THREE ‘CANARY CONDITIONS’ – ‘CHRONIC, COMPLEX, ENVIRONMENTALLY LINKED CONDITIONS’
Before sophisticated instruments, miners used to take canaries into coal mines. If the birds got sick or died, they knew that gases humans could not detect at first would eventually harm them. This is why ES/MCS, ME/CFS and FM have often been called ‘canary conditions’ – those who have them display symptoms connected to ‘everyday’ chemicals and electromagnetic frequencies in the environment much the way canaries used to react to toxic gases in mines – faster and more visibly than most.
On this website, when we want to talk about these conditions together, in addition to ‘the canary conditions,’ we have also used the acronym CELCs – complex environmentally linked conditions, for that is what they are.
Research on these conditions and their links to many frequently overlapping (co-morbid) conditions is still in its infancy. As it develops, better definitions will become possible.
At present, however, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine provides the following definition of a broad category of illnesses that comprises, along with others, the three conditions and their co-morbidities which the proposed OCEEH will focus on at first.
A SNAPSHOT OF THE CELCs IN ONTARIO 2010: BIG NUMBERS, ON THE RISE
CONDITIONS OF COMPARABLE SEVERITY AND PREVALENCE