The main chemical used in dry cleaning is called Tetrachloroethene (PERC), which is considered a probable carcinogen by WHO and the EPA. PERC can damage the ozone layer if it reaches our stratosphere in significant concentrations, although this doesn’t really happen because it reacts with other things in the air before it gets that high into our atmosphere. Short-term exposure to PERC can detrimentally affect the human nervous system, and long-term exposure can cause organ damage and has been linked with cancer. There are alternatives, however, and there are eco-friendly dry cleaning places appearing all over the country that use alternative chemistry on our more high maintenance items of clothing.
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