There are so many things which *may* contribute to causing scleroderma! But the fact is that none of them in isolation seem to be the cause. It seems to require something plus something else at least, and maybe even more than that!
OK, pewter and lead drinking vessels, maybe, but in that case why didn't everyone get scleroderma, as they were probably widely used.
Pewter is an alloy of tin with various amounts of other metals in it such as antimony, copper, or lead. The *other* metals I have just referred to are probably the most dangerous. Tin is a pure metal which is extracted from ore, and of course is still widely used today.
Scleroderma is still regarded as a rare disease, and back many years ago would have been even more rare. However, this may only have been for want of an accurate diagnosis. The doctors or alchemists in those times just wouldn't have had a clue what they were dealing with!
Returning to my comments of needing more than one thing to start scleroderma: My husband and I had our own business as commercial greenhouse tomato growers. We did this for 23 years. Of course people now who hear this say what about the sprays? Shock, horror! Well, I didn't do the spraying, my husband did, and we shut up the greenhouse after that for a few days. My husband is absolutely fine, with no signs of scleroderma, so...?
Further more, my husband built several boats over the years, with of course epoxy resin included in their making. This is another *possible* in scleroderma. Shock, horror again! But he's not the one with the scleroderma!
However, I put the 10 years of stress we had prior to me developing scleroderma, as the largest factor for my illness, but once again, it would still have needed another factor as a catalyst to "set it off". This I attribute to genetic factors. My mother, I am sure, has had scleroderma most of her life, and I think her father also had it. But scleroderma was very rarely diagnosed back then. She was told she had "bad circulation". She had/has the worst Raynaud's I have ever seen! She also has always had shocking esophageal, stomach and bowel problems! When she had me she nearly died due to complete lack of elasticity in her tissues! But hey, she's 90 in April, and doesn't want a diagnosis now!
Oh, I almost forgot, my mother is an artist, and has used many types of art mediums most of her life! Just to confuse the issue! :rolleyes:
So that's the genetic factor in my family. As to the 10 years of stress, my brother-in-law contracted HIV, and subsequently died from AIDS. I had a lot to do with him in trying to help him, and believe me it was difficult! His parents couldn't handle it at all and his father had a heart attack at 67 and died a year later from a stroke. His mother then got lymphoma, and died nearly 3 years later. All through this I was very involved. Then my father got cancer and died, and we had a complete change of business, shortly after retiring.
I became ill about 9 months after all this, though I strongly suspect that I was germinating the scleroderma for some years prior. Certainly if the overwhelming fatigue was anything to go by!!
However, I once more reiterate that my husband stayed healthy, although all this was just as hard on him. We "scleroderma-ites' seem to be quite an elite bunch don't we?