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Common chemical linked to Parkinson's
November 14th, 2011
06:45 PM ET

Common chemical linked to Parkinson's

Exposure to a man-made chemical known as trichloroethylene, or TCE, is associated with a sixfold increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a new study published Monday in the Annals of Neurology. TCE is a common organic contaminant that pollutes groundwater, soil, and air.

The study also found that exposure to another man-made chemical similar to TCE, known as perchloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene, or PERC, is associated with a tenfold increased risk of Parkinson's. Both chemicals are found in metal degreasers, metal cleaners, paint, spot removers, and carpet-cleaning fluids.

"The fact that we were able to find a six-to-tenfold increased risk in exposure I think is very meaningful," says Dr. Samuel M. Goldman, an associate professor of clinical research at The Parkinson's Institute and the lead author of the study.

Chemicals and solvents like TCE have been anecdotally linked to Parkinson's disease before but according to Goldman, no epidemiologic study has been done to verify the relationship until now.

To conduct the study, Goldman and his team identified six specific solvents previously suspected to be related to the development of Parkinson's, two of which were TCE and PERC. They then reached out to 99 all-male pairs of twins, each composed of one twin with Parkinson's and one without. The twins were all male because they were part of the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council World War II Veteran Twins Registry that was founded in the 1960s using military records.

Goldman and his team interviewed the twins using detailed job-specific questionnaires to gauge the likelihood of each person being exposed to the predetermined solvents.

"We designed these extremely detailed interviews so that we didn't have to rely on the memory or the knowledge of the respondent," explains Goldman.

For example, if one of the study participants said he used to work as an aircraft mechanic in the 1950s, Goldman and his team would question the participant about the different duties or machinery the job involved.

"We know the geographic locations where [each participant] worked, the decade, and what they did so we can say, 'OK – we know that with someone who worked in the 1950s, in a plant with air plane engines, and they were working with the degreasing process, there is a high likelihood that person was exposed to TCE.'"

By working with twins, Goldman and his team were able to account for genetic and lifestyle factors and focus on the job differences between each brother, one of whom had Parkinson's. They found that exposure to TCE, PERC, and to a lesser extent another chemical known as carbon tetrachloride, were all associated with an increased risk of the neurodegenerative disease.

Goldman says that single finding could have major public health implications given how ubiquitous these chemicals, particularly TCE, are in the environment.

"These results need to be replicated," says Goldman. "Even though we have this single epidemiologic study, it's something that needs to be studied quickly."

That sense of urgency is reinforced by the Environmental Protection Agency's recent decision to classify TCE as a known human carcinogen. In an email to CNN, a spokesman for the EPA says the agency believes there is no "acceptable" level of the chemical in groundwater because of its designation as a carcinogen. However, the agency has set a maximum standard of five parts per billion (ppb) to help measure and enforce the amount of TCE in water supplies around the country.

"Clean water is critical to the health and prosperity of every American community and a fundamental concern to every American family," the EPA spokesman wrote to CNN.

The findings in Goldman's study support an emerging line of thought among Parkinson's researchers that the disease is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

"In Parkinson's disease, research has been pointing in the direction supporting the notion that genetics loads the gun, and the environment pulls the trigger," says Dr. Michael S. Okun, medical director of the National Parkinson Foundation.

"This may make the investigation of pesticides, toxins, and trauma very important to understanding what leads to this disease."

Goldman agrees and says more research needs to be done to identify potential environmental triggers like TCE.


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soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. MIT

    So it's not Uranium?

    November 14, 2011 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. karen m

    Both my parents were exposed to these chemicals and both developed parkinsons by age 70. Ii defintely think there is a link!! It's a very debilitating disease..

    November 14, 2011 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dar B Nogod

      Damn! I guess that means i should not have been adding this to my kool-aid each day. :-(

      November 15, 2011 at 06:49 | Report abuse |
    • JoeM

      My dad too suffered from Parkinsons, we use these chemicals in India as insecticide. There is definitely a link.

      November 15, 2011 at 07:23 | Report abuse |
    • up1652

      My father was a nurseryman who used pesticides for years spraying his green houses. He also died of Parkinsons.

      November 15, 2011 at 10:43 | Report abuse |
    • y

      My father died of parkinsons. He was an aircraft mechanic at Kelly AFB. They found contaminants in the soil around the base. Many people were dying of cancer and other illnesses. We believed his parkinsons was caused by these contaminants, but the people handling these cases basically blew us off. This article validates what we've believed all along.

      November 16, 2011 at 13:27 | Report abuse |
  3. MEF

    This is one of the chemicals used to make Agent Orange. Agent Orange has been killing and maiming for over 40 plus years around the world.

    November 14, 2011 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. heydummies

    so smart people are looking for something more than the current sham? hardly surpising

    November 14, 2011 at 23:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Sarah

    Our "progress" as a human race just kills us in different ways. Perhaps we have made advances, but is our quality of life–when prolonged–really better? Possibilities like this are why so many of us are going natural. Potato water makes a better spot remover anyway.

