Over 110,000 veterans with Parkinson's disease receive treatment from the VA healthcare system every year
Trichloroethylene, a degreasing agent in metal cleaning that has been widely used on military bases to remove lubricants and other contaminants from parts while conducting repairs or maintenance, was found to cause several types of neurological deficits, including Parkinson's disease, at low exposure levels.
It enters the atmosphere from vapor degreasing operations or volatilization from contaminated soil and groundwater through leaching from disposal operations and hazardous waste sites.
Furthermore, trichloroethylene can be released into the indoor air through vapor intrusion through walls and floors from contaminated soil and groundwater. As one of the most significant environmental contaminants nationwide, trichloroethylene can cause neurotoxicity, which can eventually lead to the onset of Parkinson's disease. Recent observations suggest a significant association between chronic exposure to trichloroethylene and the development of parkinsonism. Animal models exposed to the solvent have shown nigrostriatal degeneration and the development of parkinsonian features, according to a study from the medical journal Neurologic Clinics. These are all indicators of Parkinson's disease.
Exposure to trichloroethylene is associated with a high risk of Parkinson's disease
Toxic exposure can lead to various health conditions that worsen as the patient ages, such as Parkinson's disease, which is a neurodegenerative disorder, meaning that it causes more and more severe symptoms over the years. Mounting evidence suggests that chronic exposure to low trichloroethylene levels may cause deficits in the following, which are hallmarks of Parkinson's disease:
Trichloroethylene is one of the numerous industrial solvents that were present in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune during the last century. A series of studies on humans found that exposure to it can lead to a high risk of Parkinson's disease. Researchers based their studies on previous findings that show exposure to environmental toxins such as trichloroethylene may increase the risk of developing the disease by increasing oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress causes imbalances between free radicals and antioxidants, causing cellular damage. It plays a crucial role in the degeneration of dopamine-producing neurons that lead to the development of Parkinson's disease.