HL Deb 12 November 1987 vol 489 c1557WA
Lord Inglewood

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the current controls over the use of perchloroethylene in dry cleaning.

Lord Young of Graffham

The use of perchloroethylene in dry cleaning is subject to the general requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and to the requirements for the control of dust or fumes in the Factories Act 1961. The Health and Safety Executive publish guidance on compliance with these requirements in the form of recommended occupational exposure limits. The current recommended limits for the concentration of perchloroethylene in air are:

  • 100 ppm, 8 hour time-weighted average (TWA);
  • 150 ppm, 10 minute TWA.
On the recommendation of the Health and Safety Commission's Advisory Committee Toxic Substances (ACTS) new standards will come into force in January 1989. These are:
  • the 8 hour TWA should be reduced to 50 ppm;
  • the 10 minute TWA should remain at 150 ppm.

Perchloroethylene is classified as "Harmful" under the Classification, Packaging and Labelling of Dangerous Substances Regulations 1984 and is required to be labelled with specified Risk and Safety Phrases. Proposals for changes to these phrases are currently under discussion in the European Community.