Local business explains history of chemical

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)A local dry cleaning business speaks out about a chemical that was found on multiple properties.

The most recent finding was a former dry cleaning business in Brazil, Indiana.

Bryan Prox knows a little something about the dry cleaning business.

Prox has owned Trimpe Cleaners in Terre Haute for 5-years. He’s even more knowledgeable about a chemical used to clean clothes called Perchloroethylene, more commonly known as Perk.

Prox says, “It’s the by-product that’s distilled at the end of the day. You get a substance that looks like syrup.”

Perk is the same chemical that was recently found on the property of a former dry cleaner in Brazil, Indiana that forced a multi-million dollar construction project to come to a halt.

“Thirty, forty years ago they just threw it out on the ground, or put it down the sink, the by-product that is,” said Prox.

Prox currently still uses Perk to clean clothes but now a day, requirements are in place.

Prox says he uses two 15-gallon barrels that are picked up and disposed of by a licensed company.

“It’s terrible for the environment, the by-product is and that’s why the rights were put into place for this,” said Prox.

Prox says dry cleaning businesses that have been around the block were not held to those standards, they had a different way of doing things.

“They just didn’t know,” said Prox.

“Eventually, this is my opinion; I don’t think you’ll be able to get it in the next ten to fifteen years. And that’s why Trimpe Cleaners along with many others are looking to future options,” said Prox.

“We are looking into using a different solvent. There are several out there. We are looking at a hydro-carbon right now and when is the right time to do the switch. Whens the cash available to do it, is the biggest thing,” said Prox.

According to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the former Adamson’s Fabric Care Service in Brazil, Indiana, did notify them, that Perk was on the property.

The former business’s insurance is paying for the clean-up.

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