Congratulations on the consistently high standard of WDDTY. I was particularly interested in the recent article on pesticides, and want to know as much as I can on the possible connection between these and ME. David Hurtford, Natural Health Practitioner, Kingston-upon-Thames.
Tuula Tuormaa replies: Although I am grateful to Joan Orr for pointing out the few discrepancies that existed concerning names and status of various chemicals (I also noticed them after the article went to press), I stand by my conclusions.
As for the relation between ME and pesticides, several researchers are investigating a possible link. At a recent international conference on chronic fatigue syndrome in Dublin (May 18, 1994), Dr John Gow from the University of Glasgow presented the effects which acute organophosphate exposure have on the nervous system and how the presence of heavy metals or other toxins in the tissues can be altered by viral infections.
Professor William Rea has published an article on the effects of pesticides on the immune system (J Nutr Med, 1991; 2: 399-410), and Prof Peter Behan, consultant neurologist in Glasgow, has spoken about the relation between CFS and organophosphates (British Society for Allergy and Environmental Medicine, winter meeting, November 1995), and Dr Charles Shepherd, medical advisor of the ME Association, has written about it (The Practitioner, March 1993).