US EPA wants ban on solvent used for dry cleaning and some products
Perchloroethylene (PCE), commonly called PERC, is used by consumers in many ways, including in adhesives, cleaning auto parts, and other solvents. The EPA proposes phasing out those uses in two years.
For commercial uses such as dry-cleaning, the agency is calling for a ten-year phase out to give small business a chance to replace equipment.
That would amount to 20 percent of the amount of the PERC produced each year.
The rest of the chemical is used by industry in making things such as more climate-friendly refrigerants, coatings for aircraft and in aerospace manufacturing as a degreaser.
The EPA says for industrial manufacturing, processing and other uses, it does not call for a ban, but proposes strict protections for workers.
The agency says perchloroethylene is known to cause serious health risks such as neurotoxicity through exposure to skin and cancer through breathing the chemical.
Data show most manufacturing and industrial users already provide protections in the workplace.
The public will have the opportunity to comment on the proposal in the near future.