    November 14, 2011 at 23:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Troy

      I think that means we should be more careful about testing and using chemicals, not get rid of them all together. Also, it is extremely hypocritical for you to be using a computer to announce that we should all be living a 'natural' life. Or... your just going natural when it suits your needs?

      November 15, 2011 at 08:14 | Report abuse |
    • JGex

      Troy,

      It's not hypocritical to remove chemicals from your household and use a computer. Those of you trying to establish that are not getting that many of the chemicals sold to us as safe, benign household cleaners or air fresheners or oven cleaners aren't a necessary part of living. For many of us, the computer is how we conduct business that brings in a paycheck so we can pay our bills. We can still make greener and cleaner choices in our lives by cutting down on our consumption and making better choices in the products we buy or use. This "all or nothing" mentality that is so pervasive in our society is borne of ignorance and an inability to think critically.

      November 15, 2011 at 08:48 | Report abuse |
    • Geoz

      I think the answer is a definitive yes to your question. The infant mortalitiy rate of a hundred years ago is the largest determinent of a longer life span (the average was being pulled way down), and I have to think that living beyond infancy raises our quality of life.

      November 15, 2011 at 09:02 | Report abuse |
    • Greg Huey

      "Perhaps we have made advances, but is our quality of life–when prolonged–really better?"

      An excellent question – if you doubt that technology has improved the quality of our life, feel free to go find a cave, cease using tools of any sort, and live in the dirt. Let us know how much you feel that improves your quality of life.

      Remember, no tool use – not even those made of stone or bone – that is a form of technology and therefore bad, right?

      November 15, 2011 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
    • Renae

      @ Sarah....we are still breathing 25,000 times a day....Heavy metals and chemicals are ALL around us.....Water, food, air...although potatoe water is a great beginning, its stil tough to avoid these "killers". WE need to remove them from our bodies....www.itsncd.com

      November 16, 2011 at 15:49 | Report abuse |
  6. Lavonne Cook

    My Father died of Parkinson's effects on his body. He worked on cars all his life. using "Bondo", auto paint, welding equipment. In his retirement years he repaired motorcycles, sanding, spray painting, again Bondo (this is a synthetic material to fill in cracks, dips, etc) which contains fiberglass, I think. Now my younger sister has been diagnosed with Parkinson's. After reading this article I wonder if hers stems from exposure to my Father's evening and weekend retirement occupation, since she still lived at home.

    November 14, 2011 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Karen B

      Lavonne, I think you are right! I recall stories about people who worked with asbestos who came home with small particles of asbestos on their clothes and their families were also exposed as a result.

      November 15, 2011 at 04:04 | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      Asbestos exposure causes asbestosis lung problems and Mesothelioma cancer. This article shows no connection to Parkinson as yet.

      One must wonder what happened to Michael J Fox and my friend Linda Y, both of whom developed Parkinson's at an early age.

      November 15, 2011 at 09:48 | Report abuse |
  7. Allison

    Article significantlyy neglects to mention that PERC is what's used in the drycleaning process. More people have exposure to that activity than to the others listed.

    November 14, 2011 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paul

      My father ran a pick-up/delivery dry cleaning business for 15 years after being forced into early retirement, and has since developed Parkinson's disease. While he never directly handled these chemicals (the cleaning was done by third party stores that gave him a wholesale price), I can't help but wonder what effect the "trace" amounts of these chemicals left on the "clean" clothes he transported have had on his current condition.

      November 15, 2011 at 08:49 | Report abuse |
    • JGex

      Everyone's body is different. Out of people who have been exposed to something that causes disease, not everyone will get that disease or affliction, and some will react in varying degrees. Think.

      November 15, 2011 at 08:55 | Report abuse |
    • Kerry

      Allison is right on with her comment on Nov 14th about dry cleaning being the most common source of PERC exposure. There is still off-gasing when people pick up their freshly dry cleaned clothes. Your research needs upgrading.

      November 16, 2011 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
  8. nextinline

    NOW , look at the fluoride in tapwater , it is known to cause Alzheimers!! Scientists have been saying so for years!! please, TAKE FLUORIDE OUT OF OUR TAP WATER !! it is not good for our teeth , despite what they have you believe ! , Install some sort of filter onto your tap!. I am not joking, check google or even your own water department in your town. no one can tell you that it is healthy or good for you.

    November 15, 2011 at 00:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dan, TX

      Sorry, but you are joking.

      November 15, 2011 at 00:39 | Report abuse |
    • SkyKing

      You're either joking or retarded.
      Not 'no one' but 'nearly every one' who has even the least amount of scientific knowledge will tell you that it is healthy and good for you.
      It is not what they believe, it is fact.

      November 15, 2011 at 00:53 | Report abuse |
    • ljcjec

      There is mounting research indicating nextinline is correct. Fluroide is good for dental health, but not necessarily great for the rest of the body due to its toxicity to mitochondria.

