Garment cleaners that advertise their services as eco-friendly, biodegradable, green, natural or non-toxic might not be what they claim to be.
At the dry cleaners, organic does not mean chemical-free. It may simply mean that the chemical solvent they use to clean your clothes is made from carbon or petrochemicals. Eco-friendly is an unregulated term that is widely used by dry cleaners. Get the clear facts by asking your dry cleaner to fill out our Dry Cleaning Scorecard to see how the chemicals they use score on environment and health risks.
Toxicological data are lacking for some of the alternatives, particularly the new acetal-based system, making the current human health assessment incomplete. The hydrocarbon solvents used as common substitutes to perc often contain carcinogens like benzene and are known to be neurotoxicants and skin and respiratory irritants capable of aggravating asthma and other respiratory problems. Another alternative, GreenEarth®, contains a chemical that is a suspected carcinogen and reproductive toxicant.