COT statement on tetrachloroethylene and the reproductive health of workers in the dry-cleaning industry (November 1997)

The COT was asked to advise the Health and Safety Executive on the implications of an epidemiological study in the dry-cleaning industry. The study had investigated the potential risks of reproductive and developmental toxicity arising from exposure to tetrachloroethylene in dry-cleaning establishments.

The Committee concluded that there was an increased risk of miscarriage in dry-cleaning machine operators as compared with non-operators. However, it considered that this increased risk could not be specifically attributed to exposure to tetrachloroethylene.

Since non-operators working in these establishments are at no increased risk of miscarriage, the Committee concluded that, by implication, there is no risk to the general public who visit dry-cleaning premises.

The HSE press release on this subject is available on the HSE website.