      November 15, 2011 at 01:04 | Report abuse |
    • msgruvn

      you must also be aware that the % of fluoride can vary a lot and sometimes the concentration can be way over the dosge allowed. some feel that we do need a small amout of flouride for our teeth, and if so, all you need is 1 treatment at your dentist every year or so. you do NOT need to drink, cook with and shower in flouride-treated water.

      November 15, 2011 at 02:30 | Report abuse |
    • mark

      Nextinline is absolutely correct about fluoride. Google the topic "Water fluoridation controversy" or similar. I've researched this 10 years ago and read a lot of information that just stunned me, even many knowledgeable doctors AND dentists claim that it is absolutely bad for health to drink, eat and bathe in all the time without monitoring... the US government has done very little research other than stating that it may help to prevent tooth cavities... I don't think just that alone is a good reason to be force everyone to consume this substance uncontrolled without having another choice since it's the only water supply in your home. There was a study in Britain and Australia which compared certain neighborhoods where water was treated and in others where it wasn't – the neighborhoods that were treated with fluoride had higher cavity rates. Another danger is that the fluoride added to tap water is of manufacturing waste origin, not the same kind as from natural sources like tea and fish bones etc and natural organic products... I read that this may be a ploy to literally dispose of this waste in a controlled way because if it were just poured into a few certain areas it would poison fauna and flora. There is some evidence suggesting it damages intestinal walls and the flora within, causes allergic reactions in certain people and even hair loss, kind of like what you'd expect to see in a situation of toxicity of many compounds. Most interesting worry that exists is the lack of research especially in the US on other health effects not just dubious claims of preventing cavities. So why are we FORCED to drink, eat and bathe in this "medicine", given evidence has existed for long that there may be undesirable health effects. After all why don't they start adding vitamins and mineralizing water etc if they actually cared for our health? I think if I'm deficient in vitamins and minerals that is something my doctor should diagnose, not the government. Chlorine is a necessity to kill bacteria, we all understand, but this is taking things to another level altogether to be forcing people to consume "medicine" where not diagnosed by a doctor as necessary for that particular individual. Why can't a doctor just prescribe fluoride pills to those in need as he prescribes all other medications? This is very questionable especially with the doubts that exist.

      November 15, 2011 at 03:42 | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      The article is about PERC and TCE, so where do you guys come off commenting about Asbestos,, Bondo and Fluoride in the water? If Fluoride has such a connection to Alzheimers, then there would be entire geographic areas in the US that should have major major concentrarions of people suffering from it, because there are areas where millions of people have been drinking fluoride in their water for 50 years or more–thats two generations. As far as I can tell, there are no such geographic concentrations reflected for this medical problem.

      November 15, 2011 at 04:46 | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      That's why I only drink spring water, or rainwater, and pure grain alcohol. Fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual.

      November 15, 2011 at 06:11 | Report abuse |
    • gale

      sorry all of you but nextinline is correct. They don't even put it in children's toothpaste until they are 2 or 3 cuz of its danger.

      November 15, 2011 at 07:38 | Report abuse |
    • Troy

      It would be so much more helpful if you could link to studies that indicate what you are saying.

      November 15, 2011 at 08:17 | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      Looks like I'm doomed too.

      November 15, 2011 at 08:25 | Report abuse |
    • bob

      before flouride people were dying of tooth decay at age 40. Check the history books... tooth decay is a major reason why the average life expectancy was so low before flouride. Maybe next time you'll use real science and not internet urban legends to back up your claims.

      November 15, 2011 at 08:38 | Report abuse |
    • Geoz

      Flouride is also found in ground water. So good luck.

      November 15, 2011 at 08:56 | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      Show the scientific studies, please. Otherwise, this is simply a wacky theory.

      If this were true there would have been no such thing as Alzheimer's before flouridation of water. That is not the case. It is true that few people lived long enough to develop the disease before current medical care allowed life extension, but there are cases in history wherein people lose their cognition ability.

      Were it not for the fact that you are yourself unaware of medical history you'd know this. Read some books on the subject and learn about Dr Alzheimer and his investigation of the disease and you will understand this yourself.

      November 15, 2011 at 09:55 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I don't know anyone who remembers getting alzheimers before water flouridation.

      November 15, 2011 at 15:08 | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Agreed. Fluoride, when applied topically, can reduce plaque on your teeth. However, when ingested, fluoride is a neurotoxin that does absolutely nothing for your teeth when you drink it, which is why they do not ask you to drink fluoride at the dentist's office and there are warnings on home fluoride treatments. People are scary that just blindly believe that because there is an advertising campaign and government support that something is good.

      November 16, 2011 at 14:51 | Report abuse |
  9. Dan, TX

    Ok, time to send all the manufacturing that uses these chemicals to China.

