New bill introduced to remove toxic chemical from dry cleaning solvent

[ – 2022.11.15] Michigan State Rep. Julie M. Rogers, of Kalamazoo, introduced a bill that would phase out the usage of a toxic chemical in dry cleaning solvent.

Julie M. Rogers

Perchloroethylene, also known as PERC or TCE, is a potentially cancer-causing toxic solvent that has been released into the air, groundwater and soil at the locations of most dry cleaners, past and present, according to Rogers.

Working at or living near a dry cleaner that uses PERC can be associated with negative health effects, including decreased cognitive performance, Rogers said.

“I served on my County’s Brownfield Authority for over a decade using taxpayer money to clean up dry cleaning sites contaminated by PERC,” Rogers said. “Now, as a state legislator, I have introduced this bill to put a stop to the problem at its source. Cleaning our clothes doesn’t have to make our state dirtier.”

The plan for many dry cleaners is to shift to safer alternatives in solvent and assist in the cost for shifting to new cleaning methods, according to state records.

If bill passed becomes law, Michigan would be the third state to require dry cleaners to shift from PERC to safer dry cleaning processes.

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