The detergent used most frequently by dry cleaners known as “perc” is one of the most dangerous chemicals. The perchloroethylene is known to be a carcinogen. It can be really harmful for the environment and people’s health. That is why the Department of Environmental Protection wants to remind the dry cleaners about the risks and the alternatives they can take advantage of.
The amount of “perc” used by the dry cleaning business in the state of Massachusetts, USA is huge. Richard Bizzozero who is director of technical assistance department in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs says that over 300 000 pounds of the solvent are used by the cleaners every year only in this state.
One of the reason for the chemical to be used that much is its price. It appears that regular dry cleaning with perchloroethylene costs 30% less than wet cleaning which is more eco-friendly and harmless for people’s health.
Alternatives about how to encourage the cleaners to use chemical free detergents and “perc” alternatives are being consider and will take place in the annual compliance certification form next year.