FAIRFIELD, N.J. — Demand for perchloroethylene in the U.S. drycleaning industry dropped to 20.6 million lbs. in 2006, according to an annual survey released by the Textile Care Allied Trades Association (TCATA) — less than a tenth (7.4%) of the perc used in 1985 and almost one-third (32.5%) less than 2005’s 30.5 million lbs.
Perc consumption has dropped every year since TCATA launched the survey in 1975, with the fastest decreases occurring in the early 1990s. Perc use has dropped almost two-thirds since 2000, when the industry used 59 million lbs. Consumption of perc has continued to decrease an average of 14.8% every year since, thanks to continuous improvements in work practices and equipment efficiency.
Conducted by Industry Insights Inc., TCATA’s annual survey tabulates reports from the four primary producers of perc for use in drycleaning: Dow Chemical Co., INEOS Chlor Americas, PPG Industries and Vulcan Chemicals. The survey also includes import estimates from U.S. Customs, which represent a small fraction of the total.