Garment cleaners that advertise their services as eco-friendly, biodegradable, green, natural or non-toxic might not be what they claim to be. Traditional dry cleaning solvents have been known to cause cancer, reproductive harm and damage to the liver, kidneys and nervous system. More than 75% of dry cleaning sites in the US are contaminated with hazardous substances. This affects the water and land around those sites thus harming the environment.
The traditional dry cleaning solvent, perchloroethylene (perc), is a known carcinogen and is persistent in the environment. Long term exposure can lead to neurological effects, reduced fertility and spontaneous abortions. The hydrocarbon solvents used as common substitutes to Perc often contain carcinogens like benzene and are known to be neurotoxicants and skin and respiratory irritants capable of aggravating your asthma. Another alternative, GreenEarth®, contains a chemical that is a suspected carcinogen and reproductive toxicant.
Professional wet cleaning has been identified as a truly environmentally friendly, non-smog forming technology that is the safer choice. Most items labeled “dry clean only” can be professionally wet cleaned without shrinkage or damage.
Find a wet cleaner near you.
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