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Cleaning Clothes

TitleCleaning Clothes
Publication Type Research Reports
Year of Publication2018
KeywordstoxicHealthhazardEnvironmentWateroccupationalSoildisposalchemicalCleanToxics LinkPollutionclothesgarmentsolventdry cleaningperchloroethylenepercpcetetrachloroethylenevapourindoorairsafetycarcinogenneurologicalcentral nervous systemdrowsinessdizzinessgiddinessheadachenauseafatigueloss of coordinationconfusionunconsciousrespiratorynosethroatcardio-vascularheart beatreproductiveplacentabreast milknew bornabortionsdevelopmentopthalmiceyeinfectionskindermalliverkidneysingestion

Dry-cleaning is a popular service used in most parts of India, especially urban areas. It is often used for cleaning expensive and sensitive clothing. With changing lifestyles in urban India, this service is only going to grow in the future. Though currently many solvents are being used in the dry-cleaning facilities in India, PERC is a key one. Inspite of PERC being globally considered a toxic chemical, there has been very limited research on understanding its impact on health and environment in the Indian context.This study aims to bridge some of these gaps by understanding and documenting the current usage of PERC in the dry-cleaning industry. It also looks at issues of workers’ safety and disposal practices for this chemical in the industry, as it is known to be an occupational hazard. Apart from this, the study investigates the possibility of PERC risks for consumers who use dry-cleaned clothes.

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