An Investigation of Indoor Air Contamination in Residences Above Dry Cleaners



An investigation of residences located above dry cleaning facilities was conducted to determine whether indoor and outdoor air concentrations of the dry cleaning solvent tetrachloroethene (perchloroethylene, PCE) were elevated compared to residences not near a dry cleaning facility. Data were also collected on the dry cleaners' operating conditions and equipment. Significantly elevated levels of PCE were found in the indoor air of each of six apartments located above dry cleaners compared to control residences for both day and night samples. The PCE concentrations in outdoor air near the dry cleaners were also significantly elevated compared to control locations and were lower than the concentrations measured indoors. The type of dry cleaning machine was significantly associated with the concentration of PCE found in the apartment above. A strong correlation was also found between the day and night PCE levels in the study apartments.