Diane Sears (Market Strategist)
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Anne Lipscomb (Author)
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Poisoned by Pollution: An Unexpected Spiritual Journey tackles pressing legal, ethical, and health issues

Anne Lipscomb's new book is a call for renewed awareness about sick-building syndrome and multiple-chemical sensitivity

SEATTLE, Wa. (February 1, 2010) - In today's increasingly toxic world, we seem to be at a defining moment. With so much talk of global warming and the chemicals that pollute our environment and our bodies, we have had to rethink our relations to what we produce and consume. Industries have responded by creating an array of "greener" products: more effective air and water filtration systems, healthier cosmetics and personal products, organic foods and clothing. However, in many ways, society has been slow to respond.

Poisoned by Pollution: An Unexpected Spiritual Journey looks at a Seattle public relations professional's overexposure to toxic chemicals in her workplace and follows her through physical, emotional and legal torment as her body develops multiple chemical sensitivity, a debilitating illness that changes her life forever.

"One month I was living and working in Seattle with a full and rich life. The next, my life had collapsed around me and I couldn't do simple activities of daily living," author Anne Lipscomb writes in the book's introduction. "For many, however, the damaging health effects of chemicals build up slowly and quietly over many years. Then one day, like cancer, it can come out of the blue, leaving one to wonder how it could have happened."

Lipscomb says she wrote the book after she started to realize how many people suffer from chemical-related illnesses. As a whole, the medical profession has not yet grasped the full consequence of how the human body responds to toxins it encounters daily. However, some health experts have stepped up to help educate the public about this growing phenomenon - including the doctor who wrote the book's foreword, David Buscher, M.D., FAAEM, former president of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine.

"Multiple chemical sensitivity is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the 'chemical problem,'" Buscher writes. "Chemicals that have been implicated as carcinogens and endocrine disrupters - substances that mimic the effects of hormones and play a role in hormone-related cancers of the breast and the prostate - are more prevalent today than ever. Products made from Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates are found in polyesters, epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastic, which means these chemicals are in our water bottles, food and beverage cans, sports equipment, household electronics, medical devices, dental sealants and more. Recent evidence links BPA with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity."

Estimates of the prevalence of MCS in the U.S. population, though difficult to track, seem to be climbing. A 1987 study suggested that between 2 percent and 10 percent of the population had developed chemical sensitivity. In 1999, 15.9 percent of respondents had reported hypersensitivity to common chemicals. Further studies from 1993 through 1996 estimated that number to be between 15 percent and 33 percent. MCS is on the rise, and it continues to alter lives.

Poisoned by Pollution is a timely book written to shed light on the health concerns of chemicals - and how people deal with them. Lipscomb outlines her own story of personal discovery.

"What began as a book about my illness widened to include the personal and spiritual journey it sparked in me," Lipscomb says. "My sickness has radically changed me. It has altered the way I live in this world."

"Extraordinary opportunities can come to us cloaked by misfortune," she says. "Hard times often require us to examine those depths and dimensions within us that easier times do not always. When we listen to the stories of people who have faced tremendous adversity, we gather wisdom for our own journey."


About the author

Anne Lipscomb is a former award-winning public relations manager who developed multiple chemical sensitivity in 1993. She became one of a handful of people in Washington state to receive workers' compensation for illness related to sick-building syndrome. Born in Texas, Anne spent most of her childhood in Africa and traveling in other parts of the world with her parents and lived as an exchange student in India and France. Anne has a bachelor's degree from Princeton University and a master's from the University of Washington. She currently lives in Seattle and spends part of each year in Paris. For more information:

Downloadable Photos

Below are hi-res photos of Anne Lipscomb, ready for members of the press. (click for full image)