Dry clean campaign building steam

Public demand for dry clean signage is mounting in Toronto thanks to our 'right to know' campaign.

You’ve probably seen window signs at your local dry cleaner labeling their dry cleaning methods as “eco-friendly” or “organic”. But what do these signs really mean?

Currently, there is little enforcement over what they can label “eco-friendly” and the term “organic dry cleaning” is very misleading. Dry cleaners are not talking about organic carrots here, they’re talking about organic chemistry! Organic chemicals like the dry cleaning solvent Perchloroethylene (PERC) are actually toxic to people and our environment.

That’s why we’re campaigning for a right-to-know program that would clearly display which chemicals are being used by dry cleaners - and the risks associated with them. Like Toronto’s colour-coded DineSafe signs, these "clean safe" signs would give consumers and neighbours information on the health and environmental risks of these chemicals.

The good news is that Toronto Public Health is considering this kind of right-to-know program and the response from the public has been very positive. In only a few weeks, they received more than 1,000 public comments! It's all thanks to people like you, who stand up for our right to know about toxic chemicals in this city.

Together, we’ve proven that there’s overwhelming support to change signage rules so people can make safer and greener dry cleaning choices. Our campaign is clearly building steam!

We will be keeping the pressure on until we pass dry cleaning signage rules at the Board of Health and Toronto City Council later this year. During the spring and summer, we’re running free workshops for Toronto dry cleaners to learn about safe alternatives because we know businesses will need support to shift away from these toxic chemicals.

Check out TEA's great resources on dry cleaning chemicals and where to find non-toxic alternatives in Toronto at: http://www.torontoenvironment.org/wetclean