Hi, I’m Pookie Sekmet! (Actually, I’m not – in today’s world of rampant online abuse I am choosing to use an assumed name.) Since I was a small child I have had a medical condition, sometimes called Environmental Illness, or Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, or, most applicable for me personally, Toxicant-induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT). I will use the term “chemical intolerance” on this site. This condition, in which relatively small exposures to fragrances or other common chemicals cause disproportionate medical symptoms, has defined the experiences and choices of my life. I and others with chemical intolerance possess unique insight into the prevalence of toxins in everyday consumer products and environments. This is because our bodies respond to the presence and toxicity of substances that the science of today has not yet developed the tools to “scientifically” measure or define as toxic. Properly viewed, my ability to discern the toxicity of objects and environments is a superpower, although when I am ill I certainly don’t feel like a superhero!
I’ve become convinced that many people, less acutely affected by environmental chemicals than I am, nevertheless suffer some degree of neurological disruption from them. This disruption manifests most commonly as bad sleep, fatigue, or brain-fogginess, but I suspect a connection to other more severe symptoms and behaviors also. What if the spate of truly bizarre behavior on airplanes is due to the recycled and chemical-laden air on planes? What if the brawls in fast-food joints, seemingly triggered by small disagreements or misunderstandings, are actually caused by cumulative neurological damage from the chemicals in fast-food packaging, or the food additives, or the residual agricultural chemicals from food production? In my book I explore these ideas and I also encourage people to see these common toxins more clearly and develop habits of avoidance to protect themselves and their loved ones. We are living through a dark time in terms of the prevalence and detrimental impacts of fragrances and other chemicals.