Webinar: Reducing Toxic Chemicals in the Garment Cleaning Industry

Mar 19, 2020 12:00 – 1:00 pm CDT
Register here

There are approximately 21,000 dry cleaning operations in the U.S. Three chemicals traditionally used in garment cleaning for the main cleaning process and/or for stain removal, are now on the U.S. EPA’s Toxic Substance Control Act’s (TSCA) highest-priority ten chemicals to undergo risk evaluation, due to significant human and environmental health concerns.

One dominant garment cleaning chemical used for decades is perchloroethylene (PERC), both in the main dry cleaning process and as a spotting agent. PERC is a likely carcinogen, causes organ and nervous system damage, and skin, eye, and respiratory irritation.

This webinar will discuss two projects in the Pacific Northwest that reduced perchloroethylene (PERC) usage. It will also help the audience better understand U.S. EPA’s Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL) as a tool for analyzing ingredients and formulating safer products.

Presentations include: 

  • U.S. EPA Safer Choice criteria and Safer Chemical Ingredient List ingredients (one of the tools used in evaluating safer spotting removal agent ingredients described in the second presentation).
  • Evaluation of currently available professional spotting agent products based on health and environmental characteristics, and providing formulation guidance for safer alternatives.
  • A program in King County Washington that incentivizes cleaners to transition from PERC to professional wet cleaning by offering reimbursement of $20,000 to each shop committing to change. 22 shops have transitioned since May of 2018. They will describe the approach and health & environmental benefits of adopting wet cleaning.


  • Aly Lorenz, Safer Choice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Katy Wolf, PhD., Subcontractor to the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) 
  • Steve Whittaker, PhD, and Katie Fellows, MS, PhD, Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County, Washington

This webinar is made possible by US EPA’s Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program

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