Occupational exposure to certain chemicals has been known to be associated with health hazards like acute bronchitis, cancer etc. from time immemorial. But it is known not until recently that rheumatoid arthritis risk is increased following occupational exposure to mineraloil.
The exact causative factor rheumatiod factor remains unestablished. However, a number of genetic, hormonal factors and environmental fcators have been help responsible to a certain degree. It is an autoimmune disorder, characterised by malfunctioning of the immune system resulting in inflammation of the bones and joints.
There is a severe disablity, accompanied by joint swelling and pain. There is no satisfactory treatment currently available for the disease. The patient can be treated with anti-inflammatory medication or surgery.
A recent study that aims at improving our existing knowledge regarding the disease development and treatment options has discovered that mineral oil is associated with an increased susceptiblity of developing disease. It is unclear how mineral oil is responsible for the observed efect.
Significant exposure to oil was only reported by men. Those who reported exposure to hydraulic or motor oil at the workplace had a 30-percent higher risk of developing a severe form of rheumatoid arthritis called rheumatoid factor positive compared to men who had not worked around oil products. The exposed men also were 60-percent more likely to develop another form of the disease called anti-citrulline positive rheumatoid arthritis.
Research insights into whether other agents, such as occupational chemicals, bacteria or viruses, play a role in triggering arthritis, seems a practical and promising approach towards effective treatment.