Harmful solvent once used in dry cleaning could trigger Parkinson’s Disease

Harmful solvent once used in dry cleaning could trigger Parkinson’s Disease

Harmful solvent once used in dry cleaning could trigger Parkinson’s Disease


According to recent research, Harmful solvent once used in dry cleaning could trigger Parkinson’s Disease. Scientists caution that the condition is 70% more likely to occur in people exposed to the industrial solvent. The conclusions are based on data collected from tens of thousands of former marines who spent a decade stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, USA. Trichloroethylene (TCE) and other volatile organic chemicals were present in its water supply.


The California University of San Francisco’s Professor Samuel Goldman, the corresponding author, stated: “Exposure to trichloroethylene in water may increase the incidence of Parkinson’s disease. This pervasive environmental pollutant has exposed and is still exposing millions of people globally.


Additionally, decaffeinated coffee included it. Since the 1970s, TCE has been prohibited by the food and pharmaceutical industries. Although it was phased out of dry cleaning in the middle of the 1950s, it is still employed in the textile production sector as an extraction solvent as well as for cleaning and degreasing metal. From 1953 until 1987, when testing revealed the contaminated wells, Camp Lejeune’s drinking water was tainted with TCE.


His team examined the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease between 168,000 soldiers at Camp Pendleton in California and 172,000 veterans from Camp Lejeune, where the drinking water was pure. Between 1975 and 1985, when contamination was at its worst, they lived on their separate bases for an average of around two years and were predominantly male. More than three decades later, 279 veterans from Camp Lejeune and 151 from Camp Pendleton, representing a prevalence of 0.33% and 0.21%, respectively, had received a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. Computer models revealed that Camp Lejeune veterans had a 70% higher risk of Parkinson’s disease than Camp Pendleton veterans, according to Prof. Golman.


The effects of trichloroethylene (TCE) on water during dry cleaning 

A typical solvent in industrial settings, particularly dry cleaning, is trichloroethylene (TCE), a volatile organic compound (VOC). Water can be affected in a number of ways by TCE when it is used in the dry cleaning process. Some of the major effects are as follows:


1. Contamination: 

TCE is very soluble in water, which means that if it is released or disposed of inappropriately, it can rapidly dissolve and contaminate water supplies. TCE can be introduced into water sources including rivers, lakes, or groundwater by improper handling and disposal during dry cleaning operations.

2. Environmental Pollution: 

TCE has a low reactivity and a slow rate of degradation, so once it gets into the water, it can stay there for a very long period. This persistence can result in long-term environmental degradation, particularly when TCE builds up in water bodies or seeps into underground waterways.

3. Health Risk:

Exposure to TCE-contaminated water can have negative effects on a person’s health. Drinking water that contains TCE at levels beyond the regulatory authorities’ permissible limits can cause a number of health difficulties, such as liver and kidney damage, respiratory problems, nervous system disorders, and an elevated risk of some types of cancer.


4. Ecological Impact: 

Aquatic life could be endangered as a result of TCE pollution in water sources. TCE has poisonous qualities that can harm aquatic species like fish, invertebrates, and plants. Their growth, reproduction, and general health may be hampered, upsetting the ecological balance of the impacted habitats.


Parkinson’s disease risk in using TCE

Exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) has been investigated in relation to a number of health impacts, including a potential link to Parkinson’s disease. TCE and Parkinson’s disease have a complicated and poorly known link, though. Here are some details about this subject:


1. Research Findings:

A number of researches have raised the possibility of a connection between TCE exposure and an elevated risk of Parkinson’s disease. These studies, which mostly focus on occupational or environmental TCE exposure, are observational in nature. It’s crucial to remember that the evidence is not conclusive, and further study is required to establish a clear causal link.

2. The Mechanism of action:

precise methods through which TCE might aid in the onset of Parkinson’s disease are not yet fully known. TCE is known to have neurotoxic effects, and it has been proposed that exposure to TCE might harm the brain’s dopaminergic neurons, which are particularly harmed in Parkinson’s disease. To clearly prove a cause-and-effect link, more study is necessary.


3. Other Risk Factors:

It’s crucial to remember that there are additional risk factors for Parkinson’s disease, including hereditary and environmental ones. Parkinson’s disease is a complex condition. If TCE exposure were to be found to be a risk factor, it is likely that it would interact with other genetic or environmental factors to promote the growth of the illness.

4. Occupational Exposure: 

TCE exposure at work has been a major problem, especially in sectors where it is utilized as a solvent. To protect the health of workers, regulatory bodies have set rules and guidelines to reduce TCE exposure at work.


Regulations and best practices have been created to control the handling, storage, and disposal of TCE and other hazardous compounds in order to lessen these effects. Alternative solvents and procedures, such as wet cleaning or liquid carbon dioxide, which are said to be more environmentally friendly and have less of an influence on water quality, have been adopted by many dry cleaning companies.

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