Why we prefer drying for delicate fabrics
We all know how important dry cleaning is for our clothes, especially for the delicate ones. Costly delicate fabrics are not something that can be tossed with our daily wear in the washing machine; neither can it be put into the clothes dryer nor be intensively hand washed. The material is too delicate and rough handling can lead to wear and tear and fading, so you are left with the only option to send it for a dry clean. Dry cleaning is done using a solvent called Perchloroethylene (Aka Perc) which gives the fabric a shine keeping the brightness and strength of the fabric intact.
These are some of the positive aspects of dry-cleaning, but have we ever weighed what damage can dry cleaning can have on the environment? The by-products of this chemical process are lot more harmful than we actually realize.
The Waste Produced due to Dry-cleaning:
An average dry-cleaning shop produces countless of harmful wastes, which includes solvent, soils, carbon, dyes, grease and powdered filter material, to name a few; with Perc being the most hazardous. When these chemical come in contact with human and animals within the vicinity, they have a very damaging negative effect on the health and well-being on all exposed to it.
Studies have revealed that continues exposure can lead to fertility problems, menstrual irregularities and even spontaneous abortions in women who work within the dry cleaning industry. In many cases if there happens to be a dry-cleaning plant in the locality, these harmful chemicals seep into the drinking water and cause some serious health problems, which create problems like liver damage, kidney disease and much more. Perc has been classified as so dangerous to human conditions that it must be handled as a very hazardous waste. Also when released in air it forms smog and a react with other volatile organic carbon substance.
Even the ones who send their clothes for dry cleansing are not safe; they are unaware that the Perc stays in the clothes after the dry clean and only increases with every wash.
Awareness the best solution:
If we can only be aware of the risk and invent new ways of cleaning our clothes, we can decrease this harmful effect of this process and save our environment from disaster.