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Re: Alternatives to Perchloroethylene by dry cleaners


You'll soon hear that there's has been much done on this issue by the p2
networkers, but my suggestion is to work as close as possible with the dry
cleaners and with the state regulators in which they operate. Perc is
something that the industry clings to because the regulators make it possible.
When the state offers incentives, such as interest free loans or tax credits
for re-tooling to alternatives, and increases the regulatory oversite costs
for continuing the use of PERC, then you'll have their attention.

I regularly read their trade magazine called Western Cleaner and Launderer.
The association president has a column called "KEEPING SOLVENT". It's not too
punny, is it, especially once you see how much PERC is released to the
airsheds and directly in human bodies.

Good luck on your effort. I know you'll get lots of feedback on this issue. Be
sure you get the recent work from UCLA:

   In December 1997, the UCLA/Occidental College Pollution Prevention
and Education Center (PPERC) completed a report entitled Pollution
Prevention in the Garment Care Industry:  Assessing the Viability of
Professional Wet Cleaning.  Wet Cleaning is a non-toxic alternative to
perchloroethylene (PCE) dry cleaning.  Wet Cleaning utilizes
computer-controlled washers and dryers and specially designed detergents
facilitate the cleaning of delicate garments in water.   This study used
the first privately-owned professional wet cleaning facility to operate
Los Angeles (Cleaner by Nature) as a basis for evaluating the
capability, the financial capacity, and the environmental impact of wet
cleaning compared to dry cleaning.  Results revealed that the wet
was able to successfully clean the range of garments that otherwise
have been sent to a dry cleaner.  By the end of the first year of
the wet cleaner had turned a 3% profit which increased to 17% by the
of the second year.  While the wet cleaner used slightly more water than
dry cleaning, the effluent was cleaner than that of a commercial laundry
facility.  Because wet cleaning eliminates the need to used PCE in
professional cleaning the report concludes that wet cleaning constitutes
viability pollution prevention alternative to PCE-based dry cleaning. 
implications of these findings for the regulatory community as well as
the garment care industry are discussed.  PPERC is now engaged in Phase
of this project which focuses on wet clean education and policy.

For further information contact  Peter Sinsheimer:  telephone --  (323)
259-1420 e-mail --  psinshei@ucla.edu.