USA: would acid rain increase Parkinson's disease?



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USA: would acid rain increase Parkinson's disease?

A rain is defined as acidic when its pH is less than 5. Under normal conditions the pH of the rain, consisting mainly of distilled water and atmospheric dust, assumes values ​​between 5 and 6.5: in 1880, for example, rainfall on the planet had an estimated pH of 5.6.

The composition of the wet acid depositions is given for about 70% by sulfuric anhydride, which reacts in water giving sulfuric acid. The remaining 30% is mainly made up of nitrogen oxides. The effects of acid deposition occur at different levels: negative effects have been found on forests, fresh water and soils, on aquatic insects and more generally on plant and aquatic life forms, on human health and also at the urban level, with damage to both modern and historic buildings.

About human health, a direct correlation has been hypothesized between people living in areas subject to acid deposition and damage to their health. The study: Acid Precipitation and the Prevalence of Parkinson's Disease: An Ecologic Study in U.S.

States, published on the Brain sciences, tries to retrospect the topic: "Although the etiology of Parkinson's disease (PD) is unknown, potentially informative clues lie in its geographic distribution. PD prevalence rates within the US are significantly higher in the Midwest and Northeast, a pattern that resembles the geographic distribution of acid precipitation ("acid rain").

Using linear and multivariable regression, we examined state-wide data on PD prevalence in relation to environmental factors including total precipitation, the acidity of precipitation , the use of well water, and industrial releases of sulfuric acid.

In multivariate analyzes, age-, race-, and gender-adjusted prevalence rates for PD were inversely correlated with well water use and positively correlated with industrial releases of sulfuric acid and with the quantity of acid precipitation (p <0.0001).

To our knowledge, this is the first report of an association between PD and acid rain. Be cause acid rain is known to leach metals from soils and pipes into drinking water, acid rain's association with PD prevalence adds support for a role for metals in the etiology of PD. "