DOH: New Health Report on Dry Cleaners Pollution, Wants Public's Review

The DOH released a new health report concerning the site of a dry cleaning business they say polluted an area of South Florida for years

By Mary Beth Wilson
|  Wednesday, Oct 5, 2011  |  Updated 4:34 PM EDT
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Flash Cleaners released toxic chemicals, reports say.

Flash Cleaners released toxic chemicals, reports say.

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A Pompano Beach dry cleaners has been polluting the surrounding area for years, according to Randy Merchant, Florida Department of Health Environmental Administrator.

Flash Cleaners, which served as a dry cleaning business from 1977 to about 2001, is now a drop-off facility for other dry cleaning businesses. Calls to Flash Cleaners on Wednesday for comment weren't immediately returned.

The way waste water was handled and disposed polluted the groundwater and soil on the site, the Broward Health Department said. The main cleaning agent that the cleaners used was tetrachloroethene, also known as perchloroethylene, a toxic chemical.

Officials say that the municipal water was not affected by the chemicals from the site, and have regularly tested it for safety.

The Hillsborough River and other canals near the business and any chemicals related to the business were found below levels that could harm the public, said the health department.

"Because nearby businesses and residents use city water, the health risk for this site is minimal," Merchant said in a report.

The Florida DOH asked the public to review a draft health report, make comments and express health concerns by Nov. 21. The department will share facts with residents in the area to summarize the report and solicit public comments.

A final report, addressing all comments and concerns, will be ready in early 2012. Officials will continue to test the site.

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