A more direct form of chemical testing is undertaken with certain common petrochemicals found in the environment which are often incriminated in chronic illness. Outside the double swinging doors of the Ecology Unit is a small room in which testing for chemicals is done. Here patients are exposed to the odor of natural gas, similar to what they would experience in a closed kitchen. The patient inhales this air for about a minute and then records changes in pulse (which he is taught to take himself) and the onset of any symptoms.
On various occasions, we test the patient’s reaction to the odor of fresh carpeting, which is kept stored in jars, or to torn shreds of carbonless carbon paper, which ordinarily reeks from petrochemicals and is increasingly used in business receipts of all kinds.
Patients look for reactions to these chemically impregnated substances and record them the same way they do their reactions to foods.
It has been found that if a patient reacts to one of the common chemicals, he is likely to react to a broad range of petrochemical products. The percentage of patients reacting to chemicals increases year by year as the quality of the environment as a whole declines.