Six Benefits of Replacing TCE with NuGenTec FluoSolv® CX

Laboratory analysis of Trichloroethylene (TCE) has classified the chemical compound as a Category 2 carcinogen that has an R-45 Risk Phase. Moreover, this means that the solution “may cause cancer” in those who are chronically exposed to it. Additional health problems that stem from TCE exposure include: eye and skin irritation, drowsiness, and dizziness.

If your company uses TCE for a specific application on a limited basis, recovers waste TCE after a job is finished, and provides proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to those who work with the solution, replacing TCE with a solution that has a better safety profile may be beside the point. However, if your company uses a large volume of TCE in any given period of time, it should consider replacing TCE with NuGenTec FluoSolv® CX for the following reasons.

1. The Solution Is not a CMR
Unlike TCE, the Solvent Emissions Directive (SED) does not classify NuGenTec FluoSolv® CX as a carcinogenic, mutagenic or reproductive toxin (CMR). This means the solution does not carry the risk phases that are associated with TCE and similar types of chemical formulations.

2. High Exposure Limit
PPG — a leading manufacturer of TCE in the U.S. — sets the exposure limit for TCE at 5 ppm. Conversely, NuGenTec FluoSolv® CX has an exposure limit up to 200 ppm. Replacing the former with the latter gives you more flexibility to use the solution on a frequent basis.

3. High Annual Consumption Level
The SED caps the annual consumption level of TCE at below 1 tonne per year. This is 50 percent less than the annual consumption for NuGenTec FluoSolv® CX, which has an annual consumption level of 2 tonnes per year. Again, using the latter solution gives you more flexibility.

4. Low Global Warming Potential
If your company is committed to supporting the environment through the use of eco friendly solutions, using NuGenTec FluoSolv® CX in place of TCE is an excellent option. TCE has a global warming potential (GWE) of 140. The GWE for NuGenTec FluoSolv® CX is 50.

5. Requires No Stabilizers
When it is used for vapor degreasing operations, TCE requires the addition of a stabilizer to increase its chemical stability. NuGenTec FluoSolv® CX, on the other hand, is formulated to be chemically stable. This can help you cut costs by using lower amounts of stabilizer solutions.

6. Doesn’t Generate a Waste Stream
Replacing TCE with NuGenTec FluoSolv® CX eliminates a liquid waste stream that must be disposed of according to federal, state, or municipal guidelines. Eliminating the liquid waste stream is good for the environment, and helps companies spend less money on waste disposal.

Contact EcoLink Today
If your company relies heavily on the use of TCE, it should ideally replace the solution with NuGenTec FluoSolv® CX for the reasons listed above. There are plenty of TCE replacements out there, but NuGenTec FluoSolv® CX delivers one of the widest ranges of benefits of any replacement solution.

For more information about NuGenTec FluoSolv® CX and replacing TCE, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or contact us today. We look forward to assisting you!

Why Switching From TCE is in Your Company’s Best Interest

The chemical Trichloroethylene (TCE) plays a role in the production of various products, from industrial degreasers to pepper spray used for self-defense. As for the latter application, TCE is even better than advertised.

In addition to helping pepper spray irritate eyes and skin, TCE also delivers a toxic shot of carcinogenicity to the unfortunate person who receives the spray. But would-be assailants aren’t the only ones whose health TCE jeopardizes. People exposed to the chemical in the workplace are also affected, their risk being the highest due to repeated exposure.

Why TCE Replacement is the Best Response

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) both consider TCE to be a “known” human carcinogen, as opposed to “reasonably anticipated to be” a human carcinogen — a less severe designation the EPA applies to other dangerous chemicals.

Because such designations can have a major impact on the economics of the solvent industry, the EPA doesn’t dole them out them lightly. Once a chemical officially gets a bad rap, it’s because years of anecdotal evidence and scientific research support the conclusion. This brings us to the fact that TCE is indeed dangerous, and that switching from TCE instead of attempting to reduce exposure is the best option.

How to Approach Switching From TCE     

Most companies that use TCE don’t specialize in identifying chemical replacement solutions. So, for most end users, step one is to contact a supplier of eco friendly solvents, such as Ecolink, that can offer guidance for choosing an effective replacement.

Step two is working with the supplier to identify viable replacement solutions in terms of chemical efficacy and workplace safety. For example, we often recommend replacing a TCE-based solvent with FluoSolv CX, which delivers the power of TCE without the well-known health risks of chlorinated solvents.

