Danish dry cleaners failing to respect limits

Legal limit for perchloroethylene leaks from dry cleaners exceeded in all test cases

Preliminary tests by Danish local authorities have shown that levels of the chlorinated solvent perchloroethylene in apartments close to dry cleaning shops exceeded legal limits. Authorities tested apartments in nine buildings which also contained a dry cleaners and found perchloroethylene levels as high as 10 milligrams per cubic metre (mg/m3). The legal limit is 0.0002 mg/m3.

Local authorities are now taking measurements in all residential buildings with dry cleaners, with a view to closing down some establishments or ordering work to reduce leaks. They will also report the results to the Danish environmental protection agency (EPA), which is holding talks with the national dry cleaners association to see whether the legal framework governing dry cleaners needs updating.

An EPA official told ENDS Daily that the results of preliminary tests were a shock and that the agency had not been aware that perchloroethylene limits were being surpassed on such a wide scale.

Follow Up:
Danish EPA, tel: +45 32 66 01 00.

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