    November 15, 2011 at 00:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Renae

      thats the problem Dan, the chinese emissions from their factories and powerplants is in our airspace within 2.5 weeks time....and we breath 25,000 times per day.....itsncd.com

      November 16, 2011 at 15:45 | Report abuse |
  10. paganguy

    Let me see: Agent orange, DDT, TCE and so on
    Dow Chemical has nice gifts for us: death.

    November 15, 2011 at 00:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mudfoot

      DDT is NOT dangerous. There are NO REAL scientific studies that even hints at DDT being dangerous. It does stay in the environment for a long time before breaking down but that merely leads to better efficacy. The reasons DDT was pulled from the market was political and economical(it was cheap and effective and hard or impossible to compete with). More have died because we STOPPED using DDT than those that have had adverse effects.

      November 15, 2011 at 06:10 | Report abuse |
    • Cheeseman

      There have been many studies showing the link between DDT and the decline in bird populations. DDT affects the thickness of bird eggs which enables them to be destroyed much easier.

      November 15, 2011 at 06:47 | Report abuse |
    • Geoz

      For a nerve cell, the concentration of Na+ and K+ inside and outside of a cell are especially important, because they help determine when the nerve cell will fire its signals. After DDT gets into the plasma membrane, nerve impulses (signals) no longer fire when they are supposed to.
      One google search finds this at Duke. Let's see... who to believe: Duke U, or random poster?

      "If you are not familiar with biology, nerve impulse tell the muscles when to contract and relax. Thus, when an organism is poisoned with DDT, it dies by either convulsions (random, uncontrolled contraction of the muscles) or paralysis (complete loss of muscle control).

      November 15, 2011 at 08:59 | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      Mudfoot: since birds consume insects and bugs as a part of their natural diet, how is it a good idea to use DDT and upset the natural environment with a negative impact on bird populations? All insects develop natural resistance to insecticide over time and DDT was no different.

      One notices you made no mention of this in your post, or were you unaware of these factors?

      November 15, 2011 at 09:58 | Report abuse |
  11. Jerry

    So I guess if you worked at a dry cleaners you're screwed, as PERC was what they replaced carbon tet with once they figured-out all the other bad things carbon tetrachloride can do to you. Hell, I wonder how much of the stuff remains in the clothing after the cleaning process is finished. I'm glad I don't have to wear suits every day!

    November 15, 2011 at 00:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill

      You're quite right about PERC. For years I worked on environmental insurance claims. Did you know the EPA requires dry cleaners to "properly dispose" of PERC saturated lint and other PERC contaminated waste? It used to be that they just threw the lint and other stuff away. It was found to be getting into the water tables where it was disposed of. Lots of companies used TCE to degrease metal parts. I should think that there are lots of studies waiting to be done on those companies' employees. I remember working on litigation against Marotta Scientific in Boonton NJ, its aircraft parts degreasing operation leaked TCE into the Boonton water supply which ran right under their Plant. I would think that these companies that used these solvents would have an employee pool with higher instances Parkinsons than the general population if this article/study are true.

      November 15, 2011 at 04:36 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      I worked in a dry cleaners. We once had a machine break, spilling PERC all over the floor. We closed the place and sat outside, dizzy and nauseated, waiting for the owners to come deal with it. They were furious, told us to just open the doors and mop it up. We refused and they made their kids do it. Everything went down the utility sink.

      November 15, 2011 at 11:01 | Report abuse |
  12. Jim456

    I not wanna now what chemicals are in American carpets, and I do not wanna know what chemicals are in the Chinese cloth sold 99% all over the US

    November 15, 2011 at 00:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Joe

    is there a link of it to MS since both deseases are similar?

    November 15, 2011 at 01:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Colin

    I'm waiting to read about how the chemicals in dish detergent, left on after typical rinsing, give us debilitating disease, too. Time to go back to pounding out our clothes on rocks and rinsing dinnerware in fast moving streams. Not.

    November 15, 2011 at 01:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sharkey

      Maybe it is time for us to go back to things like baking soda and lemon juice and vinegar for cleaning. I have not used or heard until now about the potatoe water method for spotting clothes, but I will try it. We do need to get away from the chemicals and the poisons they are putting in our foods as well. We need to send manufacturers a message that we will no longer put up with their cheap ways of soaking us out of our money.

      November 15, 2011 at 01:20 | Report abuse |
  15. travis fisher

    If i take baths in tap water do those chemicals get absorbed and should i not use toothpaste?

    November 15, 2011 at 01:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. hical

    impossible ... they are organic ... and everybody knows that organic products are good for us.

    November 15, 2011 at 02:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. SixDegrees

    I agree with the study's author that it indicates the need for a larger, more comprehensive investigation. The author is rightly cautious, though, because of the small size of the study – only 99 twin pairs. Although the increase in Parkinson's is high, the margin of error with such a small group is also large, and the study's reliance on participant's recollection rather than on a more objective metric adds to its uncertainty. A study with a couple thousand participants, though, ought to be easy to set up and should provide definitive answers.

