||Abt Associates, Inc., Cambridge, MA.;Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. Office of Pollution, Prevention, and Toxics.
Chemical solvents have been used for cleaning clothes since the mid-19th century. Perchloroethylene (PCE) has been the solvent of choice for commercial clothes cleaning applications since the 1960s, although the volume used by drycleaners has declined significantly over the last decade. Despite this decline, a variety of health and safety issues associated with PCE use and increased regulation of the chemical have compelled the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), industry, and environmental groups to address concerns about PCE emissions. As part of an effort to explore opportunities for pollution prevention and reduce exposure to traditional drycleaning chemicals, the EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) Garment and Textile Care Program has developed the Cleaner Technologies Substitutes Assessment (CTSA): Professional Fabricare Processes. The goal of the CTSA is to provide comparative cost, risk, and performance information on professional fabricare technologies.