FX Medicine LIVE were delighted to be invited to be a part of the inugural Australian Society of Building Biologists' Environmental Health Conference and Expo on the 27th October 2018 in Sydney.
The Health Conference and Expo was an opportunity for health professionals and the public to connect with, and learn from, experts in the growing field of building biology.
What is Building Biology?
Building Biology covers all aspects of the indoor environment. On average, we spend 90% of our lives indoors. The buildings in which we live and work should support and enhance the wellbeing of everyone in those buildings.
The FX Medicine LIVE team spoke to a number of the keynote speakers across the event, allowing the FX Medicine Community and exclusive access "backstage pass".
FX MEDICINE LIVE: Andrew Speaks with Dr Nicole Bijlsma
Nicole Bijlsma is a building biologist, bestselling author, PhD candidate and CEO of the Australian College of Environmental Studies which she established in 1999 to educate people about the health hazards in the built environment. Nicole is an accomplished naturopath and acupuncturist, has lectured at various tertiary institutions for 30 years, has published in peer reviewed journals, has written extensively for Body+Soul newspaper, is regularly consulted by the media to discuss mould, electromagnetic fields and toxic chemicals, and lectures in Australia and abroad (New Zealand, USA, Thailand) about environmental health issues. She is currently undertaking her PhD investigating health hazards in the built environment.
Andrew and Nicole discussed:
- Being a building biology pioneer
- How does environmental health fit in the picture?
- Matching toxicants to illness
- Why mould is such a big issue in Australia
- The connections between water damaged buildings and mental illness
- Taking an exposure history
- What organic acids tests can tell you?
- Alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone
- The obesogen hypothesis
- Connections to thyroid, neurological and autoimmune disease(s)
- The Australian College of Environmental Studies
- Nicole's Book: Healthy Home Healthy Family
FX MEDICINE LIVE: Andrew Speaks with Dr Ron Ehrlich
Dr Ron Ehrlich is the co-founder of Sydney Holistic Dental Centre and has been in private practice in Sydney CBD since 1980. In 1996, Dr Ron gained his fellowship in nutritional and environmental medicine (FACNEM). He has served on the Board and is a former vice-president of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM). Dr Ron’s new podcast Unstress with Dr Ron Ehrlich, explores and expands on all topics covered in his book A Life Less Stressed: the 5 pillars of health and wellness. The podcast takes a deep dive into the stresses in life that can compromise our health, and the pillars of health that can build us back up. Dr Ron’s passion is to convert confusion to clarity and information to knowledge, while empowering individuals to take control, build resilience and be the best you can be.
Andrew and Ron discussed:
- How environmental, emotional, postural, nutritional or dental stress compromise immunity
- The core dental issues facing most people: infections, gum disease, tooth decay and airways
- Environmental dental issues: amalgam and fluoridation
- How inorganic mercury is methylated by oral bacteria
- Safety aspects of amalgam removal and the NHMRC guidelines around this
- The average life of an amalgam filling
- Is water flurodation eradicating tooth decay?
- One hero nutrient to consider in detoxification?
- Food as medicine: Coriander pesto
- A deeper look at root canal treatment
- Using 3D X-Rays in modern dental practices
FX MEDICINE LIVE: Andrew speaks with Amie Skilton
Amie Skilton is a qualified Naturopath, Nutritionist and Medical Herbalist. She has been in clinical practice for more than 13 years and specialises in several areas including women’s health and weight loss. She is passionate about eating well and living well, and believes achieving your ideal weight should be a fun, enjoyable and sustainable process. You can find out more about Amie via her blog at www.whatthenaturopathsaid.com
Amie and Andrew discussed:
- Amie's personal journey with CIRS and mould illness
- How Amie uncovered she was being poisoned by her home
- Why the home and work environments are critical to rreview in the health history
- Why you don't have to see mould for it to be a problem
- Why are some people more susceptible to mould illness than others?
- Changing the clinical approaches to case taking
- Why can some people smell mould and others can't?
- Air quality
- Toxicity to be aware of in cosmetic products
FX MEDICINE LIVE: Andrew speaks with Elizabeth O'Brien
Elizabeth O'Brien is an activist and a woman of passion. She is the Founder & Vice President of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group and has been at the forefront of the Lead Advisory Service Australia (LASA) and the Global Lead Advice and Support Service (GLASS) for nearly 30 years. She is the Founding Committee Member of the Australian Dust Removalists Association (ADRA) and Editor-in-Chief of LEAD Action News and founder of Volcano Art Prize (VAP). Elizabeth O’Brien’s unrelenting efforts played a pivotal role in galvanizing government resolve to bring forward by 18 years the banning of leaded petrol in Australia, and to become the first country to ban (by 2010) the addition of lead to all paints and inks, which has undoubtedly significantly reduced the average blood lead levels of Australians of all ages and saved countless IQ points for the children born since her petrol lead reduction campaign started to take effect in September 1993. In 2004, Elizabeth was awarded Outstanding Service to the Environment Award by the United Nations Association of Australia.
