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California Phase Out of Perchloroethlyene in Dry Cleaning – an update

SafeGuardSSoftlinesFebruary 11, 2022

In January 2007, CARB  approved amendments to the Airborne Toxic Control Measure for Emissions of Perchloroethylene (Perc) from Dry Cleaning Operations and the adoption of requirements for Perc manufacturers and distributors. The amendments will phase out the use of Perc dry cleaning machines and related equipment by January 1, 2023 .

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) identified Perchloroethylene (Perc) as a toxic air contaminant (TAC) under the state’s  Toxic Air Contaminant Identification and Control Program in October 1991,  and it was estimated that most of the Perc came from dry cleaning operations. Therefore, CARB focused control efforts on the dry cleaning industry and adopted a control measure governing the use of Perc in dry cleaning operations in 1993 (Dry Cleaning Air Toxic Control Measure (ATCM). The Dry Cleaning ATCM sets forth the recordkeeping and reporting requirements for equipment, operations and maintenance of Perc dry cleaning operations. In 2007, the Board approved amendments to the Dry Cleaning ATCM which will virtually eliminate the potential health risk due to Perc emissions from dry cleaning machines and the adoption of requirements for Perc manufacturers and distributors. The amended Dry Cleaning ATCM will phase out the use of Perc in dry cleaning machines over time, where all Perc machines will be removed from service once they become 15 years old or by January 1, 2023 , whichever is sooner.

The purpose of the Dry Cleaning ATCM is to phase-out the use of Perc from dry cleaning and water-repelling operations. Eliminating Perc emissions will further protect public health, especially for Californians who live or work near dry cleaning and water-repelling facilities. As health risks associated with Perc are attracting public attention and regulations  are increasingly restrictive and costly, safer dry cleaning solvent alternatives are required to replace its use. A variety of alternative dry cleaning machines, which are suitable for alternative dry cleaning solvents, such as professional wet cleaning, liquid carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrocarbon solvent, and silicone-based solvent, are available.

SGS is able to provide dry cleaning testing using silicone-based solvent and the proprietary GreenEarth® cleaning system to assess the appearance and dimensional stability of garments. SGS also provides a consultancy service to evaluate the suitability of this dry cleaning process on garments and textile products. 


  1. California Air Resources Board – Dry Cleaning ATCM
  2. Final Regulation Order
  3. SGS SafeGuards No. 124/17  

SGS Global Softlines has an extensive network of over 40 laboratories worldwide, with a strong team of committed professionals from multi-disciplinary backgrounds. Our internationally accredited state-of-the-art testing laboratories offer a comprehensive range of physical, chemical and functional testing services for components, materials and finished products. We help your company ensure quality, performance and compliance with international, industrial and regulatory standards worldwide. In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested. Discover more at

For inquiries, please contact:

Louann Spirito
Consumer and Retail — Softlines
US & Canada Softlines Business Head
t: +1 973 461 7919

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