A new green dry cleaner, Green Hangers, has opened on 7th Ave. at the corner of 8th St. in Park Slope. Most dry cleaning is done with solvents that are harmful to our health and the environment. Perchloroethylene, or perc, has the potential to cause kidney and liver damage, developmental problems in the unborn and possibly cancer. Green cleaners, such as the new Green Hangers and Green Apple Cleaner at 78 Seventh Avenue in Park Slope, uses CO2 to clean clothing. Green America (formerly Co-op America) has a great article which explains why CO2 is a safer and more sustainable option.
There are dry cleaners that use the word "green" in their name or advertising, and are actually no different than other cleaners. It is important to inquire how they do their cleaning, if they use PERC or some alternative, and if so, what.
If you do use a regular dry cleaner (with perc), you can minimize potential health problems by removing the plastic wrap at the store and letting your clothes air out on the way home. Avoid storing freshly dry cleaned clothes in a baby or child's room, as they are more susceptible to the effects of perc and other toxins.
Image courtesy of Austin Cleaners