WASHINGTON — A high school sophomore’s science project about the chemicals that remain in drycleaned clothing prompted a university study and publication online in a peer-reviewed environmental journal, the Washington Post reported recently.
A Georgetown University professor and graduate students assisted 15-year-old Alexa Dantzler with her experiment. She sewed squares of wool, cotton, polyester and silk into the lining of several men’s jackets and then had them cleaned at seven Northern Virginia drycleaners who had no knowledge of the experiment.
The research team determined that perc stayed in the fabrics and that levels increased with repeat cleanings, particularly in wool, the newspaper reported.
Industry representatives told the Post that the study was incomplete because the tested garments had been drycleaned but not pressed, which helps remove solvent.