Parkinson's related to solvents in water
Exposure to the industrial solvent trichloroethylene (TCE) and other volatile organic compounds in drinking water raised the risk of Parkinson's disease decades later, an analysis of 158,000 military veterans showed.
Personnel who lived at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina from 1975 to 1985 had a 70% higher risk of Parkinson's disease (OR 1.70, 95% CI 1.39-2.07, P<0.001) compared with those who lived at Camp Pendleton, a large California base, reported Samuel Goldman, MD, MPH, of the University of California San Francisco and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and co-authors.
Exposure occurred when Marines were an average of age 20, the researchers wrote in JAMA Neurology. Parkinson's diagnoses emerged at Camp Lejeune an average of 34 years later.
Former Camp Lejeune residents also had a higher prevalence of prodromal features like tremor, suggesting that for some veterans, Parkinson's might not yet be diagnosed.
Trichloroethylene has been used since the 1920s to de-grease metal, decaffeinate coffee, and dry clean clothes. It has been linked with cancer, miscarriages, neural tube defects, congenital heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and Parkinson's disease in earlier research.
From 1975 to 1985, the median monthly level of TCE in Camp Lejeune drinking water was 70 times higher than the permissible level. Wells providing water to the base were taken offline in the mid-1980s after contamination from underground storage tanks, industrial spills, and waste disposal sites (largely TCE) and an off-base dry cleaning business (largely perchloroethylene, or PCE) was discovered.
TCE is still widely used in industry, and shockingly, you can easily buy it on Amazon.