Dangers of PCB Exposure

Dangers of PCB Exposure

Feb 12

Is your non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma a result of PCB exposure?

Polychlorinated Biphenyl, or simply PCB, is a man-made chemical used in a wide variety of industries, especially in the manufacturing sector. According to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency, PCB has been very useful in manufacturing hydraulic, heating, and electrical equipment. It has also been widely used as plasticizers in different products, such as rubbers and paints. PCB can also be found in cable insulators, fluorescent light ballasts, transformers, capacitors and plastics.

However, due to its high toxicity, PCB was banned in 1979. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, people exposed to PCB were found to be at increased risk of adverse health effects. Among these health effects are immune, nervous, endocrine and reproductive system disorders. Exposure to this dangerous chemical has also been tied to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system.

Your lymphatic system is responsible in neutralizing and fighting off diseases and infections. Your lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, liver and thymus are just some of the organs that comprise your lymphatic system. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer that affects the lymphocyte – a type of white blood cells that’s important in keeping diseases and infections at bay. Lymphocytes have different types: T cells, B cells and natural killer cells, all of which are further subdivided into different categories. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is diagnosed based on particular types of cells affected.

Apart from PCB exposure, your risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma increases with age. Certain types of infections, such as Epstein-Barr virus and HIV, have also been linked to this disease. You are also more likely to develop this disease if you are taking medications that suppress your immune system.

Symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include swollen but painless lymph nodes, weakness, fever, swelling and pain in the abdomen, difficulty breathing and chest pain. People with this disease often experience night sweats and unintended weight loss. So if you feel one or more of these symptoms and are at risk, visit your physician to talk about this condition.

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