This fact sheet is part of a series of chemical fact sheets developed by TURI to help Massachusetts companies, community organizations and residents understand the chemical's use and health and environmental effects, as well as the availability of safer alternatives. Since Massachusetts companies report usage under the Toxics Use Reduction Act, readers will learn how the chemicals are being used and by which companies.
Able to dissolve most organic materials, perchloroethylene (PCE) is the most widely used dry cleaning solvent in Massachusetts and nationally. Its other major uses are as a metal degreaser, a chemical intermediate and an ingredient in consumer products, such as automotive aerosol parts cleaners and degreasers. PCE is reported to be the chemical most widely found in groundwater contamination at Superfund sites.
Testing at TURI's laboratory over the years has revealed a number of suitable replacement cleaners and solvents for many of the uses of PCE throughout various industry sectors. This information can be found on the laboratory's website, www.cleanersolutions.org or by contacting the lab directly at 978-934-3133.