Can a common cleaning chemical cause illness?

Shirts, jackets, and other garments hung on a rack in a dry cleanerPost on Pinterest
A study found a link between trichloroethylene (TCE), a chemical commonly used for dry cleaning, and Parkinson’s disease. JackF / Getty Images
  • More than 8.5 million people worldwide suffer from Parkinson’s disease.
  • Researchers have linked Parkinson’s disease to exposure to toxins such as pesticides and air pollution.
  • Now, scientists from the University of Rochester believe that a commonly used chemical called trichloroethylene (TCE) may also cause Parkinson’s disease.

more than 8.5 million people Worldwide sufferers of Parkinson’s disease – a condition that affects the nervous system and causes movement problems, such as tremors, stiff limbs, and Cognitive problems.

Doctors still don’t understand why Parkinson’s disease occurs. However, the disease has been linked to decreased levels of dopamine and Norepinephrine inside the body. In addition, people with certain risk factors, such as: age And previous traumatic brain injury, more likely to develop this condition.

In addition, researchers believe that exposure to certain toxins such as Insecticides And air pollution.

Now researchers from the University of Rochester are adding additional evidence by finding a link between Parkinson’s disease and a commonly used chemical called trichloroethylene (TCE).

The study appears in Parkinson’s Disease Journal.

TCE is a colorless liquid chemical that does not occur in nature. It is known to have a chloroform-like odor.

This chemical can be found in a variety of products and industries, including:

  • Commercial dry cleaning
  • Metal degreasing
  • cleaning wipes
  • Stain removers for clothes and carpets
  • Lubricant
  • Adhesive spray

People can be exposed to TCE by using a product containing TCE or working in a factory where the chemical is present.

In addition, TCE can leach into the water, air, and soil around where it is used or discarded, contaminating what we breathe, eat, and drink.

Symptoms of exposure to high amounts of TCE include:

Previous studies link prolonged exposure to TCE to an increased risk of infection Kidney cancerand liver cancer Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Dr. Ray Dorsey, professor of neuroscience at the University of Rochester and lead author of the study, said he and his team decided to look for a link between TCE and Parkinson’s disease while preparing to write his book, Elimination of Parkinson’s disease.

“One of my colleagues and co-authors on this paper, Dr. Caroline Tanner, told me about TCE and Camp Lejeunesaid Dr. Dorsey Medical news today. She and colleague Dr Sam Goldman – another co-author (on the study) – did research Twin study Twins exposed to work or hobbies to TCE have been shown to have a 500% increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. The more I investigated the prevalence of TCE and its role in Parkinson’s disease, the more (I found) with no end in sight.”

he added:

“TCE is a known carcinogen — it causes cancer. It has also been associated with abortionAnd Neural tube defects (including children born without brains), Congenital heart diseaseand many other medical disorders. It has also been around for 100 years and has been known for its toxicity 90 at least. ”

In this study, Dr. Dorsey and his team conducted a literature review. They put together seven case studies of individuals who developed Parkinson’s disease after exposure to the chemical from the workplace or the environment.

Case studies include NBA player Brian Grant who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 36. According to the researchers, he was likely exposed to TCE as a child when his father worked at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Water supply systems are found in the camp contaminated With TCE in the early 80’s.

The researchers also profiled a Navy captain who had served at Camp Lejeune and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 30 years later.

The research team also highlighted the late US Senator Johnny Isakson, who served in the Georgia Air National Guard, who used TCE to downsize aircraft. Senator Isakson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2015.

“Currently, the global literature on trichlorethylene and Parkinson’s disease is limited to 26 studies based on the PubMed search,” said Dr. Dorsey. Given the widespread use and contamination of TCEs and Perchlorethylene (PCE), which is widely used in dry cleaning, and the onset of Parkinson’s disease, more research is needed. We call for it.”

“The seven individuals add to the existing literature – the largest of the three previous case series – and show the myriad of ways in which individuals can be exposed to the chemical through work or the environment,” he added. “Most importantly, most of them are unaware because they never knew about the exposure and it happened decades ago.”

In order for people to reduce their exposure to TCE, Dr. Dorsey has stated on a societal level that the United States should ban TCE and PCE.

He went on to say, “In January 2023, the EPA found TCE to ‘pose an unreasonable risk to human health.’” “A month earlier, it had concluded the same thing about personal consumption expenditures. We haven’t driven cars or flown planes since the 1920s, when commercial production of TCEs began, because engineers have developed safer alternatives. Chemists can do the same.”

“Second, the public, especially those who live near contaminated sites, must be informed, contained, and prevented from entering homes, schools, and workplaces with relatively inexpensive treatment systems, similar to those used for radon,” Dr. Dorsey added.

MNT I also spoke with Dr. Arianna Spintzos, PhD, a science and policy fellow at the Green Science Policy Institute, who was not involved in this study.

It’s not surprising that this study found a link between exposure to TCE and Parkinson’s disease, Dr. Spintzos said. And she explained:

“TCE has a number of known adverse health effects and many studies over the past few decades have suggested exposure to TCE as a risk factor for developing Parkinson’s disease even from exposure decades before the onset of the disease. The Department of Labor has even issued guidance on workers’ compensation acknowledging a link between exposure to TCE and Parkinson’s disease.”

For people looking to reduce their exposure to TCE, Dr. Spintzos said most exposure to TCE occurs through inhalation.

Indoor air quality It can be improved by increasing ventilation or use air filters with activated carbon, although more complex systems are used Radon mitigation are most recommended.” “Since up to 30% of drinking water in the United States may be contaminated with TCE, the easiest way to reduce TCE levels is to filter drinking water with activated carbon filters. Whole-home water filtration systems can help avoid additional exposure through showering, dishwashing, or other household uses.”

“In addition, avoid using any consumer products that contain TCEs,” Dr Spintzos added. “Check to be sure that any paint removers, stain removers, adhesives, degreasers, and sealants, among other products, do not have TCE in the ingredients list.”

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