No Need for More Perc Testing, E.U. Scientists Say

Ian P. Murphy |

BRUSSELS — A European Union (E.U.) committee says that there is “no need” for further risk-reduction testing covering the use of perchloroethylene beyond current regulations, according to a release from the Halogenated Solvents Industry Alliance (HSIA).
In commenting on the E.U.’s risk-assessment report on perc, its Scientific Committee on Health & Environmental Risks (SCHER) says that risk-reduction measures in place to protect consumers and those in colocated apartments and offices are sufficient. The report “covers all studies relevant for exposure and hazard assessment” SCHER says, and “there is, at present, no need for further information and/or testing.”
In addition to consumer exposure from drycleaned clothes and exposure to persons living and working in the vicinity of drycleaning facilities, the E.U.’s risk-assessment report considers six scenarios of occupational perc exposure, including “typical,” “realistic” and “worst-case.” SCHER members agreed with the report’s recommendation for additional risk-reduction measures to cut occupational exposures in the worst-case scenarios. The Committee also agreed with a recommendation for reducing exposures from coin-operated drycleaning machines, which have already been eliminated in the United States.
The committee concluded that perc is not mutagenic under typical conditions of oxidative metabolism, meaning that the solvent will not affect genetic material or cause cancer. SCHER adds that liver tumors observed in laboratory mice after exposure to perc are not relevant to a risk assessment for humans — historically the foundation for estimates of cancer risk developed by federal and California state regulators in the U.S., HSIA says.

About the author

Ian P. Murphy

Freelance Writer

Ian P. Murphy is a freelance writer based in Chicago, and was the editor of American Drycleaner from 1999 to 2011.


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