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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Health Update

Air Date: Week of

Diane Toomey reports on a new study that links chemical exposure on the job to a severe form of Parkinson’s disease.


TOOMEY: If you work with certain chemicals on the job, you may be at risk for developing a more severe form of Parkinson's Disease. Italian neurologists asked a group of Parkinson's patients about their occupational exposure to chemicals such as glue, paint, lacquer, and rubber. These substances all contain hydrocarbon solvents, chemicals that in other studies have been linked to Parkinson's Disease. The researchers found that patients who worked with these chemicals needed more medication to control their symptoms. They also noted a correlation between the amount of chemical exposure and the severity of the disease, and noted that this group of Parkinson's patients developed their illness almost three-and-a-half years sooner than others who have the disease. In the study, only a few jobs accounted for almost all the exposures to hydrocarbon chemicals. Those occupations included petroleum, plastic, and rubber workers. And that's this week's health update. I'm Diane Toomey.



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