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Replacing PERC with safer alternatives in dry cleaning Steve Whittaker Local Hazardous Waste Management Program Public Health – Seattle & King County.

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Presentation on theme: "Replacing PERC with safer alternatives in dry cleaning Steve Whittaker Local Hazardous Waste Management Program Public Health – Seattle & King County."— Presentation transcript:

1 Replacing PERC with safer alternatives in dry cleaning Steve Whittaker Local Hazardous Waste Management Program Public Health – Seattle & King County

2 Outline History of dry cleaning Dry cleaning solvents The problem with PERC An industry in crisis What is LHWMP doing? What else could be done?

3 Evolution of Dry Cleaning Solvents Pre 1960s1960s1970s1980s1990s2000s2010s Kerosene Turpentine Naptha Benzene Stoddard Carbon tet. TCE PERC introduced PERC use peaks Liquid CO 2 High-flash hydrocarbons Siloxane Glycol ethers 1-bp Water! Acetal (Solvon K4) California: PERC phase- out

4 Nothing cleans like PERC PERC (tetrachloroethylene) – 69% Hydrocarbons – 21% Solvon K4 Liquid CO 2 Liquid silicone Wet cleaning (water) Glycol ethers 1-bromopropane (!) Chemical Formula: C 2 Cl 4 Source: LHWMP, 2011

5 PERC Adapted from: Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College. Adapted from: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency PERC = DNAPL

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7 Redmond, WA Groundwater

8 Redmond, WA x 0.57 = 148 ppm

9 Redmond, WA > 1000 ppm PERC (maxed out!)

10 Age of dry cleaning machines <1 Expected lifespan ? Source: LHWMP, 2011

11 ~36,000 current dry cleaning facilities in the U.S. ~75% contaminated with PERC Median cleanup cost: $230,000 Range: $29,000 - $2,000,000 Source: SCRD Drycleaner Site Profiles database, April 29, 2014

12 King County, WA: ~200 dry cleaners ~140 using PERC ~50 dry cleaners on Ecology’s Confirmed & Suspected Contaminated Sites List

13 Troy Laundry Seattle Cleanup Alternatives: 1—$11,327,000 2—$10,260,000 3—$16,822,000

14 PERC Harms People! 2014 EPA review (verified by NAS): – likely to be carcinogenic to humans – toxic to the CNS, kidney, liver, immune system, and hematologic system. – adverse effects on embryonic development and reproduction. Grandjean & Landrigan (2014): – PERC is a developmental neurotoxicant Meta-Analysis of Dry-Cleaning-Worker Studies: – increased risk of bladder cancer in dry cleaners Guyton et al. (2014). Environ Health Perspect; DOI: /ehp Grandjean & Landrigan (2014). The Lancet Neurology, 13(3), Vlaanderen et al. (2014). Environ Health Perspect; DOI: /ehp

15 PERC Kills Fish! Juvenile rainbow trout LC 50 : WA Dangerous 100 mg/L WA Extremely Hazardous 10 mg/L LC 50 = 5 mg/L Source: EPA ECOTOX database

16 A PERCfect Storm Cultural and language barriers Lack of knowledge of health effects Incorrect information from vendors Little interaction with OSHA Confusion about waste management Changing regulatory requirements Economically-challenged industry

17 What is LHWMP doing? Technical assistance & EnviroStars certification Research into alternatives Interagency Resource for Achieving Cooperation (IRAC): education/outreach “Mega vouchers” to replace equipment Three $20K awards in 2013 Four $15K awards in 2014 Substantial Improvement Reimbursements: $500 - $2500 Regular vouchers - up to $500 for 50% of costs

18 What else could be done? Goals: – Reduce exposure/health disparities – Minimize impacts on struggling businesses Multi-agency public/private strategy: – Incentivize conversion from PERC – Private and public financial incentives – Regulatory flexibility – Culturally appropriate technical guidance – Rigorous safer alternatives assessment

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20 Acknowledgements LHWMP staff: – Alice Chapman – Trevor Fernandes – Ryan Kellogg – Debra Oliver – Sharon Schoenfeld-Cohen – Laurel Tomchick – Linda van Hooser LHWMP interns: - Chantrelle Johanson - Cody Cullison - Jessie Taylor City of Redmond: - Amanda Balzer

21 Greenwashing? “It is very frustrating to see PERC dry cleaners promoting their 5 star EnviroStar status, it confuses customers into thinking PERC is environmentally friendly… I am frustrated that I paid a premium to build a "true" PERC free business and there is no support to promote our efforts.” No more 5-star EnviroStar PERC users


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