Monday, January 6, 2014

Flight crew is up for a fight to prove they contracted Parkinson's disease from spraying insecticides in aircraft
MORE than 20 flight attendants with Parkinson's have contacted lawyers fighting to prove they contracted the crippling disease from spraying insecticide in aircraft cabins.
Turner Freeman lawyer Tanya Segelov said: "I have had more than 20 people contact me so far and expect to hear from more. This is clearly something that needs to be investigated."
The Daily Telegraph exclusively revealed this week that long-haul flight attendant Brett Vollus had launched a test cast against the Commonwealth Government, which insists all aircraft have to be sprayed with insecticide upon arrival in Australia.
"When you have a lot of people working in the same environment, with the same disease and a known link it certainly starts to look suspicious," said Ms Segelov.
Former Qantas stewardess Hilary Engledow, 65, from Port Macquarie has added her name to the list after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease seven years ago.
"I used to hate the spraying and would even hide in the loo to get away from it," she said. "But no matter who did the spraying you would end up breathing it in.
"It is important we all come forward to try and prove that there is a huge cluster of victims among flight crew," she said.
"Showing the cause won't take away the disease from me but it might prevent others from getting it."
Parkinson's expert Professor Kay Double from the University of Sydney Medical School said studies had linked the bug spray chemical permathrin to Parkinson's disease.
But the problem was actually getting the funding to produce definitive research.
"We need to go out and do the studies and see how many flight attendants have Parkinson's Disease and what was their exposure to pesticide was," she said.
Clyde Campbell, director of Shake It Up, the Parkinson's charity linked to the Michael J Fox Foundation in the US, said insecticide had been linked to areas with increased incidences of the disease.
"There are certainly areas with a higher risk factor," he said. "But we need funding for research to help us understand the causes, how to slow it down and - the Holy Grail - cure it."
The Department of Health said all aircraft have to be sprayed upon arrival in Australia to prevent the spread of disease such as malaria from mosquitoes. It said all sprays complied with World Health Authority guidelines.

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