Chicago based cleaners have been using a popular cleaning chemical, perchloroethylene, known for it’s ability to cut stains and lift dirt off of fabrics. Customers became very familiar with use of perchloroethylene, because of it’s sharp smell that pours out of plastic bags filled with clean laundry. Many shops used this cleaning chemical due to it’s effectiveness and the satisfaction it brought to it’s customers.
However years later the misuse of this widely popular chemical has began to severely pollute local areas in Chicago raising alarms and health concerns by both the public and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Illinois EPA is continually moving forward with efforts to clean and sterilize the almost remaining 400 polluted sites located in the Chicago suburbs.
But over the years, with little if any notice to the public, the often sloppy use of perchloroethylene has poisoned hundreds of sites in Illinois. As scientists linked perc exposure to cancer, liver damage, neurological problems and other ailments, regulators found problems in virtually every town with a dry cleaner.
Read the full article for more information on perchloroethylene health effects and Chicago’s efforts to clean these polluted sites.