Solvents on towels create air pollution

Source: http://www.rep-am.com, November 21, 2012
By: Barbara Moran

Laundry find in Waterbury leads to larger probe

The moment Mark Spiro walked into G&K Services, an industrial laundry in Waterbury, the steamy air stung his eyes and made his head ache. The place reeked of chemical solvents: methyl ethyl ketone, xylene, toluene — the sickly sweet scents of spray paint, permanent markers and model glue.

On that day in 2007, Spiro, an air pollution control engineer with the (now renamed) state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, discovered high levels of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, pouring from G&K’s roof stacks, the result of laundering shop and print towels contaminated with toxic solvents, state records indicate. The state eventually sued G&K, won a $1.8 million settlement and stopped the facility from laundering the towels.

 

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