March 26, 2009
Seattle's Blue Sky Cleaners freshens clothes without toxic chemicals
via Tom Nelson
Dry cleaning can be hard on the pocketbook, but what really deters me from using the service is the expense to the environment. From the harsh chemicals used in the cleaning process to the plastic bags and wire hangers that return with your clothes, traditional dry cleaning is a major turnoff.
But after meeting with third-generation Seattleite Mark Callaghan, owner of Blue Sky Cleaners, an ecologically friendly, nontoxic dry cleaning service on Elliott Avenue West in Queen Anne, I see light at the end of the tunnel for the dry cleaning industry.
Blue Sky Cleaners uses recycled and filtered carbon dioxide, combined with 700 pounds per square inch of pressure, to do its dirty work -- replacing toxic chemicals like perchloroethylene (PERC), which is used by most traditional dry cleaners and can contaminate ground and drinking water.
According to Callaghan, carbon dioxide is sustainable and nontoxic, and doesn't contribute greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. It is safe to inhale and is not harmful to employees. "The dry cleaning business has a long history of contaminating its workers," says Callaghan, who explains that the chemicals continue to emit toxic gases and are hard on the skin......