PCE – PERC

PCE, also called PERC, perchloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene, is typically used for dry-cleaning fabrics and metal degreasing operations. Dry cleaners have found that this solvent is excellent at dissolving grease, oils and waxes without affecting fabrics. Manufacturers have also used PCE in water repellants, paint removers, printing inks, glues, sealants, polishes and lubricants.
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Although widely used today, PCE probably cause cancer. EPA has, in fact, classified it as likely to be carcinogenic to humans.

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People can breathe in its vapors, come into contact with PCE through the skin, or ingest contaminated water or food. People who live in communities with contaminated drinking water can ingest it or even inhale it while bathing or showering. The highest exposures, however, tend to occur in the workplace.

Short-Term Effects of PCE

PCEs have a lot of negative short-term effects. These include:

  • Irritation of the upper respiratory tract and eyes
  • Impaired coordination
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Sleepiness
  • Unconsciousness

Chronic Effects of PCE Exposure

People who are unlucky enough to face chronic PCE inhalation offer suffer from:

  • Neurological damage, including impaired cognitive and motor neurobehavioral function
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Disruption of the immune system
  • Bladder cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma

Workplace exposure to PCEs can severely impact your health. Talk with a lawyer about the responsibility your employer may face for exposing you to this dangerous chemical.

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