    November 15, 2011 at 03:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. marc

    Nextinline is absolutely correct about fluoride. Google the topic "Water fluoridation controversy" or similar. I've researched this 10 years ago and read a lot of information that just stunned me, even many knowledgeable doctors AND dentists claim that it is absolutely bad for health to drink, eat and bathe in all the time without monitoring... the US government has done very little research other than stating that it may help to prevent tooth cavities... I don't think just that alone is a good reason to be force everyone to consume this substance uncontrolled without having another choice since it's the only water supply in your home. There was a study in Britain and Australia which compared certain neighborhoods where water was treated and in others where it wasn't – the neighborhoods that were treated with fluoride had higher cavity rates. Another danger is that the fluoride added to tap water is of manufacturing waste origin, not the same kind as from natural sources like tea and fish bones etc and natural organic products... I read that this may be a ploy to literally dispose of this waste in a controlled way because if it were just poured into a few certain areas it would poison fauna and flora. There is some evidence suggesting it damages intestinal walls and the flora within, causes allergic reactions in certain people and even hair loss, kind of like what you'd expect to see in a situation of toxicity of many compounds. Most interesting worry that exists is the lack of research especially in the US on other health effects not just dubious claims of preventing cavities. So why are we FORCED to drink, eat and bathe in this "medicine", given evidence has existed for long that there may be undesirable health effects. After all why don't they start adding vitamins and mineralizing water etc if they actually cared for our health? I think if I'm deficient in vitamins and minerals that is something my doctor should diagnose, not the government. Chlorine is a necessity to kill bacteria, we all understand, but this is taking things to another level altogether to be forcing people to consume "medicine" where not diagnosed by a doctor as necessary for that particular individual. Why can't a doctor just prescribe fluoride pills to those in need as he prescribes all other medications? This is very questionable especially with the doubts that exist.

    November 15, 2011 at 03:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill

      Well then, you had better not drink tea if yiou believe fluoride is bad for you. Did you know that of all plants tea is a concentrator of fluoride in its leaves?

      November 15, 2011 at 04:52 | Report abuse |
    • Geoz

      interesting. I've never met a doctor or dentist who say that. But I have met many who prescribe it.

      Unlike the chemicals in THIS article, flouride has had many, many studies, and the evidence is in: They don't cause the problems you claim.

      November 15, 2011 at 08:30 | Report abuse |
    • helicohunter

      Read my reply to Doug. Harm comes from extremely high levels of NATURALLY occurring fluoride present in certain regions of the world. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing (and low levels of fluoride are GOOD). You can be poisoned by excess salt, iron, vitamins, calcium- you name it. Does this mean we should ban these things? And by the way, the government DOES mandate vitamin fortification of some foods. Is this evil too? The government chose to fluoridate water instead of food because water frequently bathes the teeth while people sip it. The idea is to get the fluoride to where it is needed- the teeth.

      November 15, 2011 at 09:24 | Report abuse |
  19. Bill

    Because they need to be slapped around roughly.

    November 15, 2011 at 04:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. C. Edwards

    Just about ANYTHING with "Ethyl" does horrible things to the body. I mean, cmon, they use ethyl in formaldehyde for pete's sake. It is one of the most over-used chemical on the planet. It's also been linked to cancer and allergy conditions. Over exposure to anything with ethyl in it is a very bad thing!

    November 15, 2011 at 07:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LaPoof

      Like Wine

      November 15, 2011 at 08:54 | Report abuse |
    • SoulCatcher

      ...or the fact everyone has missed in the most common fruit on the planet... BANANAS!

      BANANAS BANANAS BANANAS BANANAS

      BANANAS BANANAS BANANAS BANANAS

      BANANAS BANANAS BANANAS BANANAS

      BANANAS BANANAS BANANAS BANANAS

      BANANAS BANANAS BANANAS BANANAS

      November 15, 2011 at 13:18 | Report abuse |
    • SoulCatcher

      "Bananas must be transported over long distances from the tropics to world markets. To obtain maximum shelf life, harvest comes before the fruit is mature. The fruit requires careful handling, rapid transport to ports, cooling, and refrigerated shipping. The goal is to prevent the bananas from producing their natural ripening agent, ethylene"

      Recent studies have suggested that carbon dioxide (which bananas produce) and ethylene absorbents extend fruit life even at high temperatures.[39][40][41] This effect can be exploited by packing the fruit in a polyethylene bag and including an ethylene absorbent, e.g., potassium permanganate, on an inert carrier. The bag is then sealed with a band or string. This treatment has been shown to more than double lifespans up to 3–4 weeks without the need for refrigeration.

      -source wikipedia

      That means bananas store Ethylene. How much of these chemicals show up in supermarket bananas?

      November 15, 2011 at 13:23 | Report abuse |
  21. d. scott

    I started working at a manufacturing plant when i was a senior in high school 1979 on 3rd shift, as time went on i was incharge of the chemical room for many years and was exposed to trichloroethylene on a daily basis. I was told i had Parkinsons at the age of 40. i am on disability now due to this! I hate this Parkinson's for myself and my family.

