LANSING, Mich., Nov. 15, 2022 — State Rep. Julie M. Rogers (D-Kalamazoo) introduced House Bill 6511 with bipartisan support last Thursday to phase out perchloroethylene dry cleaning solvent. Perchloroethylene (known as PERC or TCE) is a carcinogenic and neurotoxic solvent that has been released into the air, groundwater and soil at the sites of most dry cleaners, past and present. Working at or living near a dry cleaner that uses PERC is associated with negative health effects, including decreased cognitive performance.
“I served on my county’s brownfield authority for over a decade using taxpayer money to clean up dry cleaning sites contaminated by PERC,” Rogers said. “Now, as a state legislator, I have introduced this bill to put a stop to the problem at its source. Cleaning our clothes doesn’t have to make our state dirtier.”
House Bill 6511 would phase out the use of PERC in stages to enable an orderly shift to safer alternatives. Manufacturing of PERC dry cleaning fluid would end by Dec. 2027; the sale of PERC dry cleaning fluid would end in June 2028; and finally, the use of PERC for dry cleaning would end by Dec. 2028. The bill would also set up a transition fund to assist dry cleaners with the cost of changing to new cleaning methods.
House Bill 6511 was introduced with bipartisan support. If it becomes law, Michigan would be the third state to require dry cleaners to shift from PERC to safer dry cleaning processes.