Old 09-11-2017, 08:38 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Tin foil hats

A few years ago I was using some bug spray that had a warning label that said "May cause ALS." I used it anyway, and even breathed a little extra in because it had an oddly appealing smell.

And when I worked as a diesel mechanic 30 years ago we used to sit around and discuss how long we could do this job until we contracted ALS.

Well this isn't true of course. But I am pretty sure that we all speculate what caused us to develop this disease. I noticed from another thread that many contributors had theories (e.g. pesticides from non-organic food.)

Why don't we toss some ideas around? Maybe one day people will read this thread and say "wow, that person had the right idea!"

My two guesses would be exposure to insecticide and exposure to diesel exhaust. I never used or breathed a lot of insecticide, but I have used it a few times over the years. And I did work in truck shops for a few years where the smell of diesel exhaust definitely hung in the air. And related to working in a shop, perhaps exposure to carburator and brake cleaner sprays?
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Old 09-11-2017, 08:43 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tin foil hats

My wholly unsupported suspicion is the 2-4D I sprayed around the farm as a kid.
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:00 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tin foil hats

The only thing on the "risk" list that I haven't ingested/experienced is service in the military. My belief is a genetic predisposition leaves a person vulnerable to neurological issues- and cumulative experiences with head injury, profound stress, chemical exposure, heavy metal exposure and so on starts the ball rolling.

I fractured my skull as a child
played high level field hockey on treated grass and artificial turf for many years
was a bike courier in heavy downtown traffic (diesel/ car exhaust exposure)
had multiple concussions from playing a contact sport for 8 years
was a metalsmith who was regularly exposed to a variety of non ferrous metal vapors and particulate
was an artist who used my tongue to "shape" the tips of paintbrushes while using paints that contained a whole host of substances like chromium, cobalt, titanium, etc.
lived by waterways (bluegreen algae)
lived near farmland (pesticide exposure)
lived by powerlines

Edited to add:
Extended use of antimalarial drug Mefloquin
childhood exposure to heavy tobacco smoking


I know many others who have had the same experiences I me, but don't have MND- so there needs to be an additional component of some sort, such as genetic predisposition.

Ted, I had to laugh about the appealing smell you mentioned- I was a sucker for black markers when I was a kid.

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Old 09-12-2017, 12:07 AM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tin foil hats

Oh my gosh shiftkicker, I sniffed black markers too! Maybe we've discovered a causal link!
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Old 09-12-2017, 01:05 AM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tin foil hats

I'm afraid I've mutated my DNA a few too many times. Exposure to organic solvents (Benzene, Toluene, Acetone, etc) during college Organic Chem lab comes to mind. Also exposure to lots of household cement over the years for various craft projects. Yeah, I saw the warning labels about cancer and birth defects in pregnant rats, but I guess I missed the ones about ALS. I'm sure I sniffed my share of black markers as well. They were oddly satisfying. Ted, you may be on to something here.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:23 AM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tin foil hats

Is anyone in the Answer ALS study? Are they asking about this? All the genetic studies do to some degree. The preFALS study in Miami asked in excruciating detail about all of this and more- first visit was my whole life, subsequent visits were updates.

There are quite a few threads on this. I think when you are first diagnosed it is normal to search for reasons
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:45 AM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tin foil hats

21 years in the Air Force but no exposure to agent orange or any other chemicals other than tear gas. Didn't work around planes either. But I did sniff black markers. Ding Ding, I think we have a winner!
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:41 AM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tin foil hats

Ok, I was a black marker FIEND for years. My other "shouldn't be sniffing these" include the purple printed copies from school (mimeographs?), new cars and lemon cleaners (Pledge in particular).
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Old 09-12-2017, 02:37 PM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tin foil hats

I was a plumber for nearly 40 years. I smelled lots of things as you can imagine. I only have pls and have no idea what caused it.
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Old 09-12-2017, 02:57 PM #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tin foil hats

I LOVE the thread name!
No Magic Markers for me.
Let's see...
-Aspartame consumption (although I've read a few studies that debunk the theory that aspartame is not harmful unless consumed in massive amounts)
-Serious head injury (2 concussions)
-High stress career
-Benign head tremor my whole life (or WAS it benign, cue dramatic music). My father has a benign hand tremor, so I wonder if there's some connection if one was predisposed.
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Old 09-12-2017, 03:03 PM #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tin foil hats

For my PALS I would say dry cleaning... He was a dry cleaning fiend and would dry clean everything very often.
Also he had a head concussion in the summer of 2014 when he fell off his bicycle. I've always wondered if that had something to do with it.
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Old 09-12-2017, 03:18 PM #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tin foil hats

How timely is this?
https://www.neals.org/for-people-wit...eral-sclerosis
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Old 09-12-2017, 04:25 PM #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tin foil hats

This feels like a confession...

I grew up in a blue-collar town, our house was less than 0.5 km from a paper mill, stones-throw from a factory that made car parts. We were 50 m from one of the old Welland canals. It was a fast-flowing river of brown, frothy, stinky water, downstream from many factories. We were also within 100 m of train tracks, a highway and hydro wires.

I was a physicist. I used a plasma-deposition system for thin films. I found out weeks after I had started that it was missing an EMF shield. I also worked in a lab with a very strong (12 Tesla) magnet.

I was an avid hiker. I drank from mountain rivers and streams without treating the water. I also stressed my muscles well past normal fatigue. I was a skier - hit my head on more than one occasion.

A couple of years before my symptoms, my neighbor had a house fire. We were downwind from the mess of partially burnt stuff for several months before the house was torn down.

During the time my symptoms started, I had major family stress.
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:04 PM #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tin foil hats

I was exposed to a ton of DEET over a several week period as a young teenager. Afterwards I got extremely sick and had irregular neurological exam and some edema on MRI. Since my ALS diagnosis I have wondered if that could have caused this.
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:16 PM #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tin foil hats

A friend of mine worked in the office of a nationwide airline. Several years ago the company put up posters in the halls and break rooms about controlling workplace stress. Posters said, "Stress kills" - "Stress can cause heart attacks" - "Help your heart -control your stress." and other phrases.

Well, some former and current employees who had heart attacks, by-pass surgery and cardiac conditions began to pursue litigation and or compensation.

She told me within a few days everyone of those posters came down very quickly from every office across the country.

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