g. environmental pollution (in- and outdoor), food, possibly contaminated dust, moulds, pesticides, and other chemicals found in water, soil, and air. Other concerns include noise, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation and electromagnetic fields.
Environmental diseases are the result of complex interaction of multi-causal, long-term, low-dose exposures and individual susceptibility depending on genetic pool and dysfunction of immune, endocrine and enzymatic systems.
The diagnosis and treatment of environmentally linked illnesses is based on protocols utilizing scientific research and empirically gained experience and knowledge. There are abundant scientifically valid and standardised investigations supporting the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses caused by dysfunction of the neuron-endocrine-enzyme-system, including chronic inflammation and its association with high amounts of free radicals, lack of antioxidants and minerals etc.. EM always consideras abn individual’s susceptibility.
The increased prevalence of environmental illnesses and scientific research in immunology, endocrinology, epidemiology and genetic data lead to better awareness among scientists, politicians and patients.
In summary, EM is defined as a discipline dealing with recognition, research, diagnose, treatment and avoidance of disturbances of health and mental conditions including the recognition, research, evaluation and minimization of risks caused by interaction of men and environment. The evaluation of environmental illnesses has to regard the individual susceptibility and the special characteristics of complex influences.
In principle, the acquired knowledge and experiences in environmental medical principals and practices help not only to care for people suffering from environmentally linked illnesses. Another important aspect is prevention and a more appropriate support to public health and politics.
Read more: Consensus Paper on Multisystem Diseases (text currently in German only!)