Dry cleaning and the environment

Did you know that the vast majority of dry cleaning businesses in the USA utilize perchloroethylene (perc) based cleaning solvents. Perchloroethylene is a known carcinogen and even short term exposure to it can cause all sorts of central nervous system related problems.
PERC not only poses a risk to those working in the dry cleaning industry, but the chemical is also active when you bring your clothes home.

An alternative, more earth-friendly chemical gaining popularity amongst dry cleaners is silicone decamethylcyclopentasiloxane. The cost is around the same as PERC and it does require a license for its use due to intellectual property issues; but it breaks down very quickly to become sand, carbon dioxide and water. Sure, more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere isn’t such a great thing, but it’s far better than having carcinogens floating around; the lesser of the evils.

Check with your dry cleaner the next time you visit to see what chemicals they use. If they are using PERC, ask them why they aren’t using a greener alternative since the costing and effectiveness is the same. It may give them pause for thought if customers start raising the issue with them.

Do you know of other earth friendly dry cleaning practices? Add them to this article :)