It’s time to get toxic chemicals out of dry cleaning

When perchloroethylene (PERC) was introduced to the dry cleaning industry in the 1930s, it must have seemed like a miracle solvent. Unfortunately, very few are aware of the health risks associated with a lifetime of using a hazardous chlorinated solvent.

When perchloroethylene (PERC) was introduced to the dry cleaning industry in the 1930s, it must have seemed like a miracle solvent.

It cleans clothes well and – most importantly – it is nonflammable. This is in contrast to the previous solvents, like Stoddard solvent, gasoline, turpentine, and even benzene. Because the use of these flammable solvents resulted in catastrophic fires and explosions, government regulations forced dry cleaners to move out of highly populated areas. With the advent of PERC, dry cleaners could move back to population centers, where the customers were.

The dry cleaning industry provided a unique opportunity for a whole generation of immigrants. A 2011 survey indicated that in King County, Washington, for instance, more than 80% of dry cleaning business owners emigrated from South Korea. For many of these immigrants, dry cleaning was the ideal business. They readily grasped the complexity of the dry cleaning process and were able to build successful businesses through hard work.

Unfortunately, very few are aware of the health risks associated with a lifetime of using a hazardous chlorinated solvent.

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Glenforest News


When perchloroethylene (PERC) was introduced to the dry cleaning industry in the 1930s, it must have seemed like a miracle solvent. Unfortunately, very few are aware of the health risks associated with a lifetime of using a hazardous chlorinated solvent.

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Tide just announced a new alternative to the classic bottle of laundry detergent. It basically looks and works just like a box of wine, which is sort of funny because of that whole meme about teens eating Tide Pods. But the new Tide Eco-Box is no joke. It’s actually a glimpse into a future where Amazon is dictating what our stuff looks like.

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GFL Environmental was fined $300,000 in an Ontario Court of Justice in Oshawa after pleading guilty to violating federal environmental law.

The Toronto-headquartered waste disposal company pleaded guilty on Dec.10 to two counts of contravening regulations for selling tetrachloroethylene to owners or operators of dry-cleaning facilities that did not meet regulatory standards.

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