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Parkinson's disease risk greater in those exposed to trichloroethylene
Date:11/13/2011

udy confirms that common environmental contaminants may increase the risk of developing PD, which has considerable public health implications," commented Dr. Goldman.

TCE, PERC and CCI4 have been used extensively worldwide, with TCE noted as a common agent in dry-cleaning solutions, adhesives, paints, and carpet cleaners. Despite the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banning the use of TCE as a general anesthetic, skin disinfectant, and coffee decaffeinating agent in 1977, it is still widely used today as a degreasing agent. In the U.S., millions of pounds of TCE are still released into the environment each year and it is the most common organic contaminant found in ground water, detected in up to 30% of drinking water supplies in the country.

While this study focused on occupational exposures, the solvents investigated are pervasive in the environment. The authors suggest that replication of well-characterized exposures in other populations is necessary. Dr. Goldman concluded, "Our findings, as well as prior case reports, suggest a lag time of up to 40 years between TCE exposure and onset of PD, providing a critical window of opportunity to potentially slow the disease process before clinical symptoms appear."

In a release issued on September 28, 2011 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that TCE is carcinogenic to humans.


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