Pollution is implicated as a potential trigger for #lupus:
In 1976, a six-block subdivision in Hobbs, New Mexico was built on an abandoned oil field that previously was used as an oil waste pit. Residents frequently noted the smell of rotten eggs and petroleum and even found black oily material oozing from the ground. They noted a high rate of diagnoses of SLE in their small neighborhood and filed a lawsuit against the oil company. High levels of PAHs were confirmed as well as the excessively high rate of lupus cases. Residents of the subdivision were twenty times more likely to have lupus than communities studied outside the oil field area. In another study, a predominantly black community in North Georgia that was exposed to high levels of industrial emissions had a markedly increased rate of SLE.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are pollutants that have xenoestrogen properties and include over 100 chemicals produced during the production and use of coal, oil, dyes, plastics, pesticides, and are found in cigarettes as well. Xenoestrogens mimic estrogen in the body, and we know that estrogen can increase the risk for lupus.
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by Don Thomas, MD