The following is a personal story submitted to Civilian Exposure and published as part of our new series: “Contamination Chronicles: Personal Stories of Exposure”. If you would like to submit your story, you may fill out our form here or send directly via email to share-@-civilianexposure.org.
I have a serious physical disability caused by toxic exposure and unsafe working conditions at my former workplace. Other employees are also experiencing similar physical impairments. I’m seeking recourse regarding my suspected exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s).
It has been found that the VOC’s in Stealth Coatings are toxic and highly dangerous.
I have my Boeing Company employment records, that show my participation in departments working on the Stealth coating program. I was instructed to handle compounds at work and was NOT given proper safety training, nor proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), for handling the following compounds capable of causing the illness or death of a living organism when introduced or absorbed:
- Methyl Ethyl Ketone
- Clear Polyurethane
BASF Chemical Company produced these compounds with the following warning listed in their February 18, 2010 Product Safety Summary:
- 4,4’ -Methylenedianiline CAS # 101-77-9
Affects blood, cardiovascular system, central nervous system, liver and kidneys and may cause cancer. The effects may be delayed. MDA may be absorbed through the skin. May be fatal if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through skin.
Absorption through the skin can affect the Myelin Sheath (the fatty, conductive insulator surrounding nerves) causing Demyelinating Polyneuropathy of the central nervous system.
The Occupational Safety Health Administration’s Safety and Health Regulations (Standards 29 CFR) Parts 1910 and 1926 [Docket No H040] Regarding employee record retention for Occupational Exposure to 4,4’ Methylenedianiline (MDA), and Dermal Exposure to MDA, Paragraph (n) states:
It is necessary to keep records for extended periods because of the long latency periods commonly observed for carcinogens. Cancer often cannot be detected until 20 or more years after onset of exposure. The time periods recommended for retention of exposure records and medical records are thirty years, and period of employment plus thirty years, respectively.
In making the estimates of risk OSHA cites they’ve gone beyond the traditional regulatory methodology, and added to their assessment the estimates of risk which can be expected from dermal absorption… In certain situations approximately 95% of exposure results from dermal absorption.
For me the risk effect of exposure was Demyelinating Polyneuropathy with evidence of ongoing denervation. The effects of such exposure can take decades before awareness, and can be progressive. Personally I’ve been unable to find any testing or research records for human exposures 20 to 30 years after exposure.
It has taken me 25 years just to diagnose and clarify the cause and effects of my degenerative condition. I’m seeking medical and legal help.
Multiple tests show I have no other known diseases, nor pathogenic variants known to be associated with the inherited/hereditary neurological disorder Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT)
On 8/16/2017 when assessing possible need for surgery to the spinal column, my neurosurgeon stated: I don’t think you need surgery from me right now. You’ve got a little bit of this or that, but nothing that justifies a big operation.
04/18/2018 Dr. Ghazala Hayat at Saint Louis University Medical Center gave me the following diagnosis based upon her assessment of Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) & EMG Findings: Moderately Severe Axonal Demyelinating Polyneuropathy with evidence of ongoing denervation.
05/05/2020 Dr Jerrold Leikin, Director of Medical Toxicology, North Shore University was not able to find reference to Demyelination caused by these chemicals. He referred to Hydrocarbon exposure: I had no awareness of excessive exposure to this organic substance.
I’m seeking medical assistance and can provide my medical records, references, and research information about these unsafe toxic substances and resulting health conditions. You can see the following references for additional insight:
- Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR): CAS# 101-77-9 at the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH): NIOSH believes that the collective toxicologic data on carcinogenicity provide sufficient evidence to warrant concern for occupational exposure to MDA. Although there is limited evidence indicating that MDA presents a carcinogenic risk to exposed workers the human data, in view of the positive data in other mammalian species, suggest that such a potential may exist.
- MedlinePlus: Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) is caused by damage to the myelin sheath thereby exposing the central nervous system.
Thank you for sharing my story.
Note from the Editor: The author currently resides in Illinois. The account/editorial is verbatim from the author without edit, with only the omission of their name to preserve anonymity.
Click to Subscribe to the Civilian Exposure Newsletter for Latest News & Updates Today!