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CHEMICAL INJURY INFORMATION

Prevalence Data For
Chemical Injury, Fibromyalgia And Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

 

Statistics Canada has provided Health Risk Navigation Inc. (HRNI) with the 2016 and 2020 Canadian prevalence data for the health conditions of Chemical Injury (CI), Fibromyalgia (FM) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). In a nut shell, in 2020, there were over 1,846,800 people, or over 4.9% of the population of Canada with at least one of these health conditions: 3.5% of the population with Chemical Injury; 1.8% of the population with Fibromyalgia; and 1.4% of the population with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

ElectroMagnetic Sensitivity (EMS) is still not being monitored by Statistics Canada at this time. Consequently, the prevalence data for EMS has not been included.

The prevalence data is presented below in two parts. Part 1 provides a General Overview of Chemical Injury (CI), Fibromyalgia (FM) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and gives their prevalence data in Canada. However, these are interconnected health conditions that overlap each other. Consequently, Part 2 will provide the prevalence data of people with more than one of these conditions, and will illustrate it in a Venn Diagram.

 

Some Qualifying Information Regarding The Prevalence Numbers:

  1. The estimates are rounded to the nearest 100.

  2. Due to rounding, the sum of values for each category may differ from the total.

  3. Statistics Canada provided us with the estimate numbers and the percentage of the population for the years 2016 and 2020. Then from that data, we have calculated the change in the number of people with these health conditions over the four years.

  4. In some instances, the data sample size was too small for the estimated number of people with the condition to be considered accurate. Therefore, Statistics Canada states that this information must be used with caution. We are denoting those estimates with a red (E).

  5. In instances of the data sample size being far too small for the data to be reliable, Statistics Canada did not provide us with any estimate data. We are denoting that with the words “Unreliable Data”.

Part 1 – General Overview

Chemical Injury

 

Chemical Injury is also known as Chemical Intolerance (CI), Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), Environmental Sensitivity (ES) and Environmental Illness (EI). Statistics Canada used the term of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) in presenting it’s information.

 

However, on this web site, we use the terms of Chemical Injury and Chemical Intolerance, as these terms help to clarify the fact that the people have been injured by their exposures to toxic chemicals. The reactions experienced by these individuals are toxic reactions, not allergic reactions. The body has been poisoned and has consequently suffered injury by the exposures to toxic chemicals (poisons).

In 2020, there were 1,130,800 people in Canada (3.5% of the population) with Chemical Injury. This is a 12.1% increase from 2016. This is an acquired health condition that can occur quite suddenly or very gradually.

 

Chemical Injury is primarily characterized by:

  • Experiencing Toxic Reactions Upon Exposures To Toxic Chemicals. (See the article: Toxic Reactions – The Body’s Alarm System) The severity of the toxic reaction will depend on the severity of the injury, and how ill the person is at the time of exposure. ​It can range from being very mild to being disabling to being very severe to being fatal. (See the article: Dose Response Relationship) Some common toxic reactions include but are not limited to: headache, migraine, cognitive difficulties (brain fog), dizziness, impaired balance, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, muscle and joint pain, asthma, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and extreme fatigue.

  • An Intolerance To Further Exposures To Toxic Chemicals. The degree of chemical intolerance depends on the degree of injury. It can range from very slight intolerance to extremely severe intolerance.

  • Multi-Systems Affected. Any system or all of the systems of the body can be negatively affected, as it completely depends upon the inherent characteristics of the toxic chemicals (poisons) to which the person has been exposed. If the toxicological information of the product is known, the toxic reactions of the person will frequently match the product's toxicological information. However, the toxicological information for many products is not available to the public.

  • Progressive In Nature. If medical intervention is lacking or is inadequate, it can progress to leaving the person disabled. As the severity progresses, many people will also develop Fibromyalgia (FM) and/or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). See Part 2 - Overlap of CI, FM and ME below. The disability might be invisible (not obvious) or it might be obvious with the person requiring a walker or wheelchair or leaving the person bedridden. Without adequate medical intervention it can be fatal.

Prevalence Of CI.png

Fibromyalgia

The meaning of the word “Fibromyalgia” helps in understanding what it is.

  • “Fibro,” means fibrous tissues

  • “My,” means muscles

  • “Algia,” means pain.

  • It is pain in the muscles and fibrous tissue of the body.
     

In 2020, there were 575,500 people in Canada (1.8% of the population) with Fibromyalgia. This is a 10.2% increase from 2016. This is an acquired health condition that can occur quite suddenly or very gradually.

It is primarily characterized by:

  • Widespread Musculoskeletal Pain

  • Fatigue

  • Cognitive Difficulties (Brain Fog)

Prevalence Of FM.png

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Statistics Canada used the term of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) in presenting it’s information.

 

However, on this web site, we use the term of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), as this term helps to clarify the fact that the people have a wide array of debilitating symptoms. It is so much more than just being extremely fatigued all the time.

 

The meaning of the words “Myalgic Encephalomyelitis” helps in understanding what it is.

  • Myalgic refers to muscle pain and/or muscle tenderness.

  • Encephalomyelitis refers to inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.

 

In 2020, there were 462,500 people in Canada (1.4% of the population) with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. This is a 20.5% decrease from 2016. This is an acquired health condition that can occur quite suddenly or very gradually.

It is primarily characterized by:

  • Post-Exertional Malaise (worsening of symptoms upon even minimal exertion)

  • Multi-Systems Affected

  • Profound Fatigue - Sometimes leaving the person completely bedridden.

  • Unrefreshing Sleep

  • Cognitive Difficulties (Brain Fog)

  • Pain

Prevalence Of ME.png

Part 2 - Prevalence Of Overlap Of Chemical Injury, Fibromyalgia And Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

 

CI, FM and ME are interconnected health conditions that overlap each other.

 

In Canada, in 2020, there were 1,876,200 people who indicated that they had one or more of these conditions. However, 29,400 of them did not state whether they only had one of the conditions or whether they had more than one. Consequently, Statistics Canada did not include these 29,400 people when they did the prevalence data for the amount of overlap of these conditions. Statistics Canada's data is based on the remaining 1,846,800 people, who specifically stated whether they had one or more of these conditions.

86% had only one of the conditions, 12% had two of the conditions and 2% had all three of these health conditions.

Overlap of CI, FM and ME 2020.png
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