May 24th, 2021
Household Chemical Risk
Parkinson’s disease is currently the fastest-growing neurological disorder in the world. U.S. rates of Parkinson’s have increased 35 percent in the last 10 years, and researchers expect that rate to double again over the next 25 years. And while no clear cause can be determined in many cases of Parkinson’s disease, research is increasingly showing one potential cause to be environmental exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE). TCE is a commonly used chemical compound found in industrial degreasing products, like those used in dry-cleaning for instance, as well as in household products like certain shoe polishes and carpet cleaners.
TCE has long been recognized as a potential carcinogen. TCE exposure has been linked to kidney, cervical and liver cancer. And now, increasingly, to Parkinson’s disease. A 2008 peer-reviewed study in the Annals of Neurology, concluded that TCE is “a risk factor for parkinsonism.” A 2011 study found “a six-fold increase in the risk of developing Parkinson’s in individuals exposed in the workplace to trichloroethylene (TCE).” Exposure to TCE can occur decades before the onset of any disease.
While regulated or banned by many countries throughout the world, TCE continues to be widely used in the U.S. The most recent U.S. EPA estimates are that in 2017 over 2 million pounds of TCE was released into the environment from industrial sites contaminating air, soil and water in the process. According to the Environmental Working Group, approximately 30 percent of US groundwater is currently contaminated with TCE, including areas in Moundsville and Weirton, West Virginia.
In May of last year, Minnesota became the first state to ban TCE; New York enacted a similar ban last December. Here’s hoping more states follow suit. In the meantime, home water filtration systems can be effective in removing TCE from drinking water. But bathing or inhaling water vapor or ground fumes contaminated with TCE are much harder problems to combat. If you believe you may have been injured from exposure to TCE, you should contact an experienced law firm like Bordas & Bordas right away to explore your rights.