Dry cleaning and Parkinson's risk
Trichloroethylene (TCA), a chemical used in commercial may increase risk of getting Parkinson's disease. This population based study was presented at the American Academy of neurology Annual Meetin in Spring 2010.
Dr. Goldman from the Parkinson's Institute looked at 99 pairs of twins (half were identical twins) in which one of the pair had Parkinson's disease. Men exposed that worked with TCE for more than 2 years had over a 6 times increase in risk.
TCE is a chemical used in the dry cleaning industry. Fortunately it is being phased out of use. It is important to note that the increased of risk in the study above was associated with chronic occupational exposure (over 2 years) and not casual use of dry cleaning services.
Dry cleaning is not dry but uses solvents to clean clothes and dissolve stains. Organic dry cleaning options are available but consumer beware. Some dry cleaning store fronts that advertise organic or 'green' are still using organic solvents.
If you wish to find a different method for your dry clean only clothes, look for the 'wet method' or carbon dioxide method as an alternative method to clean your clothes.
Author: Monique Giroux, MD