LEAVE SENSATIONALISM TO THE TABLOIDS

27 February 1998

I was surprised when reading the December 1997 issue of Laundry and Cleaning News, where on page 7, the misleading headline Perc may increase miscarriage risk appeared. Having read the article in which you quote the committee, I was unable to see the phrase “may increase risk”.

If I read it correctly, the report quoted in your article states that there “is no evidence for a plausible biological mechanism by which tetrachloroethylene (perc) could cause this effect and that other factors could have contributed to the observed risk. It also stated that “increased risk of spontaneous abortion could not be specifically attributed to tetrachloroethylene”.

The committee also said “the evidence that non-operators were at no increased risk leads us to conclude that, by implication, there is no risk to the general public who visit drycleaning premises.” I appreciate that as one of the two industry publications, it is only right and proper that you report on the things that are important to the industry, but surely such sensationalist headlines should be left to the tabloid newspapers.




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