Chemicals commonly used for dry cleaning and metal degreasing are associated with a 500% higher risk of Parkinson’s disease.
For nearly a century, trichlorethylene (TCE) has been widely used. An international group of researchers now says that TCE may be the ‘hidden cause’ of Parkinson’s disease.
This chemical has also been linked to cancer, miscarriage, and congenital heart disease.
and hypothesis paper Researchers published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease say that studies in mice and rats found that TCE readily enters brain and body tissues. High doses can damage mitochondria, the part of the cell that produces energy.
Animal studies have also shown that exposure to TCE causes selective loss of dopaminergic neurons. Its loss is a classic symptom of Parkinson’s disease in humans.
Although people directly exposed to TCE are at increased risk of Parkinson’s disease, the authors of the hypothetical paper believe that millions of people “unwittingly suffer through outdoor air, contaminated groundwater, and indoor air pollution.” We are encountering chemicals on a daily basis,” he said.
TCE has been used as a solvent in industrial, consumer, military, and medical applications. Among other things, it helped:
- decaffeinated coffee
- remove paint
- fix typos
- clean engine
- anesthetize the patient
The peak use of TCE was in the 1970s. However, researchers say it is still used for degreasing and partial dry cleaning of metals.
TCE is also present on about half of the most toxic Superfund sites. Which Areas heavily polluted with toxic substances that the federal government is currently monitoring them, according to researchers.
Two states, New York and Minnesota, have banned the use of TCE. But researchers say more needs to be done to protect people from TCE.according to Summary of their findings:
“They note that vapor remediation systems similar to those used for radon can successfully remediate contaminated sites and reduce exposure to indoor air. There are thousands of contaminated sites and this process of cleanup and containment needs to be accelerated.”
Ultimately, researchers want to ban TCE use in the United States.