Some research suggests that TCE can be linked to the cause of Parkinson’s disease. Per a study published in Annals of Neurology, exposure to the industrial solvent was linked to a “significantly increased risk of PD [Parkinson’s disease].”
However, some researchers say larger-scale studies must continue to confirm this link.
What Is TCE, and How does Exposure Occur?
Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a colorless liquid chemical compound with various industrial and consumer uses. Medical professionals used it as an anesthetic in surgery and an inhaled analgesic or pain reliever. However, concerns about toxicity prompted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban it for these uses in the late 1970s.
People in various industries use the substance to remove grease, oils, and waxes from metal parts of equipment. It is also an ingredient in many everyday household products, including paint removers, carpet cleaners, lubricants, and spray adhesives, among many others. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), TCE can be in the air, water, and soil of any place where people use or make it. It breaks down slowly, which means it lasts long enough to pass through the soil and into the groundwater.
People can experience TCE exposure if they ingest it through food or water or inhale it indoors or outdoors. According to the NCI, exposure can also occur if a person eats foods washed in or made with water contaminated with TCE. The skin can also absorb the chemical.
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What Is Parkinson’s Disease?
As the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) explains, Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder of the nervous system. The brain disorder involves nerve cells throughout the brain that can weaken, become damaged, or die. When this happens, movement issues can occur. Not everyone’s experience is the same. However, some people with Parkinson’s experience tremors (shaking), stiffness in the trunk of the body or limbs, and problems with balance as their condition declines.
Symptoms start slowly, but as the disease progresses, it can be more challenging to walk, talk, or carry out daily tasks. There is no cure for Parkinson’s, but medications and surgery can help people manage motor control symptoms.
According to NINDS, Parkinson’s exact cause is unknown. However, it notes that some cases are hereditary and acknowledges the thought that a combination of genetics and environmental exposure could cause it.
Researchers Conclude TCE Exposure and Parkinson’s Disease Could be Linked
As noted earlier, some research strongly links TCE exposure and Parkinson’s disease. In the Annals of Neurology study, researchers studied 99 pairs of twins. In the study, one of the twins developed Parkinson’s and the other did not. Researchers studied the twins’ hobbies and occupations, paying close attention to jobs in industries, such as industrial machinery repair and dry cleaning, that require workers to use chemicals linked to the development of Parkinson’s.
The researchers concluded that exposure to TCE was linked to a significantly higher risk of Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s Found in People Exposed to TCE in One Study
Other data collected during the study included head injuries, which can increase Parkinson’s risks, and smoking history, which could decrease its risks. Of the chemicals studied for long-term exposure in the twins, researchers said two emerged as notable for the risk of developing Parkinson’s: PERC (perchloroethylene) and TCE.
“The potential importance is great, since both solvents persist in the environment and are commonly used,” said co-study leader Samuel Goldman, M.D., M.P.H., in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) news release about the study. Goldman of The Parkinson’s Institute also said, “Parkinson’s was sixfold more common in twins exposed to TCE, and ninefold more common in twins exposed to TCE or PERC.”
As of now, there is no definitive answer as to whether TCE causes Parkinson’s. Researchers say these results need to be repeated on a wider scale; so far, they have studied only small populations. However, some researchers suggest TCE exposure can be a factor, including a study published in Neurologic Clinics. It notes that animals exposed to TCE during the study developed parkinsonian features. It also concludes that environmental risk factors may cause symptoms in people genetically predisposed to Parkinson’s.
Call Us Today for Legal Help from our Parkinson’s Disease Lawyer
If you believe TCE chemical exposure may have caused your or your loved one’s Parkinson’s diagnosis, you might be able to recover awards. The injury attorneys at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can review your legal options for recovering awards for your medical bills, missed or lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses you suffered. We can also help you gather evidence in your case.
We can lead your case for awards and help you recover the compensation needed to help you manage your condition. You can learn more today during a free consultation with a team member. If we take your case, we work on contingency, which means you owe us no fees unless we recover compensation for you.