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    • #19210
      Skip Shaputnic
      Participant

      Toxins’ Insidious Effects on the Brain 8-24-20

      I feel like some of my recent posts are becoming more like serial installments. The ending of my August 18<sup>th</sup> comment about CBD providing symptomatic relief, which got a bit off-topic from the Mannitol thread, could be a good lead-in to this new topic. After sharing the negative, or normal, results of my genetic testing for PD from my post of last Wednesday which found that no disease-causing gene variants that contribute to PD were detected, I asked: Well, what actually did cause me to develop PD, then?

      Good question. It so happened that the San Diego Union-Tribune ran an insightful article also on the 18th that appeared in the Health section “Toxins’ Insidious Effects on the Brain—cumulative exposure to prevalent, harmful chemicals is linked to neurological diseases like Parkinson’s.” https://enewspaper.sandiegouniontribune.com/desktop/sdut/default.aspx?pnum=31&edid=73b1f31f-192a-4967-864a-c1c65a3df56b

      This article focuses on a new book “Ending Parkinson’s Disease—A Prescription for Action.” It was published in March and explores toxins’ role in causing PD that is co-authored by four neurologists, including Todd Sherer who is a neurologist at the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research. Chief among their findings are harmful environmental factors. The authors call the increasing prominence of PD in the world “a man-made pandemic.” Some of the data is staggering. Beyond doubt exposure to toxic chemicals plays a huge role.

      A few takeaways from reading the article: the statistics of prevalence rates cited for the increase of PD over the last 25 years—22% worldwide, 30% for India and a whopping 116% for China. One of the culprits is a solvent, trichloroethylene (TCE), a contaminant found in 30% of our country’s drinking water. The response of the Environmental Protect Agency to these pressing health concerns? A proposed ban was postponed indefinitely in 2017 as was a ban on the nerve toxin chlorpyrifos, which is commonly used on crops and golf courses. Another widely used pesticide—paraquat—increased the risk of Parkinson’s by 150%, but according to the Michael J. Fox Foundation that number is really a striking 320%. Paraquat has been banned by almost three dozen countries, including China, but not in the U.S. where agricultural use has doubled over the last 10 years. Farmers who use it are more than twice as likely to develop PD. Maybe the Environmental Protect Agency should be renamed the Environmental Pollution Agency instead–the indefinite postponement of proposed bans of these insidious toxins are unconscionable.

      Another worrisome stat: In just 25 years, ending in 2015, the number afflicted globally by PD more than doubled, from 2.6 million to 6.3 million. And it is projected to reach almost 13 million by 2040—a manmade pandemic indeed. Some of the book’s contents can be read on Amazon and it should be must reading for all policymakers. But, change takes time (way too much time), especially in the current political climate where environmental regulations are consistently being rolled back thus significantly exacerbating associated health concerns. To promote legislative solutions and help raise awareness, the Michael J. Fox Foundation has an action alert urging a ban of paraquat. If you’re of a mind to take action please go to https://www.michaeljfox.org/advocacy-campaign/paraquat-increases-risk-parkinsons-tell-congress-ban-it

      The upshot: environmental factors, including these all too commonly used toxic chemicals and others, play a significant role and those at risk are not limited just to those who have direct contact with them, like farmers. For example, TCE is so widespread that nearly everyone has been exposed to it. Worst, it evaporates readily and can enter homes undetected through the air.

      Please contact your Senators and Representative via MJFF’s action alert and ask them to co-sponsor this legislation introduced by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO) to reduce the number and harmful types of chemicals in our environment, including the super toxic herbicide paraquat. Many thanks in advance.

      As this dire situation evolves, or devolves and more news is reported, I request that Forum participants post any developments they may hear of. Time is short and the resistance of the EPA must be turned around to enact these much-needed bans and eventual reduction of toxic chemicals in our environment. The well-being of all of us, and especially of our children’s children, depends on it.

       

       

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