    November 15, 2011 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dude

      So sorry to hear that, my Dad and Aunt are racked with Parkinson's too. It sucks to watch vibrant life go away like this.

      November 15, 2011 at 08:35 | Report abuse |
  22. Inciteful

    I would not swear to this, but I thought that perchloroethylene was used for dry-cleaning. If so, it makes me wonder if a person would absorb the chemical through their skin.

    November 15, 2011 at 08:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jake1969

      It wouldn't surprise me if it was in dry cleaning. Dry cleaning uses all kinds of toxic substances.

      November 15, 2011 at 10:47 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      It is used in dry cleaning. That's the smell you notice when you walk into one of those places. I worked in a dry cleaners for a short period of time. There's a hazard list that all employees are supposed to get – and one of them says the dry cleaned clothes are supposed to be hung in a place with constant air exchange and you are supposed to tell your customers they shouldn't wear the clothes right away, but should let them air out another twenty-fours after pick up. However, the routine is to bag the clothes right after pressing, where the gasses stay in the material right up until the customers pick them up. And how many people let the clothes sit in an airless car for hours before hanging their things up – still in their bags – at home?

      November 15, 2011 at 10:57 | Report abuse |
    • Jamie Gold

      Perc is also absorbed by breathing it in. So if you have to dry clean, better to quickly get rid of those plastic bags and air clothes outside before hiding them in your bedroom closet so the bad stuff has a chance to dissipate. Better still to dry clean as little as you have to and launder everything else.

      As for a link to Parkinson's or any other condition, it seems to be another example of the health sciences catching up to the engineering fields in terms of what can be done with what benefit and consequences. Who should have the obligation of proving that something is safe or dangerous, those who put it into the stream of commerce or those who buy it? Once we know that something is dangerous, the obligation is clearly on those who offer it for sale, but not so clear that the same applies before we know. So again, who should bear the risk? Me thinks those who put the thing into the market, particularly if they make claims about its safety.

      November 21, 2011 at 17:52 | Report abuse |
  23. helicohunter

    Doug- Conspriacy theories much? You sorely need psychiatric help. Fluoride in water, toothpaste, or mouth rinses, is scientifically proven to harden enamel. The myth that fluoridation is harmful comes from studies of regions where water NATURALLY contains fluoride at extremely high levels (Far, far in excess of intentional fluoridation). There is NO scientific evidence that intentional fluoridation is harmful. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Excess calcium is harmful, too. Does that mean we should eliminate calcium supplementation? Of course not. It just means you shouldn't snack on Tums.

    November 15, 2011 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brenda

      There is plenty of evidence out there that proves that flouride is harmful to humans. In the 50's the phosphate fertilizer industry needed to dispose of their waste (flouride) from their smokestacks. One doctors study allowed this chemical by product of the industry to be added to water.
      In addition Hitler used flouride on the Jews to keep them docile so they wouldn't act up...Flouride blocks the receptors to your brain, hence the dumming down of America. Keep drinking tap water it's good for you as the Dr says...

      November 16, 2011 at 16:55 | Report abuse |
  24. jake1969

    Of course, any attempt by EPA to regulate and limit these chemicals for the good of the public will be met by stiff resistance from the Tea Party. They've tried to block EPA from even regulating and requiring bad power plants to limit mercury (even though most power plants have proven the capabilities to reduce mercury exist and most have done so). Bachmann wants to eliminate the EPA and Cain wants to gut them. All they care about is hooking up a very small few with larger profits, then claim it's for jobs, which is utter BS. Just something to keep in mind...

    November 15, 2011 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. abby

    Parkinson's is a complicated disorder with many causes, including genetic predisposition. Nevertheless, our nonchalant use of chemicals has and still is creating havoc as we poison ourselves and our planet.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. R

    Wow. Years ago, near the south Jersey shore, trucks would go around through neighborhoods in the evening and spray insecticide to kill mosquitoes and their larvae and people were told to remain indoors for awhile right afterwards. I wonder if that affected any people.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. ews

    My father died of Parkinson's. A terrible way to die. He worked for 30 years in the paint department of an auto assembly plant.

    November 15, 2011 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Mohamed Elhusseini

    We can come up with a million reason on why people get parkinson's. So what??? what matters is, we have to support funding to find a permanant cure for the disease. Next it could be you, a brother, a sister or a parent, a friend or a family member. Couple decades ago it was getting older folks in their 60 's and above. Now, I know of people who are 40's , and they are diagnosed with parkinson's. I am one of them. In two weeks senators will be voting against funding that was allocted to parkinson's research, Please vote agsinst it. Support Michael J Fox and Mohamed Ali in finding a cure for this disease asap. The solution is so close, it is just around the corner. Scientists have the technology, they need more to apply and research and test. They need money. It is a shame that we spent billions of Dollars on defense and invading countries overseas, going after weapons of mass destruction. The enemey is inhouse attacking our most dear ones. Let's clean it once and forever. Vote No on cutting off research money in 2 weeks. Raise funding for Parkinson's research.

