Tetrachloroethylene, known as PCE, is a colorless liquid generally used to clean fabrics and metal machinery. As a powerful and efficient cleaning solvent, many professional dry cleaners used it to remove stains and dirt from all common types of fabrics. The dry cleaning process involves liquid chemicals called solvents, such as PCE, being added to the machines. After clothes are cleaned, dried, pressed, and shaped, those used solvents are distilled to be purified. The solvents separate from the waste residues, like dirt and oil, so the solvent can be reused. The filters that contain the small amount of solvents must be disposed of as hazardous waste. Dry cleaners can send them to special facilities for recycling or incineration. However, PCE can travel through air, water, and ground during the dry cleaning process. Even at low levels, this dense liquid is toxic and can be harder to clean up than other petroleum-based chemicals. PCE degrades into TCE and other daughter products.
In the 1920’s and 1940’s, trichloroethylene, known as TCE, originally cleaned cotton, wool, and other fabrics. It was also commonly used as a degreaser in certain industries, such as aerospace and other manufacturing industries. When its toxicity was discovered, TCE gradually was removed and then banned for some uses in the 1980’s. TCE is commonly found at Superfund sites. TCE’s health effects are alarming, such as cancer and kidney toxicity, and TCE cases still exist due to its mobility into soil and groundwater.
The Reynolds Group takes on challenging remediation projects involving such chemicals. We manage the environmental tasks from different vantage points: cost, liability, and Human Health Risk (HHR). HHR Assessments compare existing contaminant levels to existing HHR standards to formulate mitigation measures, where appropriate. As a California licensed General and HazMat Contractor, TRG can perform vapor intrusion mitigation, remediation system installation, operations and maintenance (O&M), and other environmental services.
Since 1989, TRG has worked with property owners, real estate developers, legal counsel, risk managers, and regulatory agencies to evaluate and overcome environmental challenges associated with real properties. As professional consultants and environmental contractors, TRG applies practical, cost-effective methods to assess and resolve problems. We effectively navigate clients through regulations to create pathways for real properties to realize their full financial and functional value.