"State Taking Steps To Phase Out Dry Cleaning Chemical"

"Illinois is moving to phase out the use of perchloroethylene, or perc, a common dry-cleaning chemical linked to cancer, liver damage and neurological problems.

Under legislation pushed by Gov. Pat Quinn's administration, dry cleaners would be banned from installing new perc machines after this year and from using the chemical in residential buildings by 2013. All perc use would be outlawed in 2026, giving businesses time to switch to other cleaning methods.

Concerns about perc have been growing for years. The widespread contamination of groundwater from dry-cleaner spills came into sharper focus last year after the Tribune reported that residents of south suburban Crestwood unwittingly drank water contaminated with perc and related chemicals for more than two decades.

Based on years of research, the federal government also considers perc a hazardous air pollutant that can pose health risks from chronic exposure."

Michael Hawthorne reports for the Chicago Tribune March 14, 2010.

Monday, March 15, 2010