• Dry Cleaners

Dry cleaning is the process of removing dirt, grease, paints and other stains from such items as wearing apparel, textiles, fabrics and rugs by use of non aqueous liquids (solvents).

The dry cleaning room is an occupied space within a building used for performing dry cleaning operations, the installation of solvent handling equipment or the storage of dry cleaning solvents.

By providing good ventilation in a dry cleaning environment, this will assist worker exposure to PERC (perchlorethylene) and ensure thermal comfort.

Capturing and removing the contaminant at should accomplish ventilation control or near the source (local ventilation) or by diluting the concentration of the contaminant before it reaches the worker's breathing zone (general ventilation).

Local ventilation should be used in dry cleaning shops to reduce worker exposure during machine loading and unloading and while performing maintenance.

General ventilation should be used to add fresh air or remove au to dilute background PERC concentrations; a complete au change should occur Ill the workroom every 5 minutes.

Spotting solvents are used in textile and clothing manufacture to remove stains from fabrics. Dry cleaning staff will be exposed to spotting solvents by inhaling mist and vapour, as wen as solvent being absorbed through the skin. Solvents can also enter the body through handling food and drink and by smoking.

The main effects are irritation of the skin, eyes and lungs, headache, nausea, dizziness and lightheadedness. Repeated or prolonged skin contact can cause dermatitis. Solvents can also impair co-ordination and this can lead to accidents.

Areas in which spotting solvents are used should be well ventilated with high and low ventilation points. Opening doors and windows will increase ventilation but may not lower the exposures of people working directly with solvents. Spraying of fabric should be done under effective local exhaust ventilation if exposures are above the occupational exposure limit. Furthermore, if solvent vapors are controlled below occupational exposure limits there will not be a flammability risk in the workroom.

The principal hazards associated with dry-cleaning solvent are that it is volatile and the vapour is an anesthetic. It is therefore important that effective mechanical ventilation is provided in any compartment containing dry-cleaning plant. The purpose of such ventilation and the following requirements is to ensure that the vapor concentration never exceeds the threshold limit value, which is the airborne concentration of vapour under which it is believed that nearly all persons may be repeatedly exposed without adverse effects.

A mechanical exhaust fan providing at least 20 changes of air per hour should be fitted to the plant compartment, separate from all other ventilation systems and exhausting to a position in the open air, clear of other access, ventilation or window/sidelight openings.

Elta Fans provide a wide range of ventilation products for commercial dry cleaning facilities, so for more information, please look at examples of typical products that could be used for these applications or alternatively, please contact us to discuss your specific application requirements.