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Hazardous to public health: Congresswoman Wexton pushes EPA to regulate TCE

Rebecca Barnabi
(© Brian Jackson – stock.abobe.com)

A final risk determination for Trichloroethylene (TCE) released last year details how exposure to TCE can be detrimental to human health and is tied to various conditions and diseases including Parkinson’s Disease.

One study referenced in the report showed that individuals exposed to TCE-contaminated water had a 70 percent higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton, who represents Virginia’s District 10 and was recently honored with legislation in her name to fight Parkinson’s Disease was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), an atypical Parkinsonism in the summer.

Wexton sent a public comment letter supporting a proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule to regulate TCE under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to protect families from the dangerous health and environmental impacts of the chemical.

“As you may know, earlier this year I was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), an atypical parkinsonism that is believed to have ties to environmental toxins such as TCE. I have, therefore, seen firsthand how these diseases can be devastating for individuals, their families, and the communities around them. For thousands of families across the country, including mine, this rule will mark a significant step towards ensuring no one else’s family suffers the way ours have,” Wexton said.

TCE can come in contact with the public through water contamination, inhalation and direct skin exposure. For this reason, activities ranging from consuming products cleaned with TCE-contaminated water to breathing air in the presence of TCE can be hazardous to public health.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.