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Supporting Local Cancer Free Economies

J&P Cleaners in Jamaica Plain transitioned from using the toxic perchloroethylene to Professional Wet Cleaning. 

Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood of Boston, is a town like many others with elevated rates of cancer and home to small businesses with ample opportunity to reduce their dependency on carcinogens and other toxics. In 2013, the Lowell Center began a partnership with the Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition and the Toxics Action Center to advance a Cancer Free Jamaica Plain Economy, which seeks to transition local small businesses away from the use of carcinogens and other hazardous chemicals by leveraging the aggregated purchasing power and civic support of community residents. 

In the project’s first year, two immigrant-owned livelihood businesses successfully transitioned from using high hazard chemicals to safer alternatives:  

  • J&P Cleaners stopped using perchloroethylene, a probable carcinogen, in its dry cleaning operations. By adopting professional wet cleaning, J&P avoided substitute chemicals that also pose risks to health and the environment.
  • Salcedo Auto Center removed 83 pounds of lead per year from the environment by transitioning to a polymer composite wheel weight.