Byline: Dr Finbar Magee
RECENTLY I was asked to see a professional footballer who had been treated for throat and chest infections for several months to no avail.
The history was interesting. The cough became worse in the winter and, of course, you might think that viral and bacterial infections are more common in these months.
He had recently married and moved into a brand new house. After a series of tests we discovered it was the house that was the key to his problem.
Most new houses these days have sizeable quantities of composite board e. g. chipboard and MDF. These materials are cheap to make and save a lot of time. To cover a floor with chipboard is much quicker and cheaper than using proper wood.
Everything has a price though and chipboard in particular gives off toxic gases (formaldehyde) for months, even years after it has been laid. Its effects on people are now becoming apparent as it proved in my footballing patient.
Other sources of formaldehyde include paint, varnish, plastics, carpets, glues, cosmetics, tobacco smoke, petrol and diesel fumes, newspapers and many more. Full lists are available on the internet.
Coughing is only one minor manifestation of chemical sensitivity and there are thousands of chemicals that cause problems besides formaldehyde.
It is estimated that we are exposed to up to 30,000 chemicals per day and we have to clear these via liver, kidneys, breath, sweat and hair. …