Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Did you Know?

A recent study has found that solvents like perchloroethylene or PERC are retained in clothing and soft furnishings after dry cleaning. PERC is a common dry cleaning solvent used by most dry cleaning companies and has been linked to cancer and neurological damage. According to the study, wool fabrics were the worst culprit but cotton and polyester also tended to absorb the chemicals over time. While the debate rages on about what levels are acceptable in the home or in clothing worn on the body, you might like to take more immediate action. Consider taking your items to a “green” dry cleaner such as Shawnee Cleaners and Laundry. The study found that fabrics cleaned at “green” dry cleaners were PERC-free. Or save a penny instead and just hang your clothes out to dry on the clothes line. The air is still cheap and relatively clean!

For more information on this study, visit and search for “Study: Perc remains in dry-cleaned clothes.”

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

OKC ranked 22nd in Most Dangerous Cities for Pedestrians

Walking is the first and most basic method of transportation. At least one-third of Americans cannot or choose not to drive and, and for most of them, being a pedestrian is an integral part of their daily life. This group includes children and young adolescents, older adults who no longer drive, people with disabilities, low-income individuals and a growing number who seek to avoid the costs of owning and maintaining a car.

Pedestrian injury is the third leading cause of death by unintentional injury for children 15 and younger, according to CDC mortality data. Nearly 3,900 children 15 years and younger were killed while walking from 2000 through 2007, representing between 25 and 30 percent of all traffic deaths. When surveyed, parents express concerns about a range of perceived safety hazards: the amount of traffic on roads(71.3%), the speed of traffic (69.8%), inadequate or missing sidewalks (48.6%) and poor quality or missing crosswalks(39%).

The list of the most dangerous metro areas for walking is striking in that all of the ten metro areas are in the South or West, and have seen rapid growth in recent decades of low-density development, characterized by high-speed urban roads that are particularly hazardous for walking. 52 US cities were ranked in the study.

The study ranked 52 of largest metro areas (those with at least 1 million residents as of 2009) according to their ten-year Pedestrian Danger Index. The most dangerous cities for pedestrians include Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami, FL and Riverside, CA. Oklahoma City ranked 22nd behind Louisville, KY, Richmond, VA and Sacramento, CA. Amazingly, OKC is considered more pedestrian-friendly than St. Louis and Kansas City, MO as well as Tucson, AZ.

Visit Transportation for America for more information on this study.

New Fuel Efficiency Standards for Cars - A Big Step Forward!

The agreement to boost fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 MPG by 2025 is the single biggest step President Obama could take to lower drivers' gas bills and cut heat-trapping pollution at the same time. And it will create as many as 150,000 good jobs here in the United States.

By 2025, new cars and light trucks in this county will go about twice as far, on average, on a gallon of gas, compared with today’s vehicles.

The difference will save Americans $80 billion a year at the pump. It will reduce our oil use by 3.1 million barrels per day by 2030. It will cut automobile carbon emissions in half. And it will create up to 150,000 American jobs, as Detroit shows the world how to build the next generation of energy efficient cars.

That's going to save the typical consumer a whopping $8,200 in fuel costs, the White House estimates, over the life of cars bought after 2025, as compared with today's average driving costs.

Well, hooray! For more information on the new CAFE standards, visit the NRDC website.