Table Of Content
- About the Author
- About the Book
- This eBook can be cited
- 1. A greeting to a more human world (Dr. P. Jennrich)
- 2. A plea for more fairness in environmental justice (Prof. Dr. E. Schöndorf)
- 3. Prologue
- 4. Introduction: why this book?
- 5. Why does environmental medicine get so little attention in Germany?
- 6. Consequences of our exploitation of nature
- 6.1. Poisonings of plants and animals
- 6.2. Human poisoning due to industrial accidents
- 6.3. Health risks due to nuclear accidents and temporary storage
- 6.4. Other harmful substances with creeping health effects
- 6.4.1. Drinking water and nutrition
- 6.4.2. Energy-saving lamps
- 6.4.3. Contaminated soil, contaminated water, poisoned waste disposal sites
- 6.5. Electromagnetic radiation, mobile communications, electrosmog
- 6.5.1. Recommendations: what can we do?
- 6.6. The connection between infectious diseases and metals
- 6.7. Gene technology: curse or rescue?
- 6.8. Conventional medicine at a crossroads—side-effects
- 6.8.1. Medical drugs
- 6.8.2. Medical products
- 6.8.3. Vaccinations
- 6.9. Animal testing as pointless exploitation of nature
- 7. Case studies from my own practice
- 7.1. Introduction: from my own life
- 7.2. Case studies
- 7.2.1. The first spark: poisoning by dental restoration material
- 7.2.2. Poisoning caused by intrauterine damage to the foetus
- 7.2.3. An example of expert witness testimony
- 7.2.4. Depression and asthma: reimbursing costs of medically required dental restoration work is denied
- 7.2.5. Huntington’s disease
- 7.2.6. Malignant brain tumor (glioblastoma)
- 7.2.7. Acute allergic reaction to metals (hypersensitivity) after surgery
- 7.2.8. Six breast operations due to mammary carcinoma
- 8. Eight environmental-medical studies from daily practice
- 8.1. Evaluating a questionnaire from KV Dortmund
- 8.1.1. Introduction
- 8.1.2. Method
- 8.1.3. Results
- 8.1.4. Critical assessment
- 8.2. Dangers posed by dental restoration material
- 8.2.1. Introduction
- 8.2.2. Method
- 8.2.3. Results
- 8.2.4. Critical assessment
- 8.3. Intrauterine foetal damage caused by maternal exposure to heavy metals
- 8.3.1. Introduction
- 8.3.2. Method
- 8.3.3. Results
- 8.3.4. Critical assessment
- 8.4. Health damage from tin compounds
- 8.4.1. Introduction
- 8.4.2. Method
- 8.4.3. Results
- 8.4.4. Critical assessment
- 8.5. Environmental diseases in 360 patients with heavy metal exposure
- 8.5.1. Introduction
- 8.5.2. Method
- 8.5.3. Results
- 8.6. Heavy metal and harmful substance exposure in six cases of rare diseases of unknown etiology
- 8.6.1. Progressive muscle dystrophy
- 8.6.2. Psoriatic arthritis
- 8.6.3. Tinnitus
- 8.6.4. Miscarriages and stillbirths
- 8.6.5. Endometriosis
- 8.6.6. Neurodermitis
- 8.6.7. Critical assessment
- 8.7. Exposure and hypersensitivity to metals in 139 patients with a benign tumor
- 8.7.1. Method
- 8.7.2. Results
- 8.8. Influence of heavy metals and immunologic and genetic factors on the development of malignant tumors
- 8.8.1. Introduction
- 8.8.2. Results
- 8.8.3. Critical assessment
- 8.9. Twelve years later: recognition of brain damage from environmental toxins
- 8.9.1. Introduction: why am I presenting this case?
- 8.9.2. Some remarks to the patient’s prior history
- 8.9.3. Findings
- 8.9.4. The patient’s application for rehab-measures
- 8.9.5. Critical Assessment
- 8.9.6. My reasons for publicizing this case
- 8.9.7. Summary of the results of the studies
- 9. Environmental-medical diagnostics
- 9.1. Introduction: patients and their own interest in environmental medicine
- 9.2. Internal exposure to metals
- 9.2.1. Nonmetallic materials (plastics, ceramics, endoprostheses)
- 9.3. External exposure to metals
- 9.3.1. Nutrition, drinking water, soil, and air
- 9.3.2. Clothing, toys, coins
- 9.4. Interior and exterior exposure to other industrial products and fungi toxins
- 9.5. The importance of a patient’s prior history and of clinical examinations
- 9.6. The difference between acute and chronic poisoning
- 9.7. Symptoms and chronic diseases due to exposure to harmful substances
- 9.7.1. Examination for external exposure (environmental monitoring)
- 9.7.2. Examination for internal exposure (biomonitoring)
- 9.7.3. Testing for genetic disorders
- 9.7.4. Imaging as diagnostic method
- 9.7.5. Exposure to harmful chemicals and fungi toxin
- 9.8. Alternative medicine—drugs and treatments without side effects?
