Parkinson’s Disease is a form of brain damage, but one for which the cause has until now been largely unknown and for which there is no cure. Now a study published in the Annals of Neurology, has reported that there is a “significant association” between exposure to a dangerous industrial solvent called Trichloroethylene and Parkinson’s Disease and a “significant risk of developing the disease” where there is a history of exposure to another 2 solvents, Perchloroethylene and Carbon Tetrachloride.

Trichloroethylene (‘Trike’) has been used in a large number of workplaces, most notably in the aerospace and motor industries, as a metal degreaser. It is used, as a solvent, to clean metal components and can be found in paint strippers and industrial chemical cleaners. Workers may have been exposed to ‘trike’ without even realising although the chemical has been known to be dangerous for some time and any workers required to use it as part of their work should have been provided with appropriate protection.

Trichloroethylene has also been classified as a substance that is capable of causing cancer and has been linked with the development of certain types of cancer, including liver cancer.

Link between Parkinson’s Disease and known toxins

David Robinson, a brain injury claim specialist solicitor who works with national firm Thompsons Solicitors said: “This scientific study making a link between Parkinson’s Disease and known toxins such as Trichloroethylene should provide suffers with some hope not only for proof of a cause but that employers who have for too long hidden behind a defence of scientific uncertainty on the subject will be exposed and made to answer. Certainty is still far off and we must hope that the research will continue and reveal more but this is a start in recognising the dangers to the brain of exposure to such lethal chemicals.

David, who has acted for individuals who have developed brain injuries as a result of exposure to dangerous chemicals, said further: “I would encourage anyone who has Parkinsons and who could have been exposed to the named chemicals to seek legal advice without delay, as failure to do so could prevent them from being able to bring a claim in due course”.