About.com tells us that the “smell” you love is the scent of the chemical known as perchloroethylene, or perc. Perc is also called dichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, PCE, dichloroethylene and a handful of other hard-to-pronounce names. The chemical solvent has also been under investigation for years by the EPA, the Department of Labor, the American Cancer Society, and has been linked to cancer by several scientific investigations. According to the National Institutes of Health: “long-term exposure to perchloroethylene can cause leukemia and cancer of the skin, colon, lung, larynx, bladder, and urogenital tract”. It can also get released into the environment and seep into drinking water supplies, where it’s notoriously difficult to remove.
BUT I CAN’T – I WON’T – GIVE UP MY DRY CLEANING!
Luckily, there are other options. Nodryclean.com can help you find a nontoxic dry cleaner near you that uses safe, dry cleaning alternatives. Click here to watch a video to see how green dry cleaning works and make the switch today. If you are unable to find a green cleaner near you or, for some other reason can’t make the switch, take dry cleaning bags off of your clothes as soon as you get home and air them outside for at least 5 minutes.