In a special report published in the September/October issue of EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing, Claire Haaga Altman, President and Dr. Kamau Kokayi, MD, Medical Director of the Olive Leaf Wholeness Center in New York City outlined the program used to treat 160 uniformed service personnel and residents of Lower Manhattan who were exposed to the air at Ground Zero during the 9-11 attacks.
More than 2400 chemicals and metals were combusted when the twin towers collapsed. The major ones identified as being potentially toxic to humans were: asbestos, lead, mercury, dioxins and furans, diesel fuels and oils, benzenes and other volatile organic compounds. Project Olive ReLeaf found most individuals who were exposed had 8 or more serious health complaints including: severe respiratory problems, digestive problems, skin rashes, sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, weight gains and elevated blood pressure, lethargy, and recurrent headaches.
This is consistent with the findings of the recent Mt Sinai Study, which unveiled that roughly 70 percent of nearly 10,000 workers who were tested from 2002 to 2004 had new or substantially worsened respiratory problems while or after working at ground. (This study was recently published in Environmental Health Perspectives, the journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.) In addition, a recent study by the New York City Fire Department found that on average firefighters who worked at Ground Zero have lost up to 12 years of lung capacity as a result of their exposure to the toxins at the site.
The Olive ReLeaf team had suspected since 2002 that heavy metal toxicity might be a causal factor for many of the symptoms the rescue workers and Lower Manhattan residents were reporting. A challenge urine test was administered to measure heavy metal toxicity. Eighty-five percent (85%) of those tested had excessively high levels of lead and mercury in their systems.
A key component of the treatment in the Olive Releaf program were given Chelation therapy using DMSA (Dimercaptuosuccinic acid), an FDA approved sulfur compound. In addition, adjunctive therapies to assist with the detoxification process and build the immune system were offered including, acupuncture, bioenergetic neuromodulation, Chinese herbal medicine, antioxidants, intravenous glutathione, and supplementation with NAC, glutathione, alpha lipoic acid and Vitamin C.
After 3-4 months of treatment, the first cohort of 100 reported significant (greater than 60%) improvement in all symptoms.
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