Understanding the Dry Cleaning Industry

Report
Understanding the Dry Cleaning Industry
Steve Whittaker, Ph.D.
Public Health Researcher
Local Hazardous Waste Management Program
Public Health – Seattle & King County
APWA Spring Conference
April 5, 2012
LHWMP’s Dry Cleaning Survey
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King County shops
~ 200 dry clean on premises
64% response rate
84% Korean-owned
Little regulatory attention or
guidance
• Prefer information in Korean
LHWMP’s Dry Cleaning Survey
• 69% still using PCE machines.
• Only one-quarter believe there are any health
problems associated with PCE.
– Of these, most consider PCE to be only an irritant
• Machines are old – median age 10 years
• Parts becoming hard to find
Age of dry cleaning machines
Expected lifespan
<1
?
King County, 2011
148 ppm PCE
King County, 2011
> 1000 ppm PCE
Misinformation is common
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Cultural and language barriers
Incorrect information from vendors
Little interaction with regulators
Infrequent use of PPE
Confusion about waste management &
disposal

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