Friday, February 03, 2012

Early exposure to dry-cleaning chemical can lead to bipolar disorder

Early exposure to a dry-cleaning chemical can have
serious health consequences, a new study shows.
A new study has linked early exposure to the dry-cleaning solvent tetrachloroethylene (also known as perc or PCE) to an increased risk of bipolar disorder and post traumatic stress syndrome.

Researchers at the Boston University School of Public Health followed up with people born between 1969 and 1983 in the Cape Cod area, where the dry-cleaning chemical leached into the water supply.

The solvent and vinyl resin were used to attach liners to the water pipes and dried for 48 hours before being shipped to their destination.

The common belief was that the chemical would evaporate before the installation of the pipe, but instead traces of the chemical ended up in the drinking water.

The researchers contacted 1,500 subjects and found that 830 of them were exposed to the solvent in early childhood.

The study participants answered a questionnaire about a variety of things, including mental health and if they had ever been diagnosed with depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder.

In the participants exposed to perc in early childhood, there was an 80 percent higher risk for bipolar disorder and a 170 percent increase in those who were highly exposed.

For post traumatic stress disorder, the risk rose by 50 percent, up to 70 percent respectively.

The researchers said that people are still exposed to perc through dry cleaning and from consumer products and that the increased risk of illness remains real.

The study was published in Environmental Health.

Source: Toronto Star

Reduce chemical exposure at home

One way to avoid or reduce exposure to PCE is to forgo dry cleaning completely, or to let the dry-cleaned clothes air out before bringing them indoors.

An air purifier with many pounds of activated carbon can also help remove airborne chemicals and fumes such as perc and formaldehyde.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for the home and office feature the most carbon and the deepest filter beds in their price class, and they also remove other indoor air pollutants with HEPA and UV as well as pre-filters.

Find out more about our general purpose air purifiers, and contact AllerAir for more information and options.