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Safer Dry-Cleaning Solutions

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Suppose you drop salad dressing on your favourite shirt

Suppose you drop salad dressing on your favourite shirt. What do you do? Ten years ago, you probably would have visited a dry cleaner who used perchloroethylene (perc), an industrial chemical recently coming under fire. Used to dissolve oily stains, perc is a thyroid-hormone disruptor. "It is known to attack the central nervous system and is a suspected cause of a number of reproductive disorders, as well as a carcinogen in rodent studies. Infertility in both men and women and menstrual disorders have been linked to perc exposure," writes D. Lindsey Berkson in Hormone Deception (Contemporary Books, 2000).

But now it's becoming easier to find cleaners who rely on safer methods of treatment such as high-pressure liquid carbon dioxide and high-tech wet cleaning with biodegradable detergents. To find a greener dry cleaner and for some great links, visit the Canadian Centre for Pollution Prevention at c2p2online.com.

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