Are Dry Cleaning Chemicals Toxic?

Are Dry Cleaning Chemicals Toxic?

Are dry cleaning chemicals toxic? The answer depends on which chemicals you use.

Trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE) are two incredibly toxic chemicals commonly used to remove spots from clothing. However, alternatives to TCE and PCE are pushing to take over the market and replace these hazardous substances. Read this blog post to learn more about which substances you’ll want to avoid and where you can buy safe, eco-friendly products today!

Dry Cleaning Chemicals to Avoid

Trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene (also known as PERC or tetrachloroethylene) were once leading chemicals in the dry-cleaning industry. After studies found a link between exposure to these chemicals and cancer, they became infamous for their toxicity. They are also hazardous to the environment because they break down slowly and quickly contaminate soil and groundwater, disrupting healthy ecosystems.

These hazardous substances are also used to remove spots from clothing. As non-aqueous solutions, they don’t stretch the fabric and are ideal for removing oily stains. However, workers in the industry are at higher risk of exposure to these toxic chemicals since they work so closely with the product.

Alternatives to TCE and PCE

While n-Propyl Bromide is easier on the o-zone and the only “drop-in” chemical replacement (meaning it can be used in the same machines), it is still highly toxic to humans.

Here is a list of the best alternatives for dry cleaning:

  • · Volatile methyl siloxanes
  • · Glycol ethers
  • · Butylal
  • · High-flashpoint hydrocarbons
  • · Liquid carbon dioxide

There are also two varieties of fluorinated solvent blends specifically designed to replace TCE and PCE, although they are marketed as degreasers.

Need assistance?

LSS Chemicals is here to help your facilities use fewer chemicals and make more profit. Browse our shop for eco-friendly and sustainable products that meet your company’s needs. We even offer custom blends by request, tailored specifically to your organization’s standards. If you need guidance about which product would be best for you, don’t hesitate to contact us here.