Key to Sensitivity
Tuesday, August 4, 1998
page C1 and C2
By Andrew Wineke
Why does a single whiff of a chemical make some people seriously
while others don't even notice it?
Researchers at the University of Washington, working with a team at
the University of California at Los Angeles, have begun to map out how
differently people can react to the same pesticides and chemicals. Some
results of their research were published earlier this month in the science
Using common pesticides called
chlorpyrifos and parathion, the scientists have shown that one person
can be 100 times as sensitive to a particular chemical as another person.
The research has also shown
that babies start life with almost no
resistance to these pesticides.
"A little bit of difference in metabolism can make a lot of difference in
Furlong, a professor in the UW's Department of
The differences stem from an enzyme produced by the body. Apparently,
the same enzyme that is a contributing factor for vascular disease also
regulates resistance to some pesticides.
low levels of that enzyme
[either through depletion of
the enzyme by repeated exposures or natural predisposition] would be
very susceptible to those
pesticides," Furlong says.
One outcome of the research is the hope the scientist can
injectable enzyme that would counteract the
effects of the insecticides
and nerve agents, such as sarin, which was used in the Tokyo subway
There may never be magic bullet to cure chemical sensitivity, however.
No one enzyme or gene can fix all varieties of chemical sensitivities.
... By Andrew
Wineke, Everett Herald, Tuesday, August 4, 1998, p C1 & C2
For more information on this enzyme, please
read about Dr.
Clement Furlong's research on the enzyme --
~How Can I