Trichloroethylene is predominantly used in metal industries as a degreaser. However, it is also used in dry-cleaning products, printing, production of printer inks and paints, fabric printing etc., meaning that this is a major environmental pollutant.
Consumers may be exposed to trichloroethylene through the use of wood inks, varnishes, finishes, lubricants, adhesives, correcting fluid, paint strippers and some cleaners where TCE is used as a solvent. Although the main route of human exposure is inhalation, consuming contaminated water could be a source of exposure in some instances.
Some scientific studies have linked this chemical to health problems such as: acute hepatocellular injury, acute tubular necrosis, arrhythmia, autoimmune antibodies, congenital cardiac defects, childhood leukaemia, cirrhosis, cognitive impairment, delayed development, loss of coordination, fetotoxicity, hearing loss, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, psychiatric disorders, kidney cancer, scleroderma, trigeminal neuropathy, ADHD, adult leukaemia, brain cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, genitourinary defects, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, immunosuppression, low birth weight, lung cancer, multiple myeloma, nephrotic syndrome, neural tube defects, cleft lip, pancreatic cancer, peripheral neuropathy, prostate cancer, systemic lupus erythematosus, testicular cancer etc.