The following text is from a recent Council Watch newsletter of the Toronto Environmental Alliance.
You can access the complete text of the newsletter here.
Excerpt from Council Watch newsletter published by Toronto Environmental Alliance:
The truth about dirty laundry
Ever wonder what chemicals are used to get the grit out of ‘dry clean only’ clothing? Truth is, many dry cleaners in Toronto use an old school toxic substance called ‘perc’ to remove stains.
Perc is suspected to cause cancer, respiratory illness, and harm the reproductive system. Most at risk are workers & residents living near these shops, but perc can also off-gas from the clothes for days.
That’s why perc (short for perchloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene) is listed on Toronto’s Toxic 25 list. Now that dry cleaners report this chemical to Public Health we know that they use over 27 tonnes of perc every year! Click here to find out if a shop near you uses perc.
[Note: The link in the previous sentence is: http://app.toronto.ca/ctpd/findFacility.html – I was not able to open the link in Safari but I was able to open it when I pasted the address into Google Chrome. A dry cleaner close to where I live is identified in the app but the cleaner has not provided information about what it uses. I have dry cleaning done at a dry cleaner on Bloor St. West that identifies itself as not using perc. End of note.]
Also, please support our dream of developing a Toronto Green Dry Cleaner Guide so we can help you spot the difference!
[End of excerpt]
A Canadian Press article about ‘perc’ in the Feb. 14, 2011 Globe and Mail is entitled: “Toxic dry-cleaning chemical is Canada’s top eco-villain.”