Did you know that something as simple as your dry cleaning can pose a serious health hazard? It’s an unfortunate fact, but it’s one that not many people know about. PERC, which is short for perchloroethylene, is the chemical used in roughly 85% of conventional dry cleaning processes. Although it is used as a solvent and cleaner, it is also a metal degreaser and used to produce other chemicals. Recently, the National Academy of Sciences and the Environmental Protection Agency declared PERC to be “likely a human carcinogen.”
PERC can be hazardous for everyone and everything: you, the employees who work in the dry cleaning industry, the environment, and even your clothing! The EPA has found that during the cleaning process, PERC can contaminate our air, water, and soil during the cleaning, purification, and waste disposal associated with dry cleaning. As a reaction to these issues, consumers have demanded more environmental dry cleaning, and as a result, many new eco friendly dry cleaners have appeared to meet the public’s needs.
What do eco friendly dry cleaners do? Green dry cleaning, as it is sometimes known, uses other methods besides PERC. Some of these are professional wet cleanings; others use substances such as liquid carbon dioxide and liquid silicone. These alternatives are generally preferred because they do not contain any harmful chemicals or volatile organic compounds.
What are the benefits of using eco friendly dry cleaners? There are several, but here are some of the most popular reasons to use environmentally friendly dry cleaning:
1. It’s good for people: Those who have sensitive skin or who don’t like the odor of their conventional dry cleaning when it comes back will benefit from using a green dry cleaning process. Additionally, you can feel good knowing that the employees who dry cleaned your clothing were not harmed by exposure to PERC. Long-term exposure to PERC can lead to nerve and brain damage — and potentially cancer!
2. It’s good for your clothing: Eco friendly dry cleaning won’t cause fabrics to fade or shrink, and green dry cleaners promise that clothes will look just as good as if they had been through conventional dry cleaning.
3. It’s good for the environment: Green dry cleaning doesn’t release chemicals such as PERC or any volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere during use. Additionally, because these chemicals can seep into ground water when they are disposed of, green dry cleaning has the advantage of not harming the environment through waste water.
Whether you need cleaning for a special occasion garment or if you require regular cleanings for workplace uniforms, eco friendly dry cleaning is sure to be the best option for you and your clothing. Consider trying this process at a green dry cleaner near you. Have questions about the process? Leave a comment below. References: maxiwalker.com