Murray Hill & New Providence, New Jersey, U.S., March 31, 2011 - Linde North America has introduced an analytical gas standard specifically for analyzing dry cleaning solvent residues in the soil and groundwater. For the first time, environmental source testers have a standard for calibrating gas chromatographs for the sole purpose of analyzing soils and groundwater that potentially contain harmful hydrocarbons in dry cleaning solvents.
Linde North America is member of The Linde Group, a world-leading gases and engineering company. The SPECTRA ® DCS calibration standard, is a five-component gas mix to analyze for the five traditional dry cleaning solvents, tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, cis-1,2 dichloroethylene, trans-1,2 dichloroethylene, and vinyl chloride, all of which are considered carcinogens.
“The new SPECTRA DCS standard eliminates the need for testers to rely on conventional standards that have up to 65 components in the mix, with up to 60 components outside their area of interest,” said Michael Hayes, head of environmental product development. “Using those multi-component mixes for the five dry cleaning solvent components they’re testing for could take environmental testers up to an hour and a half to get results. The new five-component mix reduces the time to less than a half hour, helping to accelerate clean-up while lowering cost considerably.”
The issue of soil and groundwater contamination from dry cleaning operations is primarily a legacy issue. “The potential problem stems from cleaning operations as far back as 50 years ago, a threat which remains significant today,” said Hayes. “In past decades, the volume of solvent to dry clean clothes was as much as five to ten times greater than present usage, generating significant releases of potentially harmful hydrocarbons to soil and groundwater.”
Currently, five states – Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas -- have regulations that require testing of the soil around dry cleaning operations. “I believe it’s only a matter of time before these regulations spread across the country,” Hayes said.