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Sierra Club Reverses Stance on Solvair, Recommends It for Drycleaning

LAS VEGAS — The Sierra Club has advised consumers to consider operators who use Solvair technology when drycleaning, reversing its original position on the cleaning technology and retracting questionable statements published on its website.
“We are very pleased,” says Jamie Mayberry, vice president of marketing for Solvair LLC. “A major environmental group like Sierra Club doesn’t change its position lightly.”
An article published on Sierra Club’s website, “Green drycleaning: Clean your clothes without harmful chemicals,” previously stated that “glycol n-butyl ether [sic], which is suspected of causing adverse health impacts, including hormone disruption, is used as the solvent.” The article also recommended that consumers “skip drycleaning entirely” and “avoid Solvair.”
Solvair systems, however, use Dipropylene Glycol n-Butyl Ether (DPnB) as a solvent. While these branches of the glycol family of chemicals have similar-sounding names, they have different profiles and are used for very diverse applications ranging from hand sanitizers to cosmetics to hard-surface cleaners, the company says. There is no information to suggest a relationship between DPnB and hormone disruption, Solvair adds.
“As a company providing ecoconscious business solutions, Solvair was disappointed by this statement on many levels,” says Mayberry. “The article ignored Solvair’s environmental benefits and concentrated only on the solvent, rather than the entire system. They described the wrong solvent, and the information on the solvent was inaccurate. The writer appeared to have confused propylene glycol ethers with ethylene glycol ethers.”
Sierra Club reviewed the information provided by Solvair, conducted its own research and, consequently, retracted its previous statements and removed Solvair from the “avoid” list.
“Although Solvair LLC does not agree with Sierra Club’s advice to 'skip drycleaning entirely,' we are very appreciative that the organization took the time to listen with an open mind and was willing to change its position, based on careful review of the facts,” Mayberry says.

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