Tag Archives: chemicals

eco friendly dry cleaning is possible

How green is your dry cleaner?

Last updated June 7, 2021

A couple of years ago, I made the switch to a “green” dry cleaners, but never questioned the name.  Yes, I was paying a premium, but for eco friendly dry cleaning it was worth it. As it turns out, some green dry cleaners aren’t all that green.

Dry cleaning, or some form of it, has been around for many centuries, beginning with the Romans who used ammonia distilled from urine to clean wool togas. The process of dry cleaning evolved through the centuries until the 1930s when a chlorinated solvent, perchloroethylene, became the leading method for cleaning fabrics without using water.

Today approximately 80% of dry cleaners still use the solvent perchloroethylene or “perc”. However, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers perc both a health and environmental hazard.

In the 1990s the United States Environmental Protection Agency began to regulate dry cleaning chemicals and encourage commercial cleaners to use safer, more eco friendly solvents. The use of these solvents became known as “Green Dry Cleaning”.

eco friendly dry cleaning is possible

What Is Green Dry Cleaning?

 

As with other industries, many dry cleaners are guilty of greenwashing.  In fact, “green dry cleaning” is used to describe any dry cleaning method that doesn’t involve using perc.

One of these alternative methods is wet cleaning, which is a gentler version of home laundering. Three other green cleaning methods utilize the traditional solvent model substituting carbon dioxide, hydrocarbon or silicon-based cleaners for perc.

However, of the four types of alternative cleaning offered in the United States, only two are considered truly safe for the environment and consumers. They are wet cleaning and liquid carbon dioxide cleaning. If you’re looking for the most environmentally sound type of cleaning, ask your dry cleaner which of the processes or solvents they utilize.

Methods of Green Dry Cleaning

 

Wet Cleaning

Wet cleaning uses water and specialized detergents that are milder than home laundry products to clean clothes. These cleaners have computerized washers and dryers and professional pressing, steaming, and finishing equipment to help your clothes look their best. The EPA considers it one of the safest professional cleaning methods because there is “no hazardous chemical use, no hazardous waste generation, no air pollution, and reduced potential for water and soil contamination”. Extra care is taken before and after cleaning to treat stains since no chemical solvent is used.

DF-2000 Hydrocarbon Solvent

Some cleaners consider themselves green because they use a solvent they claim is organic) called DF-2000. This solvent is a hydrocarbon made from petroleum. Production of these chemicals raises environmental concerns, in particular as it relates to greenhouse gases.

Silicon-Based Solvent

Some cleaners use the GreenEarth cleaning method to replace perc. GreenEarth is basically liquified sand (SiO2). It functions as a silicone-based solvent called siloxane or D-5. Siloxane is similar to some of the base ingredients used in shaving creams and conventional deodorant. When GreenEarth is discarded, it breaks down into sand, water, and carbon dioxide.

Another positive aspect of GreenEarth is that during this patented cleaning process no chemicals touch your clothes. However, the manufacturing of siloxane uses chlorine, which  releases dioxin, a known carcinogen, into the atmosphere.

Liquid Carbon Dioxide Cleaning

Carbon dioxide (CO2) cleaning uses liquid CO2 as the cleaning solvent along with detergent. You form CO2 by placing the non-flammable and nontoxic gas under high pressure. Liquid CO2 is non-toxic and used to provide carbonation to soft drinks.

Clothes are placed what looks like a traditional dry cleaning machine where the ambient air is sucked out. The cleaning drum is then injected with carbon dioxide in both gas and liquid form. After the clothes are cleaned, the liquid CO2 is pumped back into a holding tank for reuse.

This process is perhaps the most environmentally-friendly, because nearly 98% of the CO2 is captured. As less than three percent of the CO2 used from each load is lost into the air, impact on climate change is minimal. Additionally, because there is no solvent to heat, the process uses less energy than traditional dry cleaning.

