I'm an ex firefighter and was diagnosed with Parkinsons 5 years ago, but think I've probably had it longer as took a long time to get a diagnosis. I've been reading an American survey into the relationship between firefighters and Parkinson's and would like to know if there are any of you out there who are ex fire brigade and diagnosed with Parkinsons. The American survey suggests the two are linked due to carbon monoxide and inert gases inhaled. Any opinions.
I have not heard any suggestion on this forum about firefighters in particular. That said there does not appear to be good understanding of what causes Parkinson's. We seem to have more teachers than you might expect here. (I'm not one of them)
I hope you find the forum helpful as I have done
My husband has had PD for thirty years and is still now only 69 years.
He hasn't got any connection in his family of PD but he worked for the old PO and BT using a chemical called trichloroethylene a cleaning agent which they used for cleaning the teleprinters etc.This chemical is used in many fields and probably most men have some in their garage.
A couple of years ago I was talking to Prof Jenner at Kings College and he said they were doing a study to see if there was a link, I feel this chemical is the cause of my husbands pd as they used to have a bath full of the stuff to put the machine in, this in a room with no window and a low ceiling and no protective mask or gloves.We have know other people who have worked in labs of various kind who also have pd.
It would be interesting to see how many people there are who have used this chemical.
best wishes to you
Google would probably provide links to info about CO toxicity and fire fighting risks. CO poisoning can certainly cause Parkinsonism-like symptoms or exacerbate the predisposed/already exhibiting subtle symptoms but not yet formally diagnosed, it all takes time. It's what's happening to me after chronic CO exposure over 3 months due to faulty heater fumes. Now I am awaiting diagnosis. Everyone with gas, oil or solid fuel heating/cooking/hot water systems should have a CO detecting monitor fitted to their homes/boats/caravans/work places etc. It's vital the appliances & flues are serviced annually. There also seems to be a connection to the prevalence of new cluster PD cases in certain agricultural areas, such as is currently happening in rural Victoria, Australia. This link is via the Parkinson's Victoria website.
An old friend of mine with PD was brought up on a farm where her Father would spray the crops with DDT....(many years ago) also they kept chickens.......her Neurologist asked her if she had any connections with birds.
i have been a Hairdresser for 48 years and worked with many chemicals but when i mentioned that to my Consultant she said that Hairdressers had the lowest chance of getting PD but the highest was the teaching profession why?
I think it is like cancer...some folk are more susceptible than others, there just does not seem to be a pattern to it. I wonder if severe stress or shock has any connection. i started becoming ill after being hit by a car and fracturing my pelvis abroad, also both my parents becoming seriously ill. Then i had major surgery and radioactive treatment. So if stress were a factor then i am not surprised that i have Parky!!!
One day we will have the answers and a cure ....fingers crossed!
Often when we talk about clusters we think about geographical clusters. But, I think the original poster is right to consider occupational clusters as well.
I've been trying to find an explanation for the possible association between PD and the fungal disease histoplasmosis (which is common in the Ohio valley in the US, but rare in the UK). The fungus can be found in the faeces of some bats and ground feeding birds, such as the starling. This has, over the years, led me to looking at various publications aimed at bell ringers and pigeon racers, etc. Some magazines have obituaries, from which it is possible to estimate the prevalence of PD. I have never found any good evidence of a cluster.
Perhaps, similar sources for firefighters would be of interest.