A study published in the journal Environmental Health on January 20, 2012, finds a scientific link between exposure to PCE in early childhood and the development of mental illness.   The study was conducted by some of the most prominent and respected toxicologists and public health researchers in the nation.  It studied a population on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  The subjects were exposed to PCE  in their drinking water supplies between 1969 and 1983 during early childhood.  The PCE was released from vinyl water distribution pipes on Cape Cod.  The study found an increased incidence of mental illness, including depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia in the subjects.  The findings of the study are extremely significant from a public health perspective.  PCE is among the most common — and dangerous — chemicals released worldwide due to its widespread use as an industrial cleaning solvent and as the most common dry cleaning fluid.  PCE has been previously linked to many diseases, including diseases of the vital organs and cancer.  This groundbreaking research shows once again what many of us in the field already know and expect — the threats to people from exposure to chemicals indiscriminately handled by polluters are more substantial than those responsible for protecting us are willing to admit.  A copy of the study can be found here.

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