Step three is testing the prospective replacement solution to see how it performs. The best way to do this is to request a free sample of the solution to use as a drop-in substitute for your TCE solvent. You want to see how well a solution performs before you purchase it. We make it easy by providing free product samples.

Step four is ordering the product after it tests successfully. If the product doesn’t test successfully, this is the time to discuss receiving a custom solvent that’s tailored to your needs. If it turns out that a custom solvent is your best option, we can supply it in bulk or as-needed.

Lookinf for a TCE Equivalent?

If so, going for the switch can save your company headaches in the future, such as settling chemical injury lawsuits, investing in expensive solutions for mitigating TCE exposure, and having to replace a TCE solvent on short notice after TCE becomes more heavily regulated or banned by the EPA.

To get started on switching from TCE, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or send us an email through our contact form. We look forward to helping you select the best TCE replacement for your solvent needs.






TCE Chemical Classification By Properties and Effects

Scientifically identified as C2HCl3, the chemical compound trichloroethylene (TCE) is classified as a halocarbon, one that is primarily used in industrial solvents. But simply knowing the classification of TCE often doesn’t give companies all of the information they need to accept or reject the chemical. Consequently, let’s look at the TCE chemical classification to create a portrait that shows the carcinogenic solvent scientifically.

  • Molar mass —4 g/mol
  • Appearance: Colorless liquid
  • Odor: chloroform-like
  • Density:46 g/cm3 (20 °C)
  • Melting point: ?73 °C (?99 °F; 200 K)
  • Boiling point2 °C (189.0 °F; 360.3 K)
  • Solubility in water: 1.280 g/L
  • Solubility: ether, ethanol, chloroform
  • Vapor pressure 58 mmHg/0.076 atm (20°C)
  • Refractive index (nD) 4777 at 19.8 °C

The information above describes chemical properties of TCE, but what do these properties to mean for workers who handle TCE-based solutions regularly? According to the U.S. Department of Human Health Services (HSS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), TCE has gone from being reasonably anticipated as a human carcinogen to being a “known” carcinogen thanks to the TCE chemical classification.

For those who desire more information, Wikipedia maintains an excellent TCE data page that offers a variety of information about how to use and not use the hazardous chemical.

The Effects of TCE Exposure

Like most toxic chemicals that have made the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) List of List, TCE appears to be well on its way there. The fact that the chemical is a carcinogen alone is enough to get it banned, or at least make it usable in volumes that would be of little use to industrial operations. The four primary health effects of TCE that will likely get it banned are:

  1. Cancer risk
  2. Reproductive problems
  3. Development problems
  4. Fetal cardiac defects

The EPA currently requires “any company that manufactures, imports or processes TCE for use in a consumer product must notify the agency 90 days in advance”. This is what what we call moderate regulation. Heavy regulation would make it impossible for large-scale users to deploy TCE in the necessary amount, and a ban on TCE would essentially halt its production altogether — at least in the U.S.

Ready to Start Replacing TCE?

If so, you have at least two good reasons to do it: It lowers health risk for your workers, and helps your company avoid increased sick days taken, workers comp claims, and even settling chemical injury lawsuits. On the bright side, Ecolink has the non-toxic, eco friendly solutions you need, solutions that deliver the same power as TCE without the toxic formulation.

We can explain the TCE chemical classification in all respects, and help you identify whether one of our stock solutions or custom solutions is ideal for your needs. Call us today at (800) 563-1305, or send us an email through our contact form. We look forward to providing a solution that helps protect the health of your workers and your company’s bottom line.


Chemical Regulations: Is TCE Being Banned?

Also known as trichloroethylene, TCE is a halocarbon frequently used for industrial solvent needs. However, the chemical compound appears on track to be banned or severely regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). in the near future.

When it went into wide production in the 1920s, TCE was hailed as a highly effective anesthetic. However, roughly a century later, scientists have discovered that, from a health perspective, TCE is one of the last things you would want to use for anesthesia. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a conservative list of negative health effects from TCE exposure includes:

  • Irritated eyes and skin
  • Exhaustion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Cardiac arrhythmias,
  • Paresthesia
  • Liver injury
  • Potentially cancer

It’s enough to make any company immediately stop using TCE and favor banning it. However, like other toxic chemicals the EPA has banned, TCE is highly effective at what it’s used for: a solvent for dry cleaning, a movie film cleaner, and an industrial strength degreaser, just to name a few. Does this mean a TCE ban will be avoided? Probably not.

