Ground crews were frequently exposed to various organic solvents during maintenance of aircraft. Matthew Vacante, 834th, worked with the optical gunsights on the aircraft of the 486th. The solvents he used to clean the sights lead to neurological disorders. These letters are provided by Kelly Curtin, daughter of Donald Curtin, 834th - Webmaster

ProSalus Systems, Inc.

Preventative Medicine and Health Associates

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John Wood Davis, M.D., F.A.C.P.

Internal Medicine Endocrinology

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1 March 1984

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Veterans Administration

211 Main Street

San Francisco, CA.

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Dear Sir:

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Mr. Matthew Vacante has a chronic slowly progressive neurological disorder characterized by painful joints and muscles, general incoordination of varying but slowly progressive intensity, and incoordination, tremor, and weakness of his hands and arms [particularly the left].  He also has associated malaise, fatigue, and weakness.  Detailed diagnostic studies have been performed and tentative diagnosis is Parkinsonism and organic brain syndrome secondary to chronic occupational exposure to organic solvents.  He also has some depression evident.

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During his Military Service, 1942-1945, he was exposed extensively to chemicals and organic solvents occupationally as a computing sight specialist (working with gun turrets and other gun implements in planes and in shops cleaning chemicals, solvents, and burning oil for heating purposes) and this exposure is probably a contributing factor to his present illness.

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Because of his weakness and incoordination, he is unable to work and should be considered permanently disabled.  He is currently receiving Social Security Disability payments.

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Sincerely,

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John Wood Davis, M.D., F.A.C.P.

 

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