Before the advent of modern science, many industries were unaware of the toxic properties of certain chemicals used in everyday applications. The US military was no exception.
In the 1940s, the US military began using trichloroethylene (TCE) for vapor degreasing tanks and aircraft parts. TCE is a powerful cleaning solvent that proved to be a valuable national security resource for the Air Force. During that time, scientists knew that TCE could be poisonous but were unaware of its carcinogenic properties.
As a result, countless service members exposed to TCE may have an increased risk of developing severe diseases, including cancers (primarily in the liver, kidneys, cervix, and lymphatic system) and Parkinson’s disease.