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Chemicals Involved & Health Risks

Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)


PCE is used frequently in dry cleaning and to remove grease. It is also referred to as perchloroethylene or PERC.

Occupational studies show PCE exposure can have harmful effects on the visual system resulting in inability to distinguish colors in the blue-yellow range.

Increased risk for certain types of cancers, including:

  • Bladder

  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

  • Multiple myeloma

  • Liver

  • Leukemia

TCE is a confirmed human carcinogen by multiple agencies.

Trichloroethylene (TCE)


TCE is used as a solvent to remove grease from metal parts. It is also found in adhesives, paint removers, and spot removers.

Animal studies show developmental effects from TCE exposures, such as:

  • Increases in heart defects

  • Effects on the developing immune system

  • Decreased thymus weight

  • Changes in the kidneys

Increased risk for certain types of cancers, including:

  • Kidney

  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

  • Liver

PCE is not a confirmed human carcinogen, but there is increased concern for particular cancers.

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