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5/2/2009 - Health Effects of Vinyl Chloride

As a toxic chemical vinyl chloride can also cause long lasting and chronic conditions. Aside from being a known carcinogen, vinyl chloride has been found to cause a number of other conditions, including Raynaud's syndrome, scleroderma, angiosarcoma, and acroosteolysis. Raynaud's syndrome compromises the blood flow to the fingers and toes. The reduced circulation can cause pain, numbness, and impaired function, especially in cold temperatures. Scleroderma is a condition in which the skin, most frequently on the hands, hardens and thickens. Acroosteolysis is a condition in which the bones (especially in the fingers) deteriorate. Angiosarcoma of the liver, a rare form of liver cancer, begins with the formation of a cancerous tumor in the blood vessels of the liver. In addition, vinyl chloride represents the only established cause of cancerous brain tumors. Researchers have also linked leukemia, a cancer that affects the blood and blood-forming organs, to vinyl chloride exposure. Other cancers linked to vinyl chloride include lung cancer, and stomach or intestinal cancer. In addition, the nervous, circulatory and reproductive systems can suffer harm as a result of exposure to vinyl chloride. In general, those exposed to high levels of vinyl chloride or those exposed over a long period of time are at the highest risk for these and other health effects.


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