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Arch Environ Health. 1994 Nov-Dec;49(6):487-93.

Occupational and environmental exposure to perchloroethylene (PCE) in dry cleaners and their family members.

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  • 1Hygiene Institute, University of Modena, Italy.


Perchloroethylene exposure in 28 dry-cleaning establishments and in 25 homes occupied by dry cleaners in Modena, Italy, was investigated. Environmental air samples and alveolar air samples from dry cleaners (n = 60) and from their family members (n = 23) were collected. The degree of perchloroethylene on the dry-cleaning premises varied widely from establishment to establishment. Spot sampling ranged from 0.6 to 75 mg/m3, whereas sampling by personal passive dosimeters ranged from 2.6 to 221.5 mg/m3 (8-h time weighted average values). Perchloroethylene in alveolar air samples collected at the end of the work day correlated closely with the 8-h time weighted average values (r = .750, p = .001), and correlated also with alveolar air samples collected at home in the evening (r = .665, p = .001) and the following morning (r = .549, p < .001). Perchloroethylene levels inside the homes of dry cleaners appeared significantly higher than in 29 houses selected as controls (Mann Whitney U test, p < .001). Perchloroethylene in alveolar air samples collected at home suggests that nonoccupational exposure to perchloroethylene for family members of dry cleaners exists.

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