Elizabeth and Andrew discussed:
- Changing attitutes on lead toxicity
- How prevalent is lead exposure?
- Ceilings: an overlooked source of lead contamination
- Is there a connection with lead toxicity and neurological and cognitive health issues?
- How lead-toxic are Australians compared to other regions of the world?
- Legislation in California is leading the way
- What are the best methods for lead toxicity assessment?
- Determining total body burden of lead
- How bone demineralisation as we age contrributes to lead burden
FX MEDICINE LIVE: Andrew speaks with Prof Marc Cohen
Professor Marc Cohen is a registered medical practitioner with degrees in western medicine, physiology, psychological medicine and biomedical engineering. He is currently Chair of the Australasian Spa and Wellness Association, a Board Member and Past-President (from 2000-2007) of the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA), a member of the RACGP-AIMA Joint Working party on Integrative Medicine and a Board Member of the Global Wellness Summit. He also sits on the Editorial Board of a number of international journals. Professor Cohen is a regular media contributor. This includes articles in major Australian newspapers, appearances on ABC Radio National and many regional stations Australia-wide, and television appearances on ABC, SBS, Channel 7 and Channel 9 news, current affairs and lifestyle programs.
Andrew and Marc discussed:
- The Ten Toxic Truths: statements supported by science
- The rise of chronic disease
- The cumulative effect of toxins
- Why we need to end the war on microbes
- What impact is chlorine in our water having on our microbiome?
- "Anti-life chemicals": the issues with pesticides and disinfectants
- Taking an exposure history in the consultation process
- Habitat Health: launching in 2019
FX MEDICINE LIVE: Andrew speaks wtih Narelle MacDonald
Narelle McDonald is a certified Building Biologist & Feng Shui Consultant, President of the Australasian Society of Building Biologists (ASBB), advisor for the Chemfree Community and founder of Healthy Living Spaces. Narelle loves to work with clients who are building and renovating by incorporating Building Biology principles to create environments that offer occupants a healthy habitat. Narelle’s passion is to provide information, practical solutions and healthy alternatives to empower people to create positive change within their environments to support their physical health and emotional wellbeing.
Andrew and Narelle discussed:
- Healthy building design
- Things to consider when building or buying your new home
- Exposures to consider when renovating
- Maximising the functionalities of split-system air-conditioning
- Being a conscious consumer
- Mitigating moisture
- Supporting companies who are developing healthier building products
FX MEDICINE LIVE: Andrew speaks with Kate Harris
Kate Harris is the CEO of Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA). Kate previously spent six years with the Centre for Sustainability Leadership, including two years as CEO, and two years as non-executive director. She is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society (ALCAS) and Living Future Institute Australia, as well as being an Executive Member of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC). She is also the founder of consulting firm Future Ready and a graduate of the Asialink Leaders Program.
Andrew and Kate discussed:
- Building, GECA Certification and life cycles
- Tiny home considerations
- How can we have a home that will work for us for our whole lives?
- The Well Building Institute
- "People in 'well buildings' are 30% more productive"
- The health of classrooms and school design
- Bringing back connections with nature
- The importance of having a healthy mattress
FX MEDICINE LIVE: Andrew speaks with Dr Christabelle Yeoh
Dr Yeoh graduated from medicine at the University of London in 1999 and has obtained her membership with the Royal College of Physicians (UK). She has a Masters degree in Nutrition from Kings College London. After practicing hospital medicine, she worked as a physician in the field of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine. She is a member of the American and British Academies of Environmental Medicine where she received her further NEM training. She moved to Australia in 2012 and is now working as a general practitioner at Invitation to Health, where nutritional medicine is integrated with preventive health care and general practice. She has also been dedicated to developing NEM training for the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine and is on the teaching faculty. She has a strong clinical interest in neurological, gastrointestinal and metabolic health. She is passionate about teaching on the interconnectedness of human metabolism, biology and behaviour.
Andrew and Christabelle discussed:
- The patient journey with environmental illness
- Measuring treatment success
- Home visits: no longer a part of modern medical practices
- The growing need fo health professionals that are proficient in environmental medicine
- The senate enquiry into mycotoxin and biotin illness
FX Medicine would like to thank the Australian Society of Building Biologists for having us at their event.