When a person thinks of the dry cleaning industry, they may not initially think the profession is dangerous. However, solvents used in dry cleaning can be very toxic and could cause air pollution.
Air pollution in the dry cleaning industry
The primary source of air pollution in the dry cleaning industry is the solvent used in the cleaning process. These include perchloroethylene and petroleum solvents. These are known air pollutants. Chemicals in these substances form ground-level smog, linked to respiratory diseases.
Reducing air pollution in the dry cleaning industry
There are steps employers in the dry cleaning industry can take to reduce air pollution. First, they can lower emissions at the source. This means checking hoses, pumps, valves and gaskets for leaks. Leaks should be repaired promptly. In addition, the drying cycle should be completed before the door is opened. Cartridge filters should be replaced with disk filters with spin disk filters. Spin disk filters can be cleaned without opening. Containers of solvent should be covered to reduce evaporation and emissions. Materials should be dispensed with spigots and pumps, to prevent spills.
Vent emissions can be reduced using a closed loop dry-to-dry machine. Machines should not be overloaded. Filter cartridges should be drained for 24 hours to capture additional solvent before disposing of them. Spill containment structures should be installed.
Learn more about environmental law
These are only some examples of how those working in the dry cleaning industry can do their part to reduce air pollution. Our firm’s website has more information on environmental law that readers may find useful.