Parkinson’s Disease Study Finds New Links to Cleaning Agents

Posted on April 22, 2010


According to a study by Dr. Samuel Goldman, of the Parkinson’s Institute in Sunnyvale, California, an industrial cleaning agent might be linked to an increased risk for Parkinson’s disease. The cleaner trichloroethylene (TCE) used to be used by dry cleaners, mechanics, electricians and other workers and is no longer used as frequently because of other health concerns.

Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that occurs when nerve cells in the brain that typically produce dopamine die or become impaired. Dopamine allows smooth coordination of the bodies muscles and movements. According to the LA Times blog Booster Shots, animal experiments showed that TCE kills dopamine producing cells in the part of the brain that is effected by Parkinson’s.

The details of the study are included in an article in HealthDay News. Goldman and his team compared the job histories of 99 pairs of male twins, in which one of the twins had Parkinson’s disease. The results showed that twins who were exposed to TCE were 5.5 more times as likely to have Parkinson’s than those who had no exposure to TCE.