Chemicals Used in Dry Cleaning


The insurance company IWAINS recently reported that the use of perchloroethylene was banned by the city of Minneapolis, MN. This news has piqued the interest of consumers, causing them to wonder about the risk of dry cleaning chemical exposure.

Common Dry Cleaning Chemicals

  • This solvent can injure the brain and nerves and has been linked to cancer.
  • Ammonium quaternary compounds. These chemicals are used to disinfect and clean things like oil and sweat from garments but can damage the reproductive system.
  • Ethoxylated ingredients. Many chemicals in this category cause reproductive harm by disrupting human hormones.

Risks of Exposure

The people most at risk from hazardous dry cleaning chemicals are workers who use them on a daily basis. Their risk can be minimized by keeping equipment in good working order and by improving airflow throughout the work area. Workers should wear all appropriate personal protective equipment when handling chemicals, such as gloves and eye goggles.

Risks to Dry Cleaning Businesses

Business owners need to protect themselves and their employees from risks to both their health and finances. Having dry cleaning insurance is essential. Following all EPA and OSHA guidelines will ensure you are doing all you can to protect against chemical exposure and will decrease your liability.