Perc is the most popular dry cleaning solvent used, due to its powerful cleaning ability. However, dry cleaning with perc is a human health risk. The highest risk is to people who work at dry cleaners. Also, people who live in buildings shared with a dry cleaning establishment are at risk because of their ongoing exposure to perc. (Note that as of 2009, New York State made it is illegal to install a perc cleaner in residential buildings.)
Common symptoms for people exposed to high levels of perc are dizziness, fatigue, headaches, confusion, nausea, and skin, lung, eye and mucous membrane irritation. More seriously, frequent and prolonged exposure to perc can elevate risks of certain types of cancer such as bladder, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.
Perc is an environmental hazard in the neighborhoods where perc dry cleaning businesses reside. Toxic air pollution and contaminated soil and groundwater is commonly found, and for this reason the EPA and state-level health organizations have been fighting for the elimination of perc as a dry cleaning agent.
For more information on perc, see the United States EPA Perc Fact Sheet.
Hydrocarbon solvents provide a significantly low health concern. When used correctly in what is called a closed-loop cleaner, there is little risk. However it should be noted that hydrocarbon is a petroleum-based solvent, and could therefore contribute to smog and greenhouse gas issues, which contribute indirectly to respiratory health issues such as asthma.
New York State has approved some hydrocarbon solvents as a replacement for perc. Details and a list of the approved solvent brands can be found at The Department of Environmental Conservation.
As important as this issue is, what about the quality of service your dry cleaner provides? Perc is known to be a powerhouse cleaning solvent, great for heavy oil-stained clothes. Hydrocarbon is a more gentle solution, and when used with a slightly longer cleaning cycle, you garments will look great – and last longer, too!
We at Choice Cleaners Delivery only use Hydrocarbon solutions to clean your clothes and other laundry services. We pride ourselves on keeping you and the environment safe from harsh chemicals. So make the RIGHT choice with us and call today so we can help you, your wardrobe and the environment be clean and safe, 631-265-9591
Keywords: dry-cleaning, perc, hydrocarbon