Sunday, 2 November 2008

More on Perc and the environment and health addressed to lay people.

Post number 20

We are proactively promoting Perc afresh now that it has been given a new lease of life by world governments and local authorities for another 2 decades while search for alternatives continue.

As a practising dry cleaner using Perc for more than a decade from the late 80s to 2001, we are in perfect health and suffer no ill health effects of the types widely reported in the world’s press and media.

Here are some facts about Perchloroethelene:

• That Perc vapours (1.6 times heavier than water) settle a few centimetres above the shop floor and pose no risk to operators (unless lying down on the floor) in the event of any spillage or machine break down
• For the same reason, Perc poses no health risks to occupants in residential premises above shops. Exceptions are the use of Perc mixes and steam gun for removing stains. Such practises are outdated and not permitted by local authorities who strictly monitor emission levels
• That no health surveys of any depth have ever been conducted to assess the state of health of practising dry cleaners who are exposed to Perc 6 days a week and 8 to 10 hour shifts. All dry cleaning operators and staff in 25 shops we closely associated with over a period of 15 years were in a perfect state of health. This observation is diametrically opposing to reports in the press and media on the probabilities of risks to consumers if exposed to Perc for a lot shorter exposure periods.
• No pollution of soil and ground water resources have taken place in the UK in post 1980s installations where machines are fitted with steel trays to entrap machine spillages during accidents and break downs. These spillages are then mopped up with blankets, distilled in machines and pumped to storage tanks. Blankets are dried and ready for use during future accidents that are very rare these days with local authorities on the scene to monitor operations from October 2007.

We understand that California Cleaners Association (Dr Bob and staff) are going through hard times with State legislators and environmental lobbiests where Perc's use is banned beyond the year 2020 or thereabouts. Are Dr Bob's reported 3,500 dry cleaning members less healthier than UK Perc dry cleaners? Perhaps some one knows and will offer comments. Contributions are welcome for the benefit of public at large.

Mohammad Karim Ahmadzai, BSc civ. engng, DIC public/environmental health engng
Intermediate dry cleaning technologist, FCRA/GCL (UK) 1986,
Founder, CleanestClean Clothes Care (CCCC) Limited

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