05 December 2007

More on the CIPD in Austin

I read most of this from the Dead Tree Edition of the Star Tribune, but it has been reposted by the fine folks at MSNBC so we don't have to run into the subscription problem.The question at Austin pork plant: Why?

There isn't much here that I didn't already know or figure out on my own but there were a few bits that caught my attention.

CIDP is the chronic form of another disease, Guillain-Barré; syndrome, which develops much more rapidly and has a number of known triggers. It first received public attention in 1976 when linked to the swine flu vaccine.

That seems interesting to me. Could there be a connection between the swine flu and what happened here?

Symptoms first emerged around the same time the plant began using the high-powered air system. Some health experts think exposure to blood and pulverized tissue might have caused the autoimmune response.

But the compressed-air system almost certainly is not the problem, said mechanical engineer Frank Moskowitz, a compressed-air expert based in Phoenix. "Compressed air itself absolutely cannot introduce anything bad," he said. He said pressurization kills any living organism in the air.

Well that maybe true, but I doubt anyone was actually thinking that this was do to physical pressure from blasts of air. But the fact that the compressed air system and the disease are temporally linked means to me that there was something about blowing biological tissue into the air that is the key here.


philk said...

To learn more about Guillain-Barré Syndrome and CIDP, go to the GBS/CIDP Foundation International web site:

Kailua, HI

E.M. said...

Thanks for that link, I'll be giving it a serious read soon.