- 9.8.1. Dental organogram
- 9.9. Experience and its implications for diagnostics
- 10. Therapeutic options for treating environmental diseases
- 10.1. Introduction: so you are suffering from an environmental disease. What now?
- 10.2. Detoxification with the help of drugs
- 10.2.1. Detoxification after heavy metal exposure
- 10.2.2. Detoxification for industrial exposure
- 10.2.3. Dental restoration and detoxification
- 10.2.4. Apheresis: only in the most severe cases
- 10.2.5. Treatment of fungal toxin poisoning
- 10.3. Detoxification with side-effect-free medication—naturopathy
- 10.3.1. Healing stones
- 10.3.2. Black Serpent Stones
- 10.3.3. Microalgae
- 10.3.4. Homeopathy
- 10.3.5. Acupuncture
- 10.4. Environmental medicine is holistic medicine
- 11. A healthy lifestyle: what can we do ourselves?
- 11.1. Introduction: what does “healthy” mean?
- 11.2. Nutrition
- 11.3. Sports, exercise, gymnastics
- 11.4. Massage
- 11.5. Psyche—the significance of our souls
- 11.6. Meditation
- 11.7. Hobbies
- 11.8. Bio-meditation—bioenergy: a higher-level therapy
- 12. Course of action: the seven steps
- 13. Critical assessment and conclusions
- 13.1. Introduction
- 13.2. Medical assessment
- 13.3. Legal assessment
- 13.4. Moral and ethical assessment
- 14. Excerpt from an open letter by Prof. Wassermann
- 15. My wishlist for the future
- 15.1. A greeting from the “Natur & Heilen” (90.) publishing company
- 15.2. An appeal, and a “Thank you!”
- 16. A few words for you to take home with you (Prof. Dr. med. Frentzel-Beyme)
- 17. Appendix
- 17.1. Some words of thanks
- 17.2. Explanations and definitions
- 17.3. Addresses: associations, laboratory institutes, clinics
- 17.4. Bibliography
We hold in our hands the fruit of a committed general and environmental physician’s 25 years of experience. Now, everyone who is prepared to widen their horizon and to question deadlocked dogmas can take part in this experience.
Walter Wortberg’s book is an urgent plea for more justice and humanity in medicine, something from which each single individual can profit just as much as our healthcare system as a whole.
In addition, Walter Wortberg demonstrates that as a civilization, we are almost ready to saw off the tree branch on which we sit—we are, however, no longer using a simple hand saw but, following the spirit of our time, attack it with a chainsaw. Everybody can do his part to help effect the necessary and long-overdue global changes. This with-and-for-each-other starts with how we treat nature, animals, and our fellow human beings.
I wish for this book, which grants us insights into its author’s life’s work, to effect those changes that are so close to the author’s heart.
Director of the International Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology
Scientific Advisor to the German Medical Board for Clinical Metal Toxicology
← 13 | 14 → ← 14 | 15 →
In his first chapter, the author of this text puts forth his primary question as to why environmental medicine is given so little attention in Germany. As former public prosecutor, I would like to look at this question from a legal point of view, exaggerated a little for polemical purposes. Why are none of those who, through their pollution of the environment or their marketing of toxic products, physically abuse people or damage their health, in any of our prisons (§ 223 StGB—German Penal Code)? As a rule, environmental diseases are related to harmful substances—they don’t come out of the blue but are caused by human interaction with the environment which, in turn, may attract the attention of criminal law.
In the following, I would like to answer my question with the help of an example. This case, which concerned me during my time as environmental public prosecutor in the 1980s and 1990s, provides some interesting insights into the environmental-medical attention deficit disorder—rightfully decried by the author—that extend beyond the strictly legal dimension. The case in question is the so called Frankfurt wood preservative trial. For 13 years, I was in charge of the investigations into this case. I apologize in advance that, in the context of this preface, I will have to reduce the comprehensive investigations to only a few points. I do, however, believe that those points can help in appreciating this book.
In 1984, a patient’s initiative, representing a few dozens of families from all over Germany, brought charges of bodily injury due to the use of toxic wood preservatives. The plaintiffs claimed that people became seriously ill after treating the wood panelling in their houses with these questionable chemicals. After five years of investigation I became convinced that I found proof of biocidal ingredients of the preservatives—most importantly the fungal toxin PCP—causing illness in a large number of people. Surprisingly, however, my charges against both managing directors of the manufacturer were rejected. The argumentation: if toxicologists are arguing, the legal system must show restraint and should not try to be the referee. ← 15 | 16 →
Regardless of the question as to whether the legal system should indeed be as humble as that, this point reveals environmental law and environmental health’s Achilles heel, namely in causality. There is no single environmental controversy without two diametrically opposed parties. No matter if we are dealing with amalgam or softening agents, mobile communications, silicon implants, or the present case of wood preservatives, they are subjects of highly controversial debate. This fact is quite understandable, at least from a legal point of view. Where classic bodily injury crimes involve fists, baseball bats, or knives, the environmental field has to deal with a different situation, where the ‘weapons’ are not palpable, nor can we taste or smell them, and they are invisible, because they act on the nanoscale. In human blood, we could only measure a few millionth of a gram of the ultra-toxic dioxin contained in the wood preservative. In the light of this highly complicated problem of causality, with its often hard-to-prove correlations, environmental medicine necessarily has a tough job and must fight for acceptance.
