FAIRFIELD, N.J. — Perchloroethylene (perc) consumption in the U.S. drycleaning industry dropped to roughly 20.6 million pounds in 2006, according to the results of an annual survey released by the Textile Care Allied Trades Association (TCATA). That total is less than one-tenth (7.4%) of the perc used in 1985 and almost one-third (32.5%) less than 2005’s 30.5 million pounds.
Ian Murphy, editor of American Drycleaner, American Laundry News’ sister publication, reports that perc consumption has dropped every year since TCATA launched the survey in 1975, with the fastest decreases occurring in the 1980s.
Perc use has dropped by almost two-thirds since 2000, when the industry used 59 million pounds. Consumption has continued to decrease an average of 14.8% annually since then, thanks to continuous improvements in work practices and technology.
TCATA’s survey – conducted by Industry Insights Inc. – polls the four primary producers and importers of perc for use in drycleaning: Dow Chemical Co., INEOS Chlor Americas, PPG Industries and Vulcan Chemicals.
The survey also includes import estimates from U.S. Customs. In 2006, that amount was 3.6 million pounds.
TCATA represents companies who make and distribute equipment and supplies for the textile care industry. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized TCATA for its leadership efforts in the Design for the Environment Garment Care and Textile Care Program.