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News Releases from Region 05

EPA Begins Indoor Air Tests at Homes Near Dry Cleaner in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Contact Information: 
Rachel Bassler (bassler.rachel@epa.gov)

For Immediate Release: No. 16-OPA043

CHICAGO (Nov. 8, 2016) – This week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will begin testing indoor air at six Ann Arbor, Mich., homes to determine whether releases of tetrachloroethylene, or PCE, from a nearby dry cleaner pose a potential health risk to residents. The indoor air sampling is part of EPA’s site assessment at Armen Cleaners, 630 S. Ashley. The business has been in operation for more than 60 years.    

As part of a broader review of all dry cleaners in the state, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services requested EPA’s assistance at Armen Cleaners after confirming that nearby residential buildings are being affected by releases of the dry cleaning solvent PCE. The highly contaminated soil is an ongoing source of groundwater contamination which increases the likelihood of vapor intrusion into nearby residences. 

PCE contamination in soil and groundwater near Armen Cleaners was first detected in 1985. In 2000, following its investigation of nearby soil and groundwater, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality provided one home with air purifiers. In 2003, EPA assisted MDEQ and the Michigan Department of Community Health by taking samples to help determine whether fumes from a PCE- contaminated groundwater plume were affecting indoor and outdoor air quality in the surrounding neighborhood. Since then, MDEQ installed water monitoring wells and continues to monitor the plume.

For more information about the health effects of PCE, please visit: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/csem.asp?csem=14&po=0

For more information about this site: https://www.epa.gov/mi/armen-cleaners-ann-arbor-site