Scarborough's Golden Touch Dry Cleaners was just convicted and fined $10,000 for failing to send toxic 'perc' wastes to a waste management facility.
Today Environment Canada announced the conviction of a Scarborough dry cleaner who was fined earlier this month for breaking environmental laws that protect humans and nature from toxic chemical releases.
'Perc', short for Perchloroethylene (or Tetrachloroethylene), is a hazardous and persistent dry cleaning chemical with known human health impacts. Perc can also damage the natural environment, contaminating soil and water sources if the chemical is not properly contained and managed at dry cleaning shops and at hazardous waste facilities.
The fines for toxic chemical releases have increased in recent years to send a signal to polluters. The $10,000 fine that Golden Touch Dry Cleaners pays will go into the Environmental Damages Fund, but that doesn't clean up the pollution. By failing to send their toxic wastewater and other residues to a waste management facility, the cleaner may have put their workers, neighbours and the local environment at risk.
Thanks to TEA's earlier efforts, Toronto is the only city in Canada that requires dry cleaning shops to report their use and release of perc to Toronto Public Health each year. By publicly posting and mapping on ChemTRAC, community members and workers have a right-to-know about toxic chemicals exposures.
Since no information was found on the ChemTRAC site for Golden Touch Dry Cleaners, which suggests they may not be abiding by our city's Environmental Reporting and Disclosure By-law, TEA has notified Toronto Public Health.
Preventing pollution upstream is the only way to truly protect our environment and our health. For these reasons, TEA continues to advocate for stronger consumer right-to-know rules as well as incentives for business to switch to non-toxic alternatives like Professional Wet Cleaning.