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Occupational Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields Link To ALS Confirmed In Utrecht Study [VIDEO]

Update Date: Mar 30, 2017 10:24 AM EDT
4 ALS Awareness
Michael Goldsmith, a sufferer of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as 'Lou Gehrig's Disease', stands with son Austin, prior to the game between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays on July 4, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo : Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Researchers from the Utrecht University in the Netherlands revealed in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine that the occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields may have upped the risk of people developing the debilitating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS.

The study led by Dr. Roel Vermeulen found that the data collected from over 60,000 men and women showed that those who worked in electrical industries are twice more likely to develop ALS than those who don't have occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields, New Scientist reported. They attribute the likelihood to the constant exposure and close proximity of these workers to machines that use electricity.

While Dr. Vermeulen and his team reiterated that the study is observational, Professor Neil Pierce of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine believes that this study has better information that showed the occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields was more likely the cause of ALS than electric shocks, the Express reported. During the study, 76 men and 60 women were recorded to have died of ALS.

Other experts also have cautioned that the study does not implicate the exposure to the development of ALS. They still maintain that a broad range of factors from the environment to genetics can cause a person to develop ALS.

The motor neurone disease ALS is characterized by the progressive degeneration of the nerves that control voluntary muscles. The disease then wastes away the muscles in the body until it cannot function anymore and death follows typically between two to five years after the first symptoms are diagnosed.

The condition also is known as Lou Gherig's disease in the US, came to global attention when the Ice Bucket Challenge campaign went viral on social media. Celebrities and world leaders took turns filming themselves getting doused with ice-cold water and nominated others to do the same. The campaign encouraged awareness of the disease and donation to research for a cure.

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