While CO2 is naturally occurring and inexpensive, these dry cleaning machines cost approximately $40,000 each. For many small businesses, that is prohibitively expensive.

The Future of Eco-Friendly Dry Cleaning

The state of California is leading the way toward green dry cleaning by committing to phase out the use of perc by 2023. The state offers grant money to cleaners that switch from perc to CO2 or wet cleaning. Other states are considering similar legislation.

How to Get the Best Results From Green Dry Cleaning

 

While many dry cleaners now use “green” or “eco” in their name, few have transitioned to the most environmentally friendly methods.

The best thing for the earth is to swap out some of your more delicate clothing for pieces made from Tencel or hemp. They need washing less often, so you’ll make fewer trips to the dry cleaners.

Ask which method your dry cleaner uses and search for dry cleaners in your area that use the wet cleaning or carbon dioxide cleaning process. If you’re able to find one that employs these and other eco friendly business practices, dry cleaning your clothes may be more eco friendly than washing them at home!

pregnancy chemicals OneDey

4 Chemicals pregnant women should avoid

Last updated: May 10, 2021

Starting early in their pregnancy, women are inundated by things to avoid during the next nine months.  In the United States, that list usually includes alcoholic beverages, soft cheeses, raw fish, even some vegetables, saunas and hot tubs.  If you live in another country, opinions about what is safe may vary. There are numerous chemicals that are recommended to be avoided during pregnancy – even some essential oils considered risky.

Like medical knowledge related to everything, suggestions for a healthy pregnancy are always advancing.  Many chemicals are easily avoided, but others, notably sunscreen, have dangerous chemicals in nearly every product available online, in drug stores, and at cosmetics counters. Following are the chemicals doctors most often recommend avoiding when possible during pregnancy.

We’re not doctors at OneDey, please see Medical Disclaimer in our terms and conditions.

pregnancy chemicals OneDey

Avoid retinoids, such as retin-A or retinol

This chemical is often recommended to be avoided, even though research is inconclusive. While a direct link to birth defects hasn’t been established, there have been some cases linking retinoid use and birth defects. Retinoids are an active ingredient in Accutane and used frequently in anti-aging skincare products.

Avoid phthalates

Phthalates are endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in many beauty and home care products including plastics, fragrances, nail polish, lotion, and synthetic air fresheners. In animal studies, serious reproductive and hormone dysfunction has been linked to phthalate exposure. Phthalate ingestion has also been linked to miscarriages in animals and gestational diabetes in humans.

Avoid oxinate and oxybenzone

These chemicals have been shown to cause a lot of problems, the birth defect Hirshbrung’s disease being one of them.  Oxinate and Oxybenzone are found in many sunscreens. Oxbenzone is on Beautycounter’s The Never List™ and Beautycounter doesn’t use either of these ingredients in their sun protection products.

Avoid formaldehyde-releasing chemicals

Most commonly found in cosmetics, formaldehyde-releasing chemicals have been linked to potentially dangerous side effects. These include the following, as noted by Environmental Working Group:

Bronopol

DMDM hydantoin

Diazolidinyl urea

Hydroxymethylglycinate

Imidazolidinyl urea

Quaternium-15

5-bromo-5-nitro-1,3-dioxane

Some essential oils to consider…

Though not chemicals, in high doses some essential oils may cause complications during pregnancy.  Specifically…

Jasmine and clary sage have been known to trigger contractions

Sage and rosemary can cause bleeding

Rosemary has been shown to increase blood pressure

While it’s important to understand potential risks when you’re pregnant, it’s equally important to avoid getting overwhelmed.

Keep in mind that in France, drinking wine in moderation during pregnancy is generally acceptable. In Japan pregnant women eat sushi, also in moderation. We suggest replacing the products you can, consulting your physician with any concerns, and then relaxing.  Most importantly, enjoy these nine months ToDey and focus on the bundle of joy awaiting you at the end!