There are some diseases where the symptoms are not as noticeable as in others. Parkinson’s disease is one of those diseases where the signs are virtually unnoticeable for some time in many patients. It is a disease that seriously affects a person’s nervous system and all body parts controlled by the nerves.
Some victims may experience a tremor in their hands, while others can experience stiffness in their joints. While medical professionals are still gathering information about a cure for Parkinson’s disease, they are also conducting studies on how exposure to certain contaminants can lead to the development of the disease. A water contamination lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, answers your questions below.
Are There Contaminants in Water that Can Cause You to Develop Parkinson’s Disease?
Medical researchers believe there has been an increase in Americans with Parkinson’s disease. Compared to the past decade, there has been an increase of more than a third of people who have developed the disease. Many researchers speculate that one factor responsible for the increase is the exposure to certain contaminants found in water, specifically trichloroethylene (TCE). TCE is a solvent that many dry cleaning companies use to degrease metal parts.
It is a chemical found in dry cleaning products, carpet cleaners, and shoe polish. When this solvent is released into the water consumed by the general public, it can cause serious health effects like damage to the brain, nervous, immune, and reproductive systems. This solvent can also increase the likelihood of cancer when large amounts of contaminated water are ingested.
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How Many Contaminants Are Found in Tap Water?
Many people underestimate how contaminated their water drinking systems are. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), more than 320 toxic substances have been discovered in the country’s water drinking systems since 2019. Exposure to large amounts of contaminated water daily can leave you vulnerable to various serious health conditions.
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How do Contaminants Get into Drinking Water?
The main cause of water contamination is human activity. Various land use practices can release various chemicals and substances into the water. Depending on the structure of the land surface, there could be cracks and holes that allow contaminants to be released into the water system.
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What Is an Example of a Land Use Practice that Led to Water Contamination?
You do not have to look too far for water contamination incidents due to land use practices. The Flint, Michigan water contamination crisis is one of a government agency’s most recent examples of gross negligence. Another example is the Camp Lejeune water contamination incident.
From 1953 to 1987, veterans unknowingly consumed large amounts of contaminated water while living on the Camp Lejeune military base. The contaminants were distributed in the water system by an off-base dry cleaning company that failed to dispose of their dry cleaning chemicals properly. Some chemicals distributed in the Camp Lejeune water include benzene, vinyl chloride, and trichloroethylene (TCE).
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How Can TCE Increase the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease?
TCE is a human carcinogen. Carcinogens are substances that are known for causing cancer in different tissues. TCE can cause various cancers like breast cancer, cervical cancer, kidney cancer, and liver cancer.
Medical researchers have been studying whether TCE can increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Because the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease develop many years after potential exposure has taken place, it has been difficult in the past to draw a connection between the two. However, a study by the University of Kentucky in 2012 discovered a link between exposure to TCE and the chances of developing Parkinson’s disease later in life.
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What Are the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?
Four main symptoms show in victims of Parkinson’s disease:
- A tremor in the arms, hands, head, or jaw
- Muscle stiffness that occurs for a long time
- Slowness of movement
- Uneven coordination and balance that can lead to falls
In addition to these main symptoms, victims can experience difficulty swallowing or chewing, urinary issues, skin problems, and mood changes. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can occur subtly and gradually over time, making it difficult to properly diagnose the disease.
Can the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Be a Cause of My Parkinson’s Disease?
In addition to the study conducted by the University of Kentucky, a study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed a substantial link between the contaminants in the Camp Lejeune water and Parkinson’s disease. Because Parkinson’s disease is a potential side effect of the Camp Lejeune water contamination, you can seek compensation for your disease from a lawsuit. You cannot only seek medical benefits that can be used as financial compensation for your disease but seek additional compensation for the harm that the agency’s negligence has caused you.
Who Can File a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?
You can file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit if you are in one of the following groups:
- Veterans who served on Camp Lejeune from August 1953 to December 1987
- Family members of veterans who were present at the base between August 1953 and December 1987
- Civilian contractors who were present at the base from August 1953 to December 1987
- Non-military staff were present at the base from August 1953 to December 1987
If you do not fall into one of these categories but believe you were impacted by the contaminated water, it is best to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
Speak with a Camp Lejeune Lawyer Today
Regardless of how long you were on the Camp Lejeune military base, you deserve to fight for the justice you deserve from another person’s negligence. You could suffer from a serious disorder that could have been prevented if another party had practiced due diligence. At Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu, & Montesi, PLC, we understand the impact Parkinson’s disease has caused you and your family.
Our Camp Lejeune lawyers will take the reins and ensure justice is met for you and your family. Call our office, or fill out our free case evaluation form to schedule your free consultation.