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In the news – Trichloroethylene linked to Parkinson's Disease

Tuesday, 15 November 2011 at 3:49:PM

Over the last day or so, the attention of the global media has been attracted by a study concluding that occupational exposure to a once-common chlorinated solvent substantially raises the chance of acquiring Parkinson’s Disease.

Trichloroethylene - connected with Parkinson's DiseaseThe study, published on 14 November in Annals of Neurology, found that long-term exposure to trichloroethylene (aka TCE or trichloroethene) was found to raise the risk of Parkinson’s Disease by more than a factor of 6. Two other ‘air toxics’, perchloroethylene (aka tetrachloroethene) and carbon tetrachloride, were also found to be risk factors.

Trichloroethylene of continued interest to analysts

Although the cohort of twins studied are likely to have been exposed to the solvents before modern working practices and exposure limits came into force, the study is nevertheless of interest to analysts. For example, trichloroethylene remains in use for industrial degreasing and is widespread in groundwater, although it has long been banned for use as a general anaesthetic, skin disinfectant, and coffee decaffeinating agent.

Advice on detecting chlorinated solvents

Chlorinated solvents such as those mentioned in this study are easily detected by thermal desorption–GC/MS, and Markes offers a range of solutions for detecting these chemicals. Examples can be found in the following documents:

If you’d like any more information on detecting trichloroethylene or other volatile organic chemicals, please contact our specialists directly for impartial advice.

David Barden


Further reading

See also the following websites for media reports of the study:



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