Towards a Policy to Eliminate Perchloroethylene in Dry Cleaning

Report
Replacing PERC with safer
alternatives in dry cleaning
Steve Whittaker
Local Hazardous Waste
Management Program
Public Health – Seattle & King
County
Outline
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History of dry cleaning
Dry cleaning solvents
The problem with PERC
An industry in crisis
What is LHWMP doing?
What else could be done?
Evolution of Dry Cleaning Solvents
Pre 1960s
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1960s
Kerosene
Turpentine
Naptha
Benzene
Stoddard
Carbon tet.
TCE
PERC
introduced
1970s
1980s
1990s
2000s
2010s
• Liquid CO2
• High-flash
hydrocarbons
• Siloxane
• Glycol ethers
• 1-bp
• Water!
PERC
use peaks
California:
PERC phaseout
Acetal
(Solvon K4)
Nothing cleans like PERC
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PERC (tetrachloroethylene) – 69%
Hydrocarbons – 21%
Solvon K4
Liquid CO2
Liquid silicone
Wet cleaning (water)
Glycol ethers
1-bromopropane (!)
Chemical Formula: C2Cl4
Source: LHWMP, 2011
PERC = DNAPL
Adapted from: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Adapted from: Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College.
Redmond, WA Groundwater
2006-2010
Redmond, WA - 2011
259 x 0.57 = 148 ppm
Redmond, WA - 2011
> 1000 ppm PERC (maxed out!)
Age of dry cleaning machines
Expected lifespan
?
<1
Source: LHWMP, 2011
• ~36,000 current dry cleaning
facilities in the U.S.
• ~75% contaminated with PERC
• Median cleanup cost: $230,000
• Range: $29,000 - $2,000,000
Source: SCRD Drycleaner Site Profiles database, April 29, 2014
King County, WA:
• ~200 dry cleaners
• ~140 using PERC
• ~50 dry cleaners on
Ecology’s Confirmed &
Suspected Contaminated
Sites List
Cleanup
Alternatives:
Troy Laundry
Seattle
1—$11,327,000
2—$10,260,000
3—$16,822,000
PERC Harms People!
• 2014 EPA review (verified by NAS):
– likely to be carcinogenic to humans
– toxic to the CNS, kidney, liver, immune system, and
hematologic system.
– adverse effects on embryonic development and
reproduction.
• Grandjean & Landrigan (2014):
– PERC is a developmental neurotoxicant
• Meta-Analysis of Dry-Cleaning-Worker Studies:
– increased risk of bladder cancer in dry cleaners
Guyton et al. (2014). Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1307359
Grandjean & Landrigan (2014). The Lancet Neurology, 13(3), 330-338.
Vlaanderen et al. (2014). Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1307055
PERC Kills Fish!
LC50 = 5 mg/L
Juvenile rainbow trout LC50:
WA Dangerous Waste @ 100 mg/L
WA Extremely Hazardous Waste @ 10 mg/L
Source: EPA ECOTOX database
A PERCfect Storm
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Cultural and language barriers
Lack of knowledge of health effects
Incorrect information from vendors
Little interaction with OSHA
Confusion about waste management
Changing regulatory requirements
Economically-challenged industry
What is LHWMP doing?
• Technical assistance & EnviroStars certification
• Research into alternatives
• Interagency Resource for Achieving Cooperation
(IRAC): education/outreach
• “Mega vouchers” to replace equipment
• Three $20K awards in 2013
• Four $15K awards in 2014
• Substantial Improvement Reimbursements:
$500 - $2500
• Regular vouchers - up to $500 for 50% of costs
What else could be done?
• Goals:
– Reduce exposure/health disparities
– Minimize impacts on struggling businesses
• Multi-agency public/private strategy:
– Incentivize conversion from PERC
– Private and public financial incentives
– Regulatory flexibility
– Culturally appropriate technical guidance
– Rigorous safer alternatives assessment
www.lhwmp.org/home/Health/drycleaners.aspx
Acknowledgements
• LHWMP staff:
– Alice Chapman
– Trevor Fernandes
– Ryan Kellogg
– Debra Oliver
– Sharon Schoenfeld-Cohen
– Laurel Tomchick
– Linda van Hooser
• LHWMP interns:
- Chantrelle Johanson
- Cody Cullison
- Jessie Taylor
• City of Redmond:
- Amanda Balzer
Greenwashing?
No more 5-star
EnviroStar PERC
users
“It is very frustrating to see PERC dry cleaners promoting their 5 star
EnviroStar status, it confuses customers into thinking PERC is
environmentally friendly… I am frustrated that I paid a premium to
build a "true" PERC free business and there is no support to promote
our efforts.”

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