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DRYCLEANERS NOW BEING ASSAILED BY EMPTY ENVIRONMENTAL THEORIES AND CONJECTURE, IFI SAYS

 DRYCLEANERS NOW BEING ASSAILED BY EMPTY ENVIRONMENTAL THEORIES
 AND CONJECTURE, IFI SAYS
 SILVER SPRING, Md., Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Fabricare Institute issued the following:
 This year's World Environmental Conference in Rio de Janiero underscored the growing interest and concern about the earth, its inhabitants and the future of both. Although a non-issue three decades ago, the increased awareness and education on environmental issues has shown notable progress of which everyone can be proud.
 Unfortunately, as with every issue, forces exist within the environmental cause that would like to publicly castigate and destroy any person, institution or industry that does not adhere or comply to the cause's every new standard or impulse. The drycleaning industry has recently suffered such a fate.
 The International Fabricare Institute (IFI), the association of professional drycleaners and launderers, is refuting information printed in the article "Is A Dry-Cleaned Suit Harmful" in the September Consumer Reports. According to William Fisher, senior vice president of government affairs, several erroneous statements were made about the health and environmental effects of perchloroethylene (perc), a solvent used in the drycleaning process.
 "This article has unfairly caused grievous harm and damage to tens of thousands of drycleaners across the country," wrote Fisher to Irwin Landau, Consumer Reports editor. "Whether you uncovered dated information or were simply misrepresented by your sources ... the article became nothing more than a hollow scare piece. Our industry remains committed to the health and safety of its thousands of workers and customers."
 Terry Burns, executive vice president of IFI, has seen this sudden rush to extremism in the past and cautions that everyone needs to review all facts in an unbiased manner before making their conclusions.
 Burns is not alone. In a recent article by nationally syndicated columnist Alston Chase, environmental scenarios that had been accepted as fact by the general public are now being questioned. These include "depletion of the ozone" theory -- which is contradicted by the fact that the stratospheric ozone level is currently the same as it was in 1962 and historical data shows that ozone levels fluctuate wildly, paralleling 11-year sunspot cycles.
 "The behavior to go from one extreme to another is, unfortunately, typical," noted Burns. "What people don't realize is the damage they cause by their behavior -- no matter how genuine and sincere their actions may be."
 Another industry that has been suffering from environmental attacks is refrigeration. Legislation is already on the books to essentially eliminate the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) -- the chemicals used in refrigerators -- by 1995. However, questions still remain unanswered about the full effects of CFCs on the ozone layer. Rep. William Dannemeyer (R-Calif.) recently introduced a resolution calling for a presidential commission to investigate the role that CFCs actually play in the layer's depletion.
 In the meantime, because of government action, the cost of refrigeration during the next few years will drastically increase. The best known replacement for CFC refrigerants is five times costlier. Worldwide costs of replacing CFC refrigerants is estimated at $5 trillion.
 "Every industry has a responsibility to maintain good citizen status," said Fisher. "We don't understand why we are the target since our industry has always been environmentally responsible, and in fact, have supported the development of effective clean air and other regulations."
 IFI is a 13,000-member association of professional drycleaners and launderers. IFI headquarters is located at 12251 Tech Rd., Silver Spring, MD 20904; phone 301-622-1900.
 -0- 9/3/92
 /CONTACT: Alice Laban of the International Fabricare Institute, 301-622-1900/ CO: International Fabricare Institute ST: Maryland IN: SU:


IH -- DC020 -- 6550 09/03/92 15:38 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 3, 1992
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