An excerpt from Do One Green Thing / Although 85 percent of US dry cleaners still use the highly toxic solvent known as perchloroethylene, or “perc.” Perc fumes produce the pungent, sickly sweet smell that greets you at a conventional dry cleaner’s. Exposure to this chemical, which the state of California has ordered to be phased out by 2023, can cause dizziness, headache, nausea and skin and lung irritation. The safest, greenest choice, aside from cold-water washing at home, is “wet cleaning,” which the EPA recommends, using water/steam, vacuuming and soap in a process customized for each garment. The Green Earth method uses liquid silicone, which, despite preliminary links to cancer and liver damage in rats, has the plus of being perc-free. Available at Clean Living Hawaii, 730 Sheridan St., 955-6116.
An excerpt from Do One Green Thing