• 09 JAN 08
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    #838: Allergic to the 21st century or a biblical scourge?

    The following two articles about Gillian McCarthy being allergic to the 21st Century have been doing the rounds recently but may I play the devil’s advocate here and suggest that perhaps a far older scourge is at the root of her health problems.

    Note in the articles that it is mentioned that for the past 15 years she has been living in a “damp- and mould-ridden home” .

    It has long been known that mold spores (mycotoxins) given off by household molds are highly toxic and can lead to symptoms virtually identical to chemical and electro-sensitivity. Effects from exposure to toxic mold can result in any of the following symptoms: Headaches – memory loss – problems focusing or concentrating – chronic fatigue – nose and throat irritation – persistent cold-like symptoms – burning, itching or watering eyes – dizziness – nausea – tremors – heart palpitations – shortness of breath (during mild exertion) – exhaustion- after routine activity – serious swelling in legs, ankles, feet – serious swelling in torso or stomach – prolonged muscle cramps and joint pain – sensitivity to- odors – cancer – women who are pregnant could experience multiple problems, even miscarriages. (Taken from http://www.sdmold.com/more_on_health_effects.html )

    The earliest mention of molds as toxins is in that historical collection of writings, the Bible. In Leviticus under the heading “Treatment of Contaminated Houses” 14:33 -57. To quote in part:

    “The owner of such a house (contaminated with mildew) must then go to the priest and say “It appears that my house has some kind of mildew.” Before the priest goes in to inspect the house, he must have the house emptied so nothing inside will be pronounced ceremonially unclean. Then the priest will go in and examine the mildew on the walls. If he finds greenish or reddish streaks and the contamination appears to go deeper than the wall’s surface, the priest will step outside the door and put the house in quarantine for seven days….”

    “On the seventh day the priest shall return to inspect the house. If the mildew has spread on the walls, he is to order that the contaminated stones be torn out and thrown into an unclean place outside the town. If the mildew reappears in the house after the stones have been torn out and the house is scraped and plastered, it is a destructive mildew and the house is unclean. It must be torn down – its stones, timbers and all the plaster – and taken out of town.”

    A house desecrated by mildew, mold, or fungus would be a defiled place to live in, so drastic measures had to be taken.

    If any clothing is contaminated with mildew—any woolen or linen clothing, any woven or knitted material of linen or wool, any leather or anything made of leather—if the contamination in the clothing or leather, or woven or knitted material, or any leather article, is greenish or reddish, it is a spreading mildew and must be shown to the priest. The priest is to examine the mildew and isolate the affected article for seven days””

    So if it were possible to resurrect a 2,000 year biblical priest he would probably know what Gillian’s problem is.

    If Gillian got out of the toxic hovel she lives in, she might find that the 21st century is not as bad as she thought. Bizarre that she has been living there all these years for the sake of her health!

    Unfortunately in a few cases of chronic illness the sufferer eventually tends to identify his or her sense of self with the disease and it becomes all encompassing, with a fixated belief as to the source of the illness. I know of a remarkably similar case here in Australia of a woman who’s naturopath diagnosed her unexplained chronic illness as being allergic to all sorts of modern synthetic chemicals. She went through something similar to Gillian until she went to a doctor who ordered a series of tests. The tests found that she had diabetes and after getting proper treatment for that condition all her symptoms went away.

    What all this suggests is that such cases an open-minded and critical investigation should be conducted to rule out other possible environmental factors before making assumptions that modern technology must always be the cause.

    Don Maisch


    I’m facing a death sentence

    Western Daily Press December 17, 2007

    Tina Rowet.rowe [at] bepp.co.uk

    Allergy victim Gillian McCarthy, who has vowed to kill herself rather than quit her ramshackle wooden hut,
    faces eviction in the new year.

    Yesterday the woman said to be “allergic to the 21st century” condemned South Somerset District Council’s decision as a “death sentence.”

    The council is preparing a specially-equipped caravan for her in an orchard in the village of Keinton
    Mandeville, 10 miles from her current home, at Shepton Montague, near Wincanton.

    Pollen alone could kill her

    But Miss McCarthy says the caravan and the new site are totally unsuitable and that pollen from the apple
    trees alone could kill her.

    Speaking from her damp- and mould-ridden home she said: “This is madness. I think they want to kill me. The new site is an apple orchard and I am particularly susceptible to apple pollens.”

    The 53-year-old former nutritional biochemist suffers from multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome, which
    means she is allergic to dozens of substances, including the gases given off by many modern building
    materials, and chemicals present in almost every area of modern life.

    Her GP, Somerset Primary Care Trust and Somerset Social Services, is convinced that her present home,
    which is in danger of collapse, is a health risk.

    The council, which has refused to extend planning permission for the wooden building, says the caravan
    is a temporary solution while it tries to establish a blueprint for a permanent home. It says it has been
    unable to do so because Miss McCarthy has refused to accept the medical expert that the Health Authority
    wishes to examine her.

    Miss McCarthy has applied to have a specially-designed house built on the Shepton Montague site, but the council says it cannot be sure that all its features are needed until Miss McCarthy agrees to the

    Meanwhile Oliver Dowding, the organic farmer who owns the site, is happy for her to stay, and Multiple
    Chemical Sensitivity International has launched a campaign to stop her being moved.

    In the mid-Nineties Miss McCarthy lived in a tent in a Dorset field to avoid chemicals but became so ill that health, social services and housing authorities worked together to find her a better home.

    South Somerset issued a planning enforcement notice in June giving Miss McCarthy until late November to respond. It says she has failed to do so.

    Independent Extra January 4, 2008

    Cold Blood ITV1 First Cut: Allergic to the 21st
    Century? CHANNEL 4


    Robert Hanks r.hanks@independent.co.uk

    In First Cut: Allergic to the 21st Century?, Anne-Claire Pilley interviewed a number of people who reckon they are being killed by the modern world. Some were “electrosensitives”, allergic to the “electro-smog” of radio-waves and electricity generated by urban civilisation; others found it was chemicals – fabric conditioners, hairspray, paint – that set off their somewhat vaguely described symptoms. Gillian McCarthy claimed that she caught it both ways: for 15 years she has lived in isolation somewhere deep in the countryside in a freezing-cold, mouse-infested timber shack, for the sake of her health. She insisted on Pilley and her crew bathing in special soap and wearing only cotton clothes washed in bicarbonate of soda before allowing a visit. Even then, she met them wearing a gas-mask and swathed like a bee-keeper. It is just about possible that all these people are correct in their self-diagnosis, but it’s far more likely that they have found an outlet for other anxieties; Pilley’s film, though enjoyable, was a bit too even-handed. But there is this to say: none of them watched television at all. Does that sound like irrational behaviour to you?

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