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Commonwealth's Toxics Use Reduction Program Sets Stricter Reporting Rules for Dry Cleaning Chemical

EEA's Office of Technical Assistance will help companies identify and evaluate safer alternatives to perchloroethylene

Boston, MA, February 3, 2009 Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Ian Bowles today announced stricter reporting thresholds for perchloroethylene, a widely-used dry cleaning chemical that has been linked to serious human health problems and groundwater pollution.

Under the new rules, which took effect this month, perchloroethylene a chemical commonly found in the contaminated groundwater of Superfund hazardous waste sites - is classified as a Higher Hazard Substance under the state Toxic Use Reduction Act (TURA). According to a 2006 Toxics Use Reduction Institute study commissioned by the Commonwealth, long-term exposure to perchloroethylene - also known as perc - may cause liver, kidney or central nervous system damage.