Chemical used in dry cleaning may be associated with Parkinson’s disease


Author: Sarah McGrathPublished: 30 March 2023

Parkinson's LifePrep: Parkinson's LifeCook: Parkinson's LifeServes:

Dry cleaned shirts hanging up.

The chemical trichloroethylene (TCE) has been used across a number of industries: to decaffeinate coffee, degrease metal parts, remove stains and dry-clean clothing. It’s currently banned in the European Union and the US states New York and Minnesota, except for authorised industrial uses.

Now, scientists led by Dr Ray Dorsey in the US have conducted new research claiming that TCE could be linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s.

Published in the ‘Journal of Parkinson’s Disease’, the study investigated case studies of seven people who were exposed to TCE prior to a Parkinson’s diagnosis – including basketball legend Brian Grant.

The researchers “postulate that this ubiquitous chemical is contributing to the global rise of Parkinson’s and that TCE is one of its invisible and highly preventable causes”.

They called for the cleaning of TCE-contaminated sites and for indoor air exposure to be diminished – as well as for further studies to be conducted to understand TCE’s relationship to the condition.

Read more:

Could certain cancers be linked to Parkinson’s disease?

Investigational Parkinson’s disease dementia therapy fails in clinical trial

Go Back

Share this story


Related articles

environmental factors and Parkinson's

Special reports

Ask the expert: Can environmental factors cause Parkinson’s?

Dr Ray Dorsey on the impact of pesticides



Could risk factors for Parkinson’s disease be “largely man-made”?

New research has highlighted evidence of a potential link between Parkinson

A closeup of a farmer's hands harvesting a crop.

Global update

Environmental Protection Agency bans pesticide linked to Parkinson’s disease

The US organisation has prohibited the use of chlorpyrifos