Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New 'green' dry cleaning solvent: Not so much

My city's DDA recently posted a link to a Fox 2 news story on a dry cleaner touting a new "green" solvent: http://bit.ly/c8kEvY. Dry cleaners are apparently marketing DF-2000 as "organic."
DF-2000, created by ExxonMobil is marginally less toxic than the PERC it replaces. PERC is being phased out in a small number of dry cleaners, but not nearly enough. It is, as my former boss Lana Pollack used to say, "ethylmethylbadstuff": http://nyti.ms/at0tXW

But the DF-2000 that replaces it (as the story points out) is still a petroleum solvent. And (as the story doesn't point out) it is a neurotoxin with volatile organic compound releases. It's often also marketed as organic. That's technically true, in the same sense that gasoline is organic because of its hydrocarbon compounds.

A better option, when possible, is to have your cleaners press your clothes after handwashing them. Or a process called "wet cleaning" though it's more expensive and I'm not sure of any cleaners in my vicinity offer that. Here's a link to a 'green" dry cleaning explainer: http://bit.ly/hFU1M



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