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Dry cleaning and protecting the environment can go together

The Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the state of Georgia have all issued regulations and cautions regarding the use of dry cleaning chemicals. Not only could they cause health issues for those exposed, but they can also harm the environment. That might make it odd to say that dry cleaning and protecting the environment can go together.

The primary harmful and toxic chemical used in traditional dry cleaning is perchloroethylene, which is commonly called perc. This chemical solvent eliminates many types of stains, which is why it has been used in dry cleaning for quite a long time. This fact has prompted many people over the decades to go with a "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" attitude toward the use of this toxic chemical.

However, dry cleaners are now beginning to change the chemical processes used in the industry in order to protect both people and the environment. Out of four popular "green" methods of dry cleaning, liquid carbon dioxide and wet cleaning are thought to be the safest. California is one state that is committed to phasing out perc within the next few years. As better methods gain more popularity, other states, like Georgia, may consider doing the same.

There was a time in this country's history when protecting the environment was not a major concern for those in government and industry. Now that the effects of that neglect are measurable, many industries and government agencies are attempting to find better ways to do things. This could mean significant changes for many businesses in the future, and keeping up with changes in environmental policies and laws may require some help in order to remain in compliance.  

Source:, "How to Find Green Environmentally Friendly Dry Cleaning", Mary Marlowe Leverette, Accessed on Aug. 12, 2017

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