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Exposome/toxicology thread

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Likewise, based on extensive evidence presented by four experts in a new book, “Ending Parkinson’s Disease,” it seems shortsighted to deny a causative link between some cases of Parkinson’s disease and prior exposure to various toxic chemicals.


The book was written by Dr. Ray Dorsey, neurologist at the University of Rochester; Todd Sherer, neuroscientist at the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research; Dr. Michael S. Okun, neurologist at the University of Florida; and Dr. Bastiaan R. Bloem, neurologist at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center in the Netherlands.

The authors called the increasing prominence of Parkinson’s “a man-made pandemic.” Its prevalence has closely tracked the growth of industrialization and has increased dramatically with the use of pesticides, industrial solvents and degreasing agents in countries throughout the world.

“Over the last 25 years,” the authors noted, “the prevalence rates for Parkinson’s, adjusted for age, increased by 22 percent for the world, by 30 percent for India, and by 116 percent for China.”

Furthermore, they added, men, who are more likely to work in occupations that expose them to industrial products linked to the disease, have a 40 percent greater risk than women of developing it.

But no one is being spared a potential risk. Among other exposures, a solvent called trichloroethylene, or TCE, linked to Parkinson’s, is so widespread in the American environment that nearly everyone has been exposed to it. It contaminates up to 30 percent of the country’s drinking water and, because it evaporates readily, it can enter homes undetected through the air.

Yet a proposed ban on the use of TCE was postponed indefinitely in 2017 by the Environmental Protection Agency, as has a ban on the nerve toxin chlorpyrifos, an insecticide linked to Parkinson’s that is widely used on crops and golf courses.

Another prominent toxin, the pesticide paraquat, can increase the risk of Parkinson’s by 150 percent. It has been banned by 32 countries, including China, but not by the United States, where use on agricultural fields has doubled during the last decade, the authors noted. Both TCE and paraquat were banned years ago in the Netherlands, and the incidence of Parkinson’s there has since declined.




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