Friday, January 6, 2012

Dry cleaning industry concerned with chemical exposure

Dry cleaners may have a higher risk of
developing Parkinson's, study shows.
The dry cleaning process revolves around chemicals and solvent-laden fluids, so the risk of chemical exposure is relatively high.

Occupational health and safety concerns are especially valid when it comes to the chemicals perchloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene (perc and TCE), which have been linked to Parkinson’s disease.

In a study released in November, researchers found strong links between exposure to these chemicals and a heightened risk of Parkinson’s disease, a disorder that causes tremor and unsteady gait.

Parkinson’s affects about 700,000 Americans. It is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer's and is more common in the elderly.

The study found that risk of Parkinson’s disease was increased six-fold in people who worked with TCE and 10-fold in those who worked with perc. 

The effects were not immediate; exposure preceded the onset of Parkinson’s by 30 to 40 years.

Those working in the dry cleaning business and electricians were identified as being most at risk of exposure and subsequent health concerns.

Other industry players warn that the study included a small sample size and should not be seen as conclusive.

Source: National Clothesline

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1 comment:

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