Friday, November 16, 2012

Can you contract Parkinson's Disease from Work?

Many workers, particularly in plants and factories, use and are exposed to solvents.  These are a broad category of substances that are present in fuels, paints, glues, lubricants and cleaning products.  There was a recent study that has shown a strong link between long term occupational exposure to the solvent trichloroephylene and parkinson's disease.  

The study examined 6 specific solvents which were chosen for investigation because of past case reports of Parkinson Disease or Parkinson-like symptoms occurring in persons with exposure to one or more of these chemicals.  Parkinson Disease is a degenerative brain disease that causes tremors, movement problems, and dementia.  

This study is just one more bit of evidence that demonstrates employers should be extra cautious in teaching their employees how to handle these chemicals and protect themself from exposure, particularly long-term exposure.  

However, the researchers on the study voiced concerns about more than occupational exposure; their concerns about far reaching public health implications was due to the fact that trichloroephylene is the most frequently reported organic contaminant in ground water and is detectable in up to 30% of U.S. drinking water.  

If you want to read more about this and the study, click here.

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