The increased restrictions were in response to lobbying efforts
from a number of environmental organizations. Perchloroethylene
(also known as PERC or Tetrachloroethylene) has been identified by
the City's ChemTRAC programme as one of the highest
concern substances for public health in the City.
The Board, among other measures, voted to request the city's
Medical Officer of Health report in 2017 about the possibility of
implementing a point-of-sale display programme. The programme would
require dry cleaners to post a notice as to the types of solvents
being used and the hazards they post. This idea is loosely similar
to the "DineSafe" programme in place in Toronto and
several other Ontario jurisdictions, which requires restaurants to
prominently display notice of the results of their most recent
public health inspection. Several American jurisdictions have, or are
considering, a point-of-sale display system for dry cleaners.
The Board also voted to make a number of requests to the Ontario
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. Specifically, it
voted to request that the MOECC update its "Dry Cleaner
Environmental Management Training Course" manual to reflect to
most recent information on "wet
cleaning"—water-based professional garment cleaning
techniques that do not employ solvents or other hazards
chemicals—and that it introduce a programme to incentivize
dry cleaners to transition from PERC-based to wet cleaning-based
It further requested the Medical Officer of Health and General
Manager include dry cleaning, along with several other industries,
in the city's on-going review of the pollutants included in its
Dry cleaning operations are subject to a wide spectrum of
regulation, including the Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and
Reporting Requirements) Regulations, made under the federal
Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Environment and Climate
Change Canada appears to be prosecuting dry cleaners who are not in
compliance with the regualtory requirements. We recently blogged about the first house arrest sentence
imposed on a dry cleaner who had improperly stored PERC, among
various other infractions.
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