A recent study from scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, has discovered data that relates Parkinson’s disease to exposure to fumes from welding rods. Scientific studies have related Parkinson’s disease to welding in the past through exposure to manganese in the welding rods and materials have sometimes referred to this welders’ illness as manganese poisoning or manganism. The Washington University study states that the conditions experienced by welders are not two different illnesses, but are in fact both Parkinson’s disease.
Both scientists and manufacturers of welding rods have known that there was a higher incidence of Parkinson’s disease and asthma among welders and other individuals exposed to manganese and other dangerous elements contained in welding rods. The manufacturers, however, failed to adequately warn of these ill effects, and for years, have failed to instruct employers of welders on how they can keep their workers safe. It is likely that the average welder never knew the danger that lingered even after the job was done.