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TCE which has at Least Twice Leaked in Huntington Leads to Risk of Some Cancers According to Oxford Journal
" [In 2004} the groundwater at the X-749/X-120 area contains levels of TCE that are above the targeted
risk level. The objective of this project is to remove contamination from the groundwater, and to prevent
any further movement of contaminants from the X-749 Landfill. The intention of the remediation
procedure is to achieve a completely mature and functional phytoremediation system within two years of
the initial planting of the hybrid poplar trees and to reduce the extent of the X-749/X-120 area
groundwater TCE plume.
TCE is a chlorinated dry-cleaning solvent and degreaser that has been widely used for approximately the last 100 years and has shown carcinogenicity in rodents. Previous epidemiologic studies have shown a reported increase in cancer risk in humans for the kidney, cervix, liver and biliary passages, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and esophageal adenocarcinoma.
In order to determine the link between TCE exposure and increased cancer risk, Johnni Hansen, Ph.D., of the Danish Cancer Society Research Center in Copenhagen, and colleagues looked at a cohort of workers that had individual documentation for exposure to TCE in Finland, Sweden, and Denmark, where the individuals were monitored for urinary TCE metabolite trichloroacetic acid during 1947–1989 and followed for cancer.
The researchers found statistically significant elevated standardized incidence ratios for primary liver cancer and cervical cancer, but did not find a statistically significant risk of either non-Hodgkin lymphoma or esophageal or kidney cancer.
“Our pooled study of documented TCE-exposed workers provides some evidence for an increased risk of liver cancer, although confounding by other exposures cannot be ruled out. Evaluation of a possible modest risk for kidney cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma requires studies with greater statistical power,” the authors write.
In an accompanying editorial, Mark P. Purdue, Ph.D., of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute writes that there has been concern with workers exposed to TCE since the early 1970s and that even though it is now classified as a human carcinogen, further research is needed and safer options should be explored. “Where possible, TCE should be substituted by safer alternative chemicals and/or emissions should be reduced.
Conversion from conventional vapor degreasers to new low-emission equipment such as enclosed vapor degreasing systems can greatly reduce solvent exposures in the workplace, and aqueous cleaning systems may also be feasible alternatives in certain applications.”
An abstract of the article stated:
Background Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a widely used chlorinated solvent with demonstrated carcinogenicity in animal assays. Some epidemiologic studies have reported increased risk of cancer of the kidney, cervix, liver and biliary passages, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Methods We established a pooled cohort, including 5553 workers with individual documented exposure to TCE in Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. Study participants were monitored for the urinary TCE metabolite trichloroacetic acid from 1947 to 1989 and followed for cancer. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated based on cancer incidence rates in the three national populations. Cox proportionate hazard analyses were used for internal comparisons. Tests of statistical significance are two-sided.
Results Overall, 997 cases of cancer (n = 683 in men; n = 314 in women) were identified during 154 778 person-years of follow-up. We observed statistically significant elevated standardized incidence ratios for primary liver cancer (1.93; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.19 to 2.95) and cervical cancer (2.31; 95% CI = 1.32 to 3.75). The standardized incidence ratio for kidney cancer was 1.01 (95% CI = 0.70 to 1.42) based on 32 cases; we did not observe a statistically significant increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (SIR = 1.26; 95% CI = 0.89 to 1.73) or esophageal adenocarcinoma (SIR = 1.84; 95% CI = 0.65 to 4.65). Tobacco- and alcohol-associated cancers were not statistically significantly increased.
Conclusions Our results suggest TCE exposure is possibly associated with an increased risk for liver cancer. The relationship between TCE exposure and risks of cancers of low incidence and those with confounding by lifestyle and other factors not known in our cohort require further study.