Dear List Serve Subscribers,
I find the discussion Re: the potentials of job related cancer in O&P practice intriquing. Perhaps some food for thought as I throw my hat into the ring.
While I have no argument about the need for, and positive aspects of, proper and appropriate nutrition in our daily lives (in fact, I will look for Dr. Colgan’s books…Thanks Jan), I do believe the potential problems of cancer in our profession actually goes deeper than anything nutrition alone can address, particularly with the so-called Baby Boomers. I am sure many Boomers can recall our early abuse of a variety of chemicals used in O&P as well as ingesting a significant amount of various dust(s), including plaster, cured polyesters, methylmacs and later, carbon fiber. I use the word “abuse” as safety data sheets were not readily available or even a requirement during the 60’s and 70’s when we were handling methyl ethyl keytone, acetone, un cured polyester and methylmethacrylates, catalysts, promoters, etc. etc. and we were not even consciously aware of the insideous threat of cancer or other health problems in the daily activities of our vocation. Of course, it was all a!
and sub-consciously, we suspected possible danger and some later began wearing gloves and masks. I suspect, however, for many, it was too little, too late as some of these chemicals are directly absorbed through skin contact and ingested plaster is forever home in the lungs. What are the various long term problems and how do these improperly handled chemicals and dusts potentially affect us?
A Boomer colleague, is suffering from a Reynaud’s like problem in some fingers with occasional complete loss of circulation for several minutes, particularly in cold weather, but with no other symptoms of Reynaud’s. She also begins to have joint pain/problems that are similar to RA but may not be. In addition, over the last 30 years years, there is increasing minor balance, coordination and motor delay problems which make brisk walking and up/down stairs difficult and this is exacerbated by even small amounts of alcohol or minor physical fatigue. She has been to several centers through the years but as yet, no definitive diagnosis or treatment.
Do these problems have a causel factor from the chemicals used in O&P? Who knows?Is anyone currently being treated with any success for similar or other problems identified as O&P related? It would be interesting and perhaps helpful to any clinicians suffering from these and/or other job related problems to discuss them in this forum.
Wm. C. Neumann, CPO
Ramsau am Dachstein
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