PEOPLE who work in dry cleaners' may be at risk of kidney failure because of exposure to the solvent perchloroethylene (PCE), say Italian researchers in the Lancet.

Evidence exists that shoemakers and oil refinery workers who come into contact with certain solvents suffer renal damage. The researchers, from Parma University medical school, found kidney disturbances among people who had worked in dry cleaners' for 10 years on average, possibly as a result of cell damage caused by PCE.