There are many adverse health effects that can occur in persons who have been exposed to vinyl chloride, including angiosarcoma, liver cancer and disease, brain cancer, Raynaud's syndrome, and acro-osteolysis. The following list describes each of these ailments.
Angiosarcoma - a malignant tumor that originates in the blood vessels of the body. Angiosarcoma of the liver, is the most readily recognized cancer associated with exposure to vinyl chloride. It has been found in persons who have had exposure to vinyl chloride and persons exposed to some aerosol products up until the early to mid 1970s.
The medical literature contains the following synonyms for angiosarcoma of the liver:
Malignant vascular tumor of the liver
Kupffer Cell Sarcoma
Reticuloendothelioma (Purdy Stout)
Primary Hepatic Sarcoma
Endothelioma (grades: undifferentiated, well differentiated and anaplastic)
Liver Cancer - primary liver cancer is linked to vinyl chloride exposure. Workers in vinyl chloride, PVC, and fabrication facilities are at an increased risk of liver cancer.
Liver Disease - a condition characterized by enlargement, surface changes, overproduction of collagen, and damage to liver tissue (these symptoms are collectively known as "hepatic toxicity"). This includes cirrhosis of the liver. Workers exposed to vinyl chloride are at an increased risk for liver disease.
Brain Cancer - vinyl chloride is the only known chemical or environmental agent that causes brain tumors. Tumors can occur in the brain stem, frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe. Brain cancer has occurred in workers occupationally exposed to vinyl chloride.
Raynaud's Syndrome - also known as Raynaud's disease or Raynaud's phenomenon, Raynaud's syndrome is a condition characterized by numbness and discomfort in the fingers when exposed to cold temperatures. Patients with this condition have poor blood flow to the fingers and toes due to damage to the circulatory system. It has been found in workers at vinyl chloride and PVC manufacturing facilities.
Acro-osteolysis - a condition characterized by the loss of bone in the fingers, it has also been known to affect the bones of the toes, feet, arms, legs, pelvis, and mandible. This condition has been reported in people who work with vinyl chloride.