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Ali Khair-Eldin Sentenced For Using Toxic Chemical In Edmonton Dry-Cleaning Businesses

03/01/2016 12:08 EST | Updated 03/01/2016 12:59 EST
Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
SAN RAFAEL, CA - JUNE 04: Freshly pressed shirts hang on wire hangers at Maxwell the Cleaner on June 4, 2012 in San Rafael, California. Dry cleaning prices are on the rise as the cost of wire hangers that are imported from Vietnam are poised to surge after the U.S. imposed new trade penalties on hangers from the country. According to the Department of Commerce, Vietnam is the top exporter of wire hangers to the U.S. with over $31 million worth of hangers exported in 2011, up from $19.5 million in 2009. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

EDMONTON — An Edmonton dry cleaner has been given house arrest for using a toxic substance in his business.

Environment Canada says it's the first time a dry cleaner has been given jail time for violating the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

Ali Khair-Eldin, owner of First Class Cleaners and Todd Cleaners, pleaded guilty to unlawfully importing and using tetracholorethylene, also known as perc.

The synthetic chemical, used as a dry-cleaning and metal-cleaning solvent, is listed as a toxic substance by the government and is no longer produced in Canada.

Health Canada says long-term exposure can cause neurological, liver, kidney and reproductive damage and has been linked in studies to cancer in animals.

A judge gave Khair-Eldin, who is 69, a four-month conditional sentence to be served under house arrest for the first 75 days, followed by a curfew.

He must also complete 60 hours of community service and write an article in a dry-cleaning industry magazine about his crime.

Environment Canada says Eldin had two previous convictions for dry-cleaning-related offences. There have been six other convictions against dry cleaners in Canada in the past two years.

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