Dry Cleaning Regulations

This page is about the regulation of PERC in the dry cleaning industry only. Information about PERC as a degreaser is available elsewhere.

Tetrachloroethylene, also known as Perchloroethylene and commonly called PERC or PCE, is a chemical used in Canadian dry cleaning and other industries such as textile mills, chemical production and vapor degreasing. PERC has been declared toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999(CEPA 1999). Exposure commonly happens through contaminated air or water, including groundwater. Typical amounts of PERC in the air around a dry cleaning facility can damage trees and other plants. PERC also has toxic effects in lakes, rivers and other surface water fed by groundwater. Clean-up of PERC from contaminated soil and natural water sources is difficult and expensive.

Environment Canada has developed regulations that reduce the release of PERC from dry cleaning facilities. PERC regulations achieve this by:

1.       requiring newer dry cleaning machines that recover more PERC from the dry cleaning process;

2.       preventing PERC spills; and

3.       managing the way residues and waste water containing PERC are collected and disposed of.

You can read a short background of the PERC regulations here.

These regulations apply to various parties involved in the supply, use and disposal of PERC, including:

·         owners and operators of dry cleaning machines that use PERC;

·         importers of PERC into Canada;

·         sellers of PERC used in dry cleaning machines; and

·         recyclers of PERC.

View a video about handling PERC and PERC waste.