In 1992 and 1993, after I successfully appealed the rejection of the charges described above, the main trial took place. The testimony of a Swiss toxicology, selected by the defence and the reputed PCP-pope, was heard and considered the non plus ultra with regard to the wood preservative industry sector. His testimony made clear that the aforementioned problem of causality was not limited to the context of the natural sciences but also has a political side to it—after all, the Swiss toxicologist issued certificates stating that the wood preservatives are absolutely harmless to human health. His utter belief was based on an experiment with rat food, which the animals survived despite high doses of PCP in it. That which does not damage rats will not damage humans—it’s as simple as that, according to the man from Zürich. What his report did not mention, however, was that where the rats received the poison through their food, inhabitants of the affected houses had ingested the active ingredients through their respiratory system, which from a toxicological point of view is much more dangerous. In addition, ultra-toxic dioxin had been removed from the PCP before feeding it to the rats. This was never done to any of the agents on sale in home stores. And finally, all classic psychiatric/neurological complaints, such as lack of drive, concentration lapses, and loss of strength, as expressed by the residents, were never in any way considered in the animal study. The ← 16 | 17 → study concentrated only on the inner organs, which showed—for whatever reason—no significant changes.
There was no doubt that the professor from Switzerland had lied. Whenever an issue concerns mass market products, which earn millions for their manufacturers, toxicologic expert witness involves the work of con men, who are commissioned by the manufacturers and paid large amounts of money to certify these products. The consequences are dramatic: due to the lack of sufficiently substantiated dangers to public health, politicians and the legal system see no reason for acting and consumers too, due to the maze of conflicting information, have no grounds for changing their behaviour. These all are further reasons as to why the “toxic party” carries on undisturbed. Nevertheless, the Frankfurt Environmental Court did not believe the PCP-pope and in June 1993 convicted the defendant of causing bodily harm.
Finally: the appeal. The defense rebuked that during the trial statements were given by a biased expert. The physician from Heidelberg had testified that these wood preservatives must be considered highly dangerous to anybody who is exposed to them. After the charges were initially rejected, out of “professional concern”, he had encouraged me to continue trying to bring the case to trial; by that time he had “[…] unambiguously diagnosed more than 70 patients with health damage due to wood preservatives”. The defense presented this letter as proof of the bias of this expert. The German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) took the same view and overruled the verdict made by the Frankfurt Environmental Court. Germany’s highest judges had turned professional concern and medical responsibility into arguments for prejudice of an expert witness. For many critics this reasoning was just a cheap pretext for repealing the verdict that more than 250,000 victims had been waiting for for such a long time.
Why does the Federal Court of Justice bend the law? I allow myself to provide an answer. The crux of the situation is to hide and deny the dark sides of our system—a system that is built on technical progress and growth and consciously accepts all the risks that come with it. An honest inventory of the damage we did to our environment would quickly reveal that this is not about negligible collateral damage, but rather concerns fundamental construction faults in our system. This error is not only morally unjustifiable but is also financially unsustainable and therefore puts the whole system ← 17 | 18 → at risk. The wood preservatives case discussed above, only one of many environmental controversies, cost a quarter of a million people their health and caused 365 billions (in German Marks) of damages. Had the facts that were found been determined in a legally binding manner, it would have created a problem for the chemical establishment—and maybe not only for them. We are—still—afraid of these kinds of consequences. Politicians and the legal system still do their utmost to obscure causal connections, so that the harsh truth will never see the light of day. With this in mind, it is understandable that both environmental justice and environmental medicine have large obstacles to overcome before they can truly take off. However, the sign of the times is that things will change and that the lock will spring once critical mass is reached. I am positive that this book, written by such a committed environmental physician as Walter Wortberg, will be of lasting help.
Prof. Dr. Erich Schöndorf
Former public prosecutor and prosecutor in the Frankfurt wood preservative trial. ← 18 | 19 →
it tells the history of the suffering of millions of people with environmental health damage,
it provides hope to millions of people with environmental health damage,
it looks over its shoulder back into history.
It is a shout to the heavens that must shake up everybody,
it is hunger for more justice,
it is a longing for more humanity.
It analyzes the present,
it connects ancient wisdom and modern science,
it connects humankind and nature.
It is a challenge that must be realized,
it enlightens the layman, so in need of information,
it appeals to all responsible political and industrial parties.
The message: take care!
“To reach the source, one must go against the flow.”
← 19 | 20 → ← 20 | 21 →
- ISBN (PDF)
- ISBN (ePUB)
- ISBN (MOBI)
- ISBN (Book)
- Publication date
- 2015 (April)
- Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2015. 288 pp., 29 b/w fig.