Garment & Textile Care Findings & Accomplishments
The drycleaning industry made great strides in environmental improvements in recent years. Since the 1992 inception of the Garment and Textile Care Partnership, the use of perc has declined significantly, as illustrated in the following chart showing annual perc use by the U.S. drycleaning industry (supplied by TCATA, the Textile Care Allied Trades Association.)
Perchloroethylene: Pounds Sold & Estimate of Imports Used 1987 - 2006
At least two new environmentally preferable cleaning processes have become established in the drycleaning industry and involve using water (wetcleaning) and liquid carbon dioxide as their primary solvent.
Another alternative technology uses a liquid silicone, Siloxane D5, as a solvent. This drycleaning process may prove to be an environmentally preferable alternative. However, at this time, we do not have adequate data to characterize the relative risk of D5. For more information, please read the fact sheet, Siloxane D5 in Dry Cleaning Applications. Also available in PDF format: Siloxane D5 in Dry Cleaning Applications (PDF) (1 pg, 26K, About PDF).
Other key Garment and Textile Care Partnership accomplishments include:
- Publication of case studies on new technologies including wetcleaning, liquid carbon dioxide, and an aqueous process for leather and suede garments.
- Fact sheets and other publications on important issues for professional cleaners including federal regulations affecting petroleum drycleaners, a resource guide for garment care professionals, frequently asked questions about drycleaning, and a list of professional cleaners offering alternative cleaning processes.
- Development of a curriculum and instructional materials on professional wetcleaning.
- Publication of the Cleaner Technologies Substitute Assessment (CTSA) for Professional Fabricare Processes in 1998, a technical report that presents relative risk, cost, and performance information on existing and new cleaning technologies.
- Translation of selected outreach publications into Korean and Spanish (30 percent of professional cleaners are Korean).
- Support of research comparing the performance of traditional to new cleaning technologies.
- Seminars on wetcleaning for drycleaning and state and federal pollution prevention officials.
- Exhibition and presentations at a wide variety of technical and industry forums including CLEAN shows, trade shows, and AATCC.
- Reinventing a more environmentally friendly garment and textile care industry.
- Promoting risk reduction throughout the industrial cycle, from fiber manufacture to fabricare.
- Directing market forces towards the most cost-effective, energy-efficient, and environmentally benign technologies.
- Emphasizing science and strengthening EPA's core technological base for the garment care sector.
- Using EPA's science and technology base to support all industries involved with garment care.
- Leveraging government funds with industry and academic resources to catalyze rapid developments in the garment care industry.