    November 15, 2011 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Kevin Roberts

    Only a strict organic vegan diet will ensure a long and healthy life free from all these man made diseases. Do the research it's a proven fact. GO VEGAN!

    November 15, 2011 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Gene Nelson

    Why hasn't Dioxin used in Agent Orange been reported as a cause of Parkinson's? I was in Vietnam in 1967 and was in a heavy spryed area. I have Parkinson's for 14 years and 3 others out of 6 that I have been in contact with has Parkinson's. The VA has put it on their list and I am just now recieveing benifits of 100 percent .

    November 15, 2011 at 18:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • James Faulkner

      Thanks for your service, I am truly sorry that happened to you.

      November 15, 2011 at 22:17 | Report abuse |
  31. guestwhat

    AHHH, Now we're getting somewhere Toxic Exposure 101 at airfreshener411.blogspot.com for the advanced student apageinthelife.blogspot.com keyword toxic exposure, airfreshener, or ADBAC...

    November 15, 2011 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • guestwhat

      type-o apageinthelife.blogspot.com

      November 15, 2011 at 19:54 | Report abuse |
    • Renae

      http://itsncd.com is a solution we have found....stuff is all around.....be proactive....great find on the air fresheners...

      November 16, 2011 at 17:06 | Report abuse |
  32. Dennis

    People have no idea that they are being slowly poisoned. How many know that cooking with teflon cookware gives off fumes that will kill your pet bird in minutes? Ammonia, clorine, in your household cleaners. Chemicals in your cosmetics, your food, water, air, lawn, carpet, plastic bottles, on & on.

    November 15, 2011 at 20:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. focusoninfinity

    Post Script:
    I needed my Levo-Dopa to work better, and was told meat interfered with it. I stopped eating any meat, and in two months-without trying–I went from 255 pounds to 212 pounds. Daily I weigh myself, and if I get over 210, I stop eating until I'm below again. I'd had three bore-scope, up-my-butt exams, all three finding polyps (one big one each time); none cancerous. I was given these exams every three years; the last exam, the doc said "clean as a whistle, see you in five years". I attribute this to a no meat, low sugar diet.

    Warning: after my first exam, a BIG polyp amongst little polyps, was burnt out. Old blood looked like thick catsup on the bottom of the toilet; the lighter bright red blood floated on the top. After several days I called the doc's nurse. She indicated every one has a little blood in the toilet. After a week I told her I was going to their office. I wanted her to look and tell me, that's a little blood?

    She looked and got the doc. He looked and said I'd be in the hospital the next morning at 5 AM to prep for surgery. A small hole had been burnt through my intestines. Why feces had not gotten into me guts, I think is due to this. Before the exam I did not eat for two days (only a half-day was required). After the exam I was not going to start eating until there was no blood in the toilet. I only drank stuff.

    November 15, 2011 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. M.B .Swinson

    Parkinson's disease is an illness where the blood brain barrier that normally screens out
    chemicals that effect cell destruction in the brain goes haywire ,therefore people working in
    the same enviroment of toxic chemicals (or say the drugs that knock you out in surgery ) may cause
    PD symptoms in one person so exposed and not in another. Many younger Neurologists state today
    that Parkinson's disease is not a disease at all but a syndrome of several diseases from viral inflammation to issues
    such as orthtostatic hypotention, More research is needed and common sense in creating and using aromatic solvents
    is part of this protocol.

    November 16, 2011 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Miriam

    My family was exposed this chemical in Arizona years ago........my mother has Parkisons.

    November 16, 2011 at 09:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Miriam

    My family was exposed to this TCE in Arizona years ago. Hughes AC was contaminating the water in southern Tucson.
    My mother now has Parkinsons.

    November 16, 2011 at 09:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. focusoninfinity

    My long original post did not post, though the "Post Script" (above) did.

    What about MEK?

    Now age 68. Since circa 1958 I have been on twenty pills per day of Carbidopa-Levodopa 25-100 TAB, not for Parkinson's, but for acute Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS); RSL has a new name now. A physician said I could still get Parkinson's; I said how would I know it when I'm already on this much Parkinson's medicine?

    I was also on 1.25 MG's of thyroid medication; my lower legs had swelled to a large diameter. I had static electricity like "shocks" (I'm not saying they were electrical "shocks", but that is what they felt like) going through my body about every five minutes, day and night. The first year I told my GP doctor, VA doctor, and neurologist about the "shocks"; could they stop them?. From each doctor; not one word, it was if I'd spoke to the wall. Ditto, the next year, I told each on separate occasions, could they end the torture of the endless "shocks"; it was hell. Ditto, not one word; it was as if I'd said nothing. The third year I told each; if these "shocks" would be the rest of my life, it was not worth living, I'd prefer suicide. Again; not one word. I wondered, do they train this consistent response; rather non-response, in medical school?

