Has anyone with raynauds and sclerode... - Scleroderma & Ray...

Scleroderma & Raynaud's UK (SRUK)

8,943 members4,324 posts

Has anyone with raynauds and scleroderma ever worked in industry,


I worked in industry during the late 70s , 80s and early 90s, that handled raw materials that were used for making toiletries and household cleaners. I was exposed to chemicals and I am curious to find out if my previous exposure may have any relation to my generalised aches and pains, and my connective tissue disease.

11 Replies

I havent, but i know there's a link. Seems more evidence to support the theory that exposure to 'something' ie a viral infection or bacterial infection or metals, triggers off the gene that a lot of us may have for connective tissue disease. I,ve been reading evidence that exposure to HPV is triggering autoimmune conditions (Human papilloma virus ). I think the problems lies as to why some of us are triggered and others aren;t!

I worked in a school in the 70's and early 80's in the chemistry department

handling solvents including benzene and metals and their compounds, health and safety at that time wasn't in place except for fume cupboards and have recently been told that I have scleroderma and raynaulds, (bloods test are negative). I would have thought that asking about job history etc would help in compiling data as to what could be the trigger to this disease.

I am back at a school now as a science tech, on my feet all day lifting and carrying. Like wise i suffer with a lot of aches and pains but put it down to just getting older or is it? How is one to know.

I have read that there has been evidence of a connection between Scleroderma and Silica. I was diagnosed in 2000, that is about the time we heard about the connection. My Father worked at a factory that used Silica, and my husband worked there for over 20 years as well, so I was definitely exposed to silica dust when washing their clothes, etc.

During the time I worked in the factory that produced toiletries and cleaning fluids I was exposed daily to Benzene, silica, chloride and dry cleaning fluids. Products in the 70s often were labelled without their listed components. I know of one other person with raynauds and scleroderma that worked with me, but I am aware that there are numerous people that complain of allergies and generalised muscular aches and pains. I am also aware of seven of my ex colleagues that have prematurely died of cancer related illnesses. These ladies were in their mid to late 40s, and all worked on the same production line. The products we produced were distributed from the warehouse to the house wife to be used in their homes. I feel that more research should be made into past employments and unexplained rare conditions.

I have had various office jobs, no sign of Scleroderma! Then I started work in the office for a Laundry/Dry Cleaners. After a few years I started to show signs of Scleroderma, together with Poyimyositis, to add to the Raynauds which already had been diagnosed. As there was always a strong smell of the Dry Cleaning Chemicals, I am convinced that there is a connection, it seems very strange, because I was very healthy before working there.

I worked in a laboratory , while i worked there i had a number of health problems ,but: i never thought anything of it

I have Raynauds, APS and likely Sjögren's. I dont think I have scleroderma. I have worked with industrial cleaning chemicals for the last 13 years. I had never really put any thought into the possibility of the chemical exposure activating or triggering a gene. Interesting, I think I will look into this further.

Hi Sassy, I really did'nt think about it myself until I was reviewed by my present employer in the occupational health department. I was examined by a Professor of Occupational Health who also specialises in Industrial diseases. He seems to think that there is a link to me having scleroderma and my previous employment working in industry. He was also very interested in the fact that many of my old colleagues are ill with allergies, fatigue, chest problems and various aches and pains. I have been net working to find more people that I worked with and found another lady with scleroderma and one with raynauds. There are also more than 10 ladies under the age of 50 that have died with cancer related problems. My health problems started 12 months after leaving the factory, but I can clearly recall having vague headaches and unexplained aches, pains and feeling tired. At the time I just put this down to being a young mum with a strenuous job. The Professor I saw stated he wanted to help me and would be interested in looking into the company files to investigate what chemicals people were exposed to. I am now considering seeking professional help not only for myself but for all the others I worked with and their to help their families.

SassyOne in reply to wartsandall

Very interesting. Where are you from if you don't mind me asking? I am in Canada. We have had many develop allergies & sensitivities, we have a few others with various problems but to my knowledge we haven't had any deaths in my time there and only a few former employees that i know had cancer.

manxscel in reply to wartsandall

Hi wartsanall, if you look further back in this blog, I have had a similar experience and would like to help if possible, I live in the Isle of Man.

Hi Sassy,

I live in the North West of England