Dirty Dry Cleaning

Perchloroethylene—the “dry” component in dry cleaning—is a classified carcinogen with toxic environmental effects. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration declared it a neurotoxin connected with memory loss and blurred vision. Why, then, is it an industry mainstay?

Water-based “wet cleaning” is currently the only viable alternative but many small businesses can’t afford to replace their PERC systems. They also likely won’t be forced to—California is the only state to ban PERC.

“We have to create enough signs that something is bad for you before action is ever taken,” says Harvard University’s Diana Ceballos.

PopSci

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