Industry pimps want reduced rules for Tricholoroethylene. Science says it damages fetal hearts. Guess which side Trump supports?

John DeSesso was on a mission when he entered the halls of the Environmental Protection Agency in late September. Inside the ornate limestone building not far from the White House, he met with a dozen EPA scientists and officials…

For the past 40 years, DeSesso, a biochemist, has…primarily earned his living…as a contract scientist for chemical companies and their trade associations, promoting their positions on toxic chemicals from arsenic to Roundup…

For years, DeSesso and his chemical industry sponsors had been preoccupied with trying to undercut the findings of a 2003 University of Arizona study. That study, led by veterinary scientist Paula Johnson, had been a landmark in establishing that TCE exposure at trace levels was highly toxic to developing embryos. The Johnson study had been pivotal in past EPA evaluations of TCE’s risks…

(The) official evaluation was released for public comment last week, and it appears to show the influence of DeSesso and his chemical company sponsors. Dismissing the findings of the Johnson study and decades of scientific research, the published evaluation rejects fetal heart malformations as a benchmark for unsafe exposure levels to TCE.

Worse than that, it now appears that the body of evidence passing through the diluted remains of the EPA under Republican control still provoked agreement that even trace exposure to TCE was unsafe, could deform fetal hearts. So the Trump White House ordered the EPA to overrule their own scientists.

Parkinson’s linked to household cleaning chemicals, decaf coffee

A chemical used for decades for a range of uses, from clean car parts to decaffeinating coffee, raises the risk of Parkinson’s disease six-fold.

Use of trichloroethylene (TCE) – often known as ‘trike’ – was strictly curtailed across the European Union after 2001, following the discovery that it could cause cancer. But until then it was widely used by mechanics, particularly to degrease car parts like brakes…

It is still used as an ingredient in paints, inks and varnishes, although in low concentrations.

Now a study of 99 pairs of identical twins has found a “significant association” between exposure to TCE and development of the disease…

Researchers…found exposure to TCE resulted in a more than six-fold increase in the likelihood of developing the disease, which can cause limb tremors, slurred speech and difficulty moving.

They warned there was “a lag time of up to 40 years between TCE exposure and onset of Parkinson’s“.

They also found exposure to two other chemical solvents, perchloroethylene (PERC) and carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), “tended towards significant risk of developing the disease”…

Until the 1970s TCE was used in the food and pharmaceutical industries, for example to decaffeinate coffee, as a skin disinfectant and even an anaesthetic.

Cripes. When I was a kid there was hardly a household solvent more popular than carbon tetrachloride. Not at all unlikely that it was a contributing agent to my mom’s Parkinson’s.

Common industrial cleaner = risk of Parkinson’s Disease


Marine Camp Lejeune – Feds said TCE in drinking water wasn’t dangerous for 3 decades
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

Workers exposed to tricholorethylene (TCE), a chemical once widely used to clean metal such as auto parts, may be at a significantly higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, according to a study just released.

“This is the first time a population-based study has confirmed case reports that exposure to TCE may increase a person’s risk of developing Parkinson’s disease,” said study author Samuel Goldman, MD… “TCE was once a popular industrial solvent used in dry cleaning and to clean grease off metal parts, but due to other health concerns the chemical is no longer widely used.”

For the study, researchers obtained job histories from 99 pairs of twins in which only one of the twins had Parkinson’s disease. All of the twins were men and identified from the World War II-Veterans Twins Cohort study. Scientists used twins in the study because they are genetically identical or very similar and provide an ideal population for evaluating environmental risk factors.

The study found workers who were exposed to TCE were five and a half times more likely to have Parkinson’s disease than people not exposed to the chemical. Those who were exposed to TCE had job histories including work as dry cleaners, machinists, mechanics or electricians.

Thanks a lot, folks. One more thing for me worry about – in hindsight.

To say that TCE was popular is an understatement. I think the first three jobs I had just out of school – all in local industry back East – all used TCE for one thing or another. Certainly for cleaning metal parts before welding or assembly.

Of course, back then, we used cyanide powder for case hardening steel. I wonder how long some of my buddies from the heat-treating department at GE lived?