Research Projects

Project at a Glance

Project Status: complete

Report Published December 1997:

Title: Alternative to perchloroethylene-based garment care: assessing the viability of professional wet cleaning.

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Gottlieb, Robert

Contractor: UC Los Angeles

Contract Number: 94-315

Research Program Area: Emissions Monitoring & Control, Health & Exposure

Topic Areas: Health Effects of Air Pollution, Stationary Sources


The report analyzes the viability of Cleaner by Nature, a 100 percent professional wet cleaner, and whether professional wet cleaning represents a variable pollution prevention approach in eliminating perchloroethylene (PCE), a chemical solvent used in dry cleaning. PCE, which has been identified as a toxic air contaminant and probable human carcinogen, is heavily regulated in terms of its use in dry cleaning. The analysis includes a comprehensive plant level case study, and comparative performance, financial and environmental assessments of wet cleaning and PCE-based dry cleaning. The major issues associated with the viability analyses were identified and specific information was collected in relation to how the clothes were cleaned (a customer garment profile, a problem garment analysis, a technical evaluation or repeat clean test, a wearer survey, and customer satisfaction surveys); how wet cleaning did financially (a start-up cost analysis and a profit / loss analysis); what environmental impacts were identified (water, energy, and chemical inputs and outputs); and what contributing factors (technology changes, garment manufacturing and labeling and regulatory or legislative actions) influence the viability of professional wet cleaning.


For questions regarding research reports, contact: Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893

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