Chemical exposures at the World Trade Center: use of the Hubbard sauna detoxification regimen to improve the health status of New York City rescue workers exposed to toxicants

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Authors: Marie A. Cecchini, David E. Root, Jeremie R. Rachunow and Phyllis M. Gelb
Date: Apr. 2006
From: Townsend Letter: The Examiner of Alternative Medicine(Issue 273)
Publisher: The Townsend Letter Group
Document Type: Cover story
Length: 5,646 words

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On September 11, 2001, the attack and collapse of the gigantic World Trade Center towers caused an enormous release of toxic substances into a densely populated urban environment. These included asbestos, radionuclides, benzene, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), fiberglass, mercury, lead, silicon, sulfuric acid (29)--agents associated with cancer as well as severe lung pathology, neurological and cardiovascular disease, and a myriad of immune dysfunctions.

Emergency workers were exposed to unprecedented levels of these chemicals and breakdown products during the ensuing eight and one-half month rescue and cleanup effort. Daily exposures continued as firefighters, paramedics, police, clean-up crews, and other personnel continued their efforts, working long hours for over eight months after the attack. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was not always available or was generally ineffective in preventing the rescue workers from absorbing contaminants by inhalation, ingestion, or dermal exposure. (8)

There is no doubt that the tens of thousands of men and women who participated in the rescue and recovery operations were exposed to a wide range of toxins, many of which are known to accumulate in body tissues, with half-lives measured in years or decades. (12,28) Exposure symptoms have not abated with time; instead, a substantial number of those exposed are experiencing worsening health status involving multiple organ systems. Studies demonstrate a definite link between exposures to WTC-derived airborne pollutants and respiratory disease. (2)

The acute complaints of emergency responders were often pulmonary. (14,19,38) However, other debilitating health consequences exist. The depression, anger, and low motivation commonly reported among this population and assigned to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are more likely indicative of toxic encephalopathy. (16) Other major concerns include persistent pulmonary and digestive tract inflammatory syndromes, such as reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS), reactive upper airways dysfunction syndrome (RUDS), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and inflammatory pulmonary parenchymal syndromes, as well as respiratory tract and non-respiratory malignancies. (5,10,47)

Sauna Detoxification

The method of detoxification developed by Mr. Hubbard is a precise protocol documented for mobilizing fat-stored toxins and enhancing their elimination while restoring metabolic balance. The protocol has long been established as safe. (45) Previous case reports, (39,51) as well as a number of non-randomized, controlled studies of exposed workers (including firefighters), (21) demonstrate that detoxification reduces body burdens of PCBs, PBBs, dioxins, various drugs, and pesticides (44,46) with concurrent symptomatic improvement. (44,20,22)

Publications over the past two decades also show that this regimen can improve memory, cognitive functions, immune parameters, and general physical condition in different study populations. (44,46)

The detoxification protocol is standardized (17) and includes the following:

* A daily regimen of physical exercise, immediately followed by forced sweating in a sauna at 140-180[degrees]F for two-and-a-half to five hours with short breaks for hydration to offset the loss of body fluids and cooling.

* Nutritional supplementation centered on gradually increasing doses of crystalline niacin (nicotinic acid) to promote lipid mobilization of stored toxicants and stimulate circulation.

* Administration of additional vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and oils includes vitamins A, D, C, E, B complex, B1; multi-minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc,...

Source Citation

Source Citation
Cecchini, Marie A., et al. "Chemical exposures at the World Trade Center: use of the Hubbard sauna detoxification regimen to improve the health status of New York City rescue workers exposed to toxicants." Townsend Letter: The Examiner of Alternative Medicine, no. 273, Apr. 2006, pp. 58+. Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Gale Document Number: GALE|A144016830