NEW YORK — A new rule requiring New York City dry cleaners to post signs disclosing the primary chemicals used in the drycleaning process took effect Feb. 11, according to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
About 1,400 drycleaning businesses throughout New York City are now required to list the chemicals and a link to information about their potential health effects. DEP developed the new disclosure rule in close consultation with the National Cleaners Association and other industry groups.
The cost of compliance is minimal or non-existent; dry cleaners simply have to fill out and print the applicable forms from the DEP website (www.nyc.gov/dep) and post it in their business.
“By collaborating with the drycleaning industry, we have developed this common sense rule that provides consumers with important public health information at virtually no cost to local businesses,” says DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland. “Over the next several months, we will continue our door-to-door outreach to dry cleaners throughout the five boroughs to help businesses comply with the new disclosure requirements.”
“The National Cleaners Association (NCA) was pleased to work co-operatively with DEP to develop a strategy for educating consumers about the new cleaning solutions being used in the drycleaning industry, and we applaud DEP's investment in developing a consumer-friendly website to answer that challenge,” says Nora Nealis, NCA executive director.
Dry cleaners that use perc are required to post an informational sign which provides contact information to report odors and other problems. The notice also lists where additional information can be found about the potential health effects of perc exposure.
Some dry cleaners have more recently promoted the use of non-perc chemicals, and these cleaning agents may also have health risks. DEP’s new rule will help inform consumers about the use of non-perc chemicals and any potential effects.