GREEN DRY CLEANING
Mountaineer Cleaners is dedicated to providing consistent, reliable dry cleaning. We would like to introduce the concept of “green dry cleaning” to the mountain region. This form of cleaning reduces the use of hazardous chemicals on your clothing in favor of cleaner methods that are just as effective, but safer for our employees, customers, and the environment.
Perchloroethylene or “Perc” has been used as an effective dry cleaning solvent since the mid 1930’s and is still the most commonly used solvent in dry cleaners today. It is a volatile solvent that may create health problems with exposure. During the dry cleaning process, Perc enters the body from inhaling vapors. Immediate hazards include dizziness, drowsiness, loss of coordination, and blistering of the skin with prolonged exposure to the chemical. Long term effects can include numerous cancers, as well as kidney and liver problems. Despite the obvious dangers of using Perc, it continues to be the primary solvent for dry cleaning clothes. The dry cleaning industry consists of over 36,000 stores, with approximately 85% of those using Perc as its main cleaning agent.
Studies have shown that there is a correlation between Perc and increased risk of cancer. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Toxicology Program, and The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have made statements mentioning that Perc could be a carcinogen if inhaled. This is not only a health hazard for workers in the business, but also for the customers who have their clothes full of Perc. In addition to the potential dangers associated with Perc coming in direct contact with your skin, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that clothing that had been cleaned with Perc can also elevate levels of toxins in the home.
Perc isn’t only harmful to people; it also has negative effects on the environment. According to the EPA, Perc can leak into our water supply, air, and soil during every phase of the dry cleaning process.
Mountaineer Cleaners offers green dry cleaning to provide safer, cleaner alternatives to “Perc”:
- Hydrocarbon – This is a safer alternative for cleaning your clothes. Thousands of dry cleaners have switched to hydrocarbon because it cleans just as well, it’s safer, it’s economical, and it doesn’t produce the nasty “Perc” odor in your clothing!
- Wet Cleaning – There are no toxicity issues associated with our wet cleaning service. It is a safe, energy efficient alternative to “dry cleaning”. This process uses water and a combination of special soaps. When having your clothes professionally wet cleaned, they are laundered using a computerized washing machine in order to control every detail of the washing process. It’s even safe for delicates, including silk and wool garments.