EPA to the Rescue

According to a December 2016 report from OSHA, “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Dec. 7 proposed to ban some uses of trichloroethylene (TCE) because of health risks when it is used as a degreaser and a spot removal agent in dry cleaning.”

The report goes on to say the EPA “identified serious risks to workers and consumers associated with TCE uses in a 2014 assessment that concluded that the chemical can various adverse health effects, including cancer, developmental and neurotoxicological effects, and liver toxicity.”

Coming from the EPA, these findings signal a strong possibility of a coming TCE ban that will add the embattled compound to the agency’s List of Lists. There will likely be a TCE phase out period that lets organizations use already purchased TCE. Then, the compound will be phased out of production in the U.S. and become illegal to import from other countries.

TCE Replacements

While the EPA is busy handling the legislative side of a TCE ban, organizations the ban affects should be hard at work identifying TCE replacements that work as well as TCE, without all of the short-term and long-term side effects for workers. If your organization is in this position, searching for a TCE replacement at a manufacturer of environmentally safe and environmentally preferred chemicals, such as Ecolink, is a good place to start.

How Ecolink Can Help

If you need safer chemicals in anticipation of a TCE ban, we offer several stock solutions that may meet your needs. If not, we can formulate a custom solvent designed for your requirements. To show the solution works as well as it appears to on paper, we’ll send you a free solvent sample, so you can see how the product performs. Simply make the request.

Don’t let a TCE ban catch you unaware. To get started on selecting an effective TCE replacement, please call us today at 1-800-563-1305, or send us an email through our contact form. We look forward to helping you replace your TCE chemicals quickly and hassle-free!

TCE Facts: How TCE Damages Health

Thousands of chemical injury lawsuits are filed every year against employers in the U.S. In some cases, the plaintiff walks away with a multi-million dollar settlement, but it’s hard to be envious of the person.

When this level of compensation is awarded, the plaintiff typically has chronic injuries that reduce quality of life, permanently reduce or eliminate earning power, and may even cause him to be on his deathbed, dying of chemical injuries during the lawsuit settlement phase, never to see a cent of the big payout.

It’s a bleak assessment of what can happen when a worker suffers chronic TCE exposure over a period of many months or years. But it’s also a truthful portrait of what can happen. Just ask the thousands of families who have lost a loved one due to toxic effects TCE or a similarly dangerous solvent have on the body.

TCE and Human Health

TCE is an initialism that stands for “Tetrachloroethylene” — a toxic chlorocarbon with the chemical formula Cl2C=CCl2. TCE also goes by the names “tetrachloroethene”, “perchloroethylene”, “perc”, and “PERC”.

Regardless of what you call it, TCE has a long list of negative effects on the body, with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) categorizing the substance as “cancerous by all routes of exposure” in 2011. Nearly six years later, some organizations are still using TCE via methods and in quantities that have a deleterious effect on the health of workers. Like many other toxic chemicals used in industry, TCE produces both acute and chronic effects due to temporary and chronic exposure, respectively.

TCE Facts: Acute Exposure

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) — a federal public health agency that operates as a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — acute exposure to TCE can cause health conditions including but not limited to:

  • Drowsiness
  • Mucous membrane irritation
  • Memory problems
  • Watery eyes
  • Decreased reaction time
  • Decreased dexterity
  • Fatigue

For more information on effects of acute TCE exposure, visit the ATSDR’s TCE page.

TCE Facts: Chronic Exposure

The ATSDR reports that chronic exposure to TCE can cause health conditions including but not limited to:

  • Reduced number of word associations
  • Ataxia
  • Decreased appetite
  • Headache
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Vertigo
  • Neurobehavioral deficits

For more information on effects of chronic TCE exposure, visit the ATSDR’s TCE page.

These TCE facts about human health should move organizations that use TCE to replace the solution with one that has a better safety profile. Using green chemistry, Ecolink offers an array of industrial solvents that meet this description and can provide green custom solvents, as well.

Contact Us Today

For more information about TCE facts or to order a replacement for TCE solvent, call Ecolink today at (800) 563-1305, or fill out our contact form. For over 25 years, we’ve helped organizations become better stewards to their workers and the environment by providing low-cost, highly effective, environmentally preferred industrial solvents. We’d love to help you do the same!