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, dust possibly contaminated, moulds, pesticides, and other chemicals in water, soil, and air, including noise, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation and electromagnetic fields.
Environmental diseases are the result of complex interaction of multi-causal, long-term, low-dose burden and individual susceptibility depending on genetic pool and dysfunction of immune, endocrine and enzymatic systems.
Diagnosing and treatment of environmentally linked illnesses happens with protocols on the base of scientific research and empirically gained experience and knowledge. There are abundant scientifically valid and standardised investigations to diagnose and treat those illnesses looking for dysfunctions in the neuron-endocrine-enzyme-system and looking for proof of chronic inflammation, association with high amounts of free radicals, lack of antioxidants and minerals etc., always in consideration of individual susceptibility.
The increased prevalence of environmental illnesses, scientific research in immunology, endocrinology, epidemiology and genetic data lead to better awareness by all, scientists, politicians and patients.
Summarizing, EM is defined as a discipline dealing with recognition, research, diagnose, treatment and avoidance of disturbances of health and mental conditions as well as recognition, research, evaluation and minimization of risks caused by interaction of men and environment. Evaluation has to regard the individual susceptibility and the special characteristics of complex influences.
By then acquired knowledge and experiences in environmental medical principals and practices help not only to care for people suffering from environmentally linked illnesses. EM also has the task to establish basics for more early effective primary prevention and to give appropriate support to public health and politics.
Read more: Consensus Paper on Multisystem Diseases (text currently in German only!)