Do you take your work clothes to the dry cleaners? Think twice about the health risks!
Perchloroethylene (or PERC) is a manufactured chemical that is primarily used for dry cleaning fabrics. Most of us won’t be exposed to high levels of Perc which can affect the central nervous system, eye and respiratory irritation, severe shortness of breath, nausea, difficulty speaking and walking, etc. But even small doses can cause dizziness, inebriation, sleepiness, and irritated eyes, nose, mouth, throat, and respiratory tract. If you are pregnant or have disease of the heart, liver, kidneys, or lungs you are much more susceptible to these conditions. Long term exposure can lead to many forms of cancer. (more info)
- Find a “green” dry cleaner: CO2 or GreenEarth are two choices I found online.
- Many clothes can be washed by hand.
- Or try washing in the machine’s gentle cycle.
- Avoid the problem by buying clothes that do not call for dry cleaning.
(Note: Perc is also found in aerosol products, solvent soaps, printing inks, adhesives, sealants, paint removers, paper coatings, leather treatments, automotive cleaners, polishes, lubricants, typewriter correction fluid, adhesives, spot removers, wood cleaners, and shoe polish.)