What Liquid is Used in Dry Cleaning?
There are many solvents that dry cleaning uses. You may have heard of Tetrachloroethylene or Hexylene glycol. These chemicals are essential to the job, but can make your clothes look dingy.
Tetrachloroethylene, a highly toxic chemical that can cause serious health problems in humans, is being investigated. Although low levels of the chemical are not harmful, exposure to higher concentrations can cause symptoms such as irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat. In severe cases, it can cause unconsciousness. It is commonly used in dry cleaning. Therefore, you could be exposed to it if you come in contact with it.
There are several ways to prevent exposure. The first is to minimize exposure to solvents. The most common route of exposure is through inhalation. Solvents can also be absorbed via the skin or ingested. Inhalation can result in skin irritation, dizziness, and even unconsciousness.
Dry cleaning is often done with hydrocarbon liquids. This process was first developed in France in the mid-nineteenth Century. At first, the solvent used was turpentine (camphene). Later, it was replaced by gasoline, naphtha and benzene. Stoddard solvent was developed in the United States to reduce the fire hazards of hydrocarbon-based solvents. Carbon tetrachloride could also be used, but it was banned due to its toxic nature. The next solvent used in dry cleaning was trichloroethylene, which was developed in the 1930s.
Dry cleaning machines using hydrocarbon solvents take longer to clean clothes than machines using perc. Hydrocarbon solvents are volatile organic compound compounds that can cause ozone formation, which has been linked in some cases to respiratory problems. In addition, the hydrocarbon solvents used in dry cleaning are not environmentally friendly. This can cause problems for smaller dry cleaners, as the machines required to process them are more expensive.
Hexylene glycol is a chemical compound used in dry cleaning. It is a hydrocarbon formed by hydrogenation diacetone alcohol. It is a miscible fluid that serves two purposes. One, it acts as a solvent, and one as an agent to combine. It can also be used in chemical synthesis as a building block.
Researchers found that dry cleaners in Belgium were exposed to tetrachloroethylene at levels ranging from 9 to 38 ppm. The average exposure to the solvent was between 61.0 mg/m3 and 258 mg/m3. After work, the concentrations in alveolar air of tetrachloroethylene were 35 mg/m3. The concentration was 0.4mg/L in urine samples.
N-Butyl Acetate is a colourless liquid that has a banana-like, fruity odour. It is a volatile organic compound solvent with a moderate boiling temperature. It can be mixed with most organic solvents, but it is not solubilized in water. It has good solvent power for cellulose, polymers, resins. It has a solvent power comparable to isobutyl acetate.
Butyl acetate can be used as a solvent to dissolve plastics, lacquers, or paints. It is a good solvent for these materials as it exhibits high levels of levelling and resistance to blushing. It is commonly used in combination with n-butanol to enhance its solvent properties. Other uses for butyl acetate include dry cleaning, textiles, and anti-corrosive products.
Dipropylene glycol tertiary butyl ether
Dry cleaning is common using dipropylene glycol tert butyl ether (DPGB), a polar organic solvent. It has a flashpoint around 230°C and can also be flammable. Although it is safe for dry-cleaning, it is dangerous due to its high flammability. Dry cleaning should be avoided.
The EPA has established a limit of 5 mg/L for dipropylene glycolbutyl ether (DPGB), in drinking water. Because of this, it is likely that it will be innocuous in the environment.
Synthetic petroleum is a synthetic oil that is used for dry cleaning. It is not organic or non-toxic, so it is subject to the exact same environmental regulations as perc. It also contributes towards the formation ozone, which has been linked directly to respiratory problems. However, some cleaners do refer to synthetic petroleum as organic, which is true to an extent.
PERC is the most common dry cleaning solvent, but its use poses a number of problems for property owners. The chemical is very heavy and can contaminate groundwater and drinking waters near the dry cleaning site. It can also spread through soil and vapors to nearby properties. This can cause damage to both the primary and adjacent properties. The dry cleaning industry has been moving towards more environmentally friendly processes in recent years to reduce its environmental impact.