The Formaldehyde Story – Circa 1977 and 2015

Majid Ali, M.D.

The New York Times Fights for Truth But Forty Years Too Late

 For decades, The New York Times championed the cause of drug companies, celebrating good and bad drugs with equal vigor. During these years, the newspaper essentially opposed doctors who researched and treated environmentally-induced illnesses.

In the late 1970s, at the conferences of Clinical Ecology I regularly heard research papers about clinical disorders caused by formaldehyde, a strongly sensitizing chemical with known carcinogenic effects. Clinical Ecology was later named the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. For the next 25 years, the allergist and immunologist chastised clinical ecologist for deceiving vulnerable people and treating their imaginary diseases. Several ecologists were investigated and harassed by the state licensing boards.


For my clinical guidelines for controlling formaldehyde-related illness, please read my article cited at the end of this article.


The New York Times never supported the persecuted ecologists. Now in 2015, consider the following text from a front page report of the Times on May 3, 2015 entitled “The Uphill Battle to Better Regulate Formaldehyde.”


“WASHINGTON — A decade after emergency trailers meant to shelter Hurricane Katrina victims instead caused burning eyes, sore throats and other more serious ailments, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of regulating the culprit: formaldehyde, a chemical that can be found in commonplace things like clothes and furniture.”


“But an unusual assortment of players, including furniture makers, the Chinese government, Republicans from states with a large base of furniture manufacturing and even some Democrats who championed early regulatory efforts, have questioned the EPA proposal. The sustained opposition has held sway, as the agency is now preparing to ease key testing requirements before it releases the landmark federal health standard.”


Now consider this text from the Times’ report:

“Determined to block the agency’s rule as proposed, these industry players have turned to the White House, members of Congress and top E.P.A. officials, pressing them to roll back the testing requirements in particular, calling them redundant and too expensive.”


Better late than never. After decades of siding with formaldehyde polluters, the Times finally is adding its voice to those of clinical ecologists.


Suggested Readings:

Dr. Ali’s Oxygen Model of Chemical Sensitivity

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