Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Common workplace solvent may threaten immune system

A report in claims that exposure to Trichloroethylene (TCE), a commonly used industrial solvent, may cause changes in the immune system.

Italian researchers found that workers at a printing plant exposed to TCE, had higher than average levels of a TCE metabolite in their urine, and significant changes in the normal balance of cytokines.

Trichloroethylene is a colourless liquid which is used as a solvent for cleaning metal parts. It is also an ingredient in adhesives, paint removers, typewriter correction fluids, and spot removers.