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This Paper Makes Me Sick

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To the editors:

Your recent article on Environmental Illness ["The Yeast of Our Problems," January 22] was a wonderfully thorough and accurate description of a medical problem which has kept me completely disabled for the past six years. From time to time, I have seen articles on this subject but your article was by far the best one I have read. Congratulations to you in recognizing this as an important issue and to Robert McClory for doing such a fine job in writing so clearly about a complicated and sometimes confusing subject. Most of all, thank you. Having this illness is in itself an incredible burden and trying to explain it to others is an additional burden. Now that I can share copies of this article, the chore of explaining my illness will be greatly eased.

In addition to providing a valuable service to those of us who have the illness, you are, of course, also providing a tremendous service to those people who have the illness and have not yet been accurately diagnosed. Further, you are providing a service to the general public by letting them know about the potential dangers of our excessive use of chemicals.

My health began its long and devastating decline following a trip to Tahiti. It is only somewhat recently that I have understood why. The plane was sprayed with massive doses of pesticides on the way to and from Tahiti. People need to be aware that there are real and potentially devastating consequences to the use of chemicals. While it is unlikely that my health will ever return to normal, it would be a great comfort to me to know that information about the illness might help to prevent someone else from suffering the disastrous loss of health which I have suffered.

Because my chemical sensitivities include a sensitivity to ink and newsprint, I cannot read your paper (a friend read the article to me). However, I greatly respect your paper for tackling this topic and doing such a fine job with it. Again, thank you!

Kay McCarty

South Shore Drive

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