    The thyroid medicine was one pill I'd take at noon. One day I forgot; the next noon I remembered. Then I thought; if I'm going to commit suicide, why not stop taking it, and see what happens? In four days the "shocks" had diminished in intensity and frequency, and were gone. My lower legs which had long lost their hair (which has never come back), turned brown (I'm white; after several days the brown faded away), slowly lost half their swelled diameter. They are normal now except for hanging, stretched veins. When a new physician would see my swelled legs, he'd eagerly get out his heart listening device; frown, and exclaim but I had a good heart (like a good heart is my fault with big, swelled legs).

    continued...

    November 16, 2011 at 10:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. focusoninfinity

    My long original post did not post, though the "Post Script" (above) did.

    What about MEK?

    Now age 68. Since circa 1958 I have been on twenty pills per day of Carbidopa-Levodopa 25-100 TAB, not for Parkinson's, but for acute Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS); RSL has a new name now. A physician said I could still get Parkinson's; I said how would I know it when I'm already on this much Parkinson's medicine?

    I was also on 1.25 MG's of thyroid medication; my lower legs had swelled to a large diameter. I had static electricity like "shocks" (I'm not saying they were electrical "shocks", but that is what they felt like) going through my body about every five minutes, day and night. The first year I told my GP doctor, VA doctor, and neurologist about the "shocks"; could they stop them?. From each doctor; not one word, it was if I'd spoke to the wall. Ditto, the next year, I told each on separate occasions, could they end the torture of the endless "shocks"; it was hell. Ditto, not one word; it was as if I'd said nothing. The third year I told each; if these "shocks" would be the rest of my life, it was not worth living, I'd prefer suicide. Again; not one word. I wondered, do they train this consistent response; rather non-response, in medical school?

    The thyroid medicine was one pill I'd take at noon. One day I forgot; the next noon I remembered. Then I thought; if I'm going to commit suicide, why not stop taking it, and see what happens? In four days the "shocks" had diminished in intensity and frequency, and were gone. My lower legs which had long lost their hair (which has never come back), turned brown (I'm white; after several days the brown faded away), slowly lost half their swelled diameter. They are normal now except for hanging, stretched veins. When a new physician would see my swelled legs, he'd eagerly get out his heart listening device; frown, and exclaim but I had a good heart (like a good heart is my fault with big, swelled legs).

    continued...

    Note to monitor who will not let me post this; this is complicated; the MEK is next.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Tom

    This is why we can't eliminate the EPA! What the hell is wrong with the Republican candidates!

    November 16, 2011 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Renae

    My husbands grandfather died at a young age from parkinsons....IF we would be proactive rather than reactive, I think we would prevent some of these disease states like cancer, alzheimers, parkinsons, dimentia, etc.....but we must get rid of the heavy metals and chemicals in our bodies daily....safely and effectively. We have done our homework and this is what we take to rid our bodies of these things....www.itsncd.com

    November 16, 2011 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. T Benson

    Has no one mentioned the connection to the chemicals used for Dry Cleaning clothing? That hits a much wider segment of society...

    November 16, 2011 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Renae

      you got it right t benson...those chemicals are very bad for humans.....

      November 16, 2011 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
  42. Renae

    Heavy metals and chemicals are ALL around us.....NO one is not exposed daily....in the last 10 years alone, the epa has approved the use and allowed 15,000 new chemicals to be introduced into our society. lets do something about it. http://itsncd.com

    November 16, 2011 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Noe

    The note at CNN call on my attention because the comment about links of TCE chemicals to Parkison , chase with my case. I am a Colombian with Parkinson who was exposed to paint´s and solvents for more than three years and now at my sixties the development of the desease is taken an acelerated development.

    November 19, 2011 at 20:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Harsha

      2 flrteis are 2 flrteis are washeable and make the HEPA last longer. The negative ion, UV, and Tio2 do not get cleaned as they work to eradicate germs, viruses, etc.

      March 6, 2012 at 00:15 | Report abuse |
  44. Nyla Marshall

    Just found this link – sorry so late to comment. My mother & father ran a drycleaner shop (clothing) for probably a dozen years. My mother was diagnosed with Parkinson's Plus & was gone 5 years after diagnosis. She died in 1993. Thanks to you all for finally starting to put the pieces together. I have lived 25 miles in the country with no chemicals to speak of in my house for 15 years or so & I am more thankful all the time I figured it out back then.

    February 25, 2012 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
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    May 9, 2012 at 13:07 | Report abuse | Reply
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  48. syarifuddin nasution

    When I was a student using m-bike a small accident happened. Some years then a small hand tremor contiinouesly.. Progressively developed and by ctscan It was found some black spot inside my brain, but with that I can still work hard.. Regularly I exercise jogging sometimes only.. In the old age my condition drop and can't walk due powerless.. By lab check up some viral was found such as Toxoplast, etc.. Now I walk with walker daily and play or sit infront tv with my gchild for timeless..

    July 12, 2013 at 22:42 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.