Choosing a TCE Replacement Chemical

The chemical compound trichloroethylene (TCE) is a halocarbon whose long history as an industrial solvent is gradually coming to an end. The popular solvent isn’t officially on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Lists of Lists, but it seems to be well on its way there.

According to ChemInfo — a provider of equipment, control systems, and instrumentation to industrial chemical users — in 2011, the EPA revealed that “About 250 million pounds of TCE are produced in or imported into the U.S. every year.” Also in 2011, the EPA categorized TCE as “cancerous by all routes of exposure.” It’s the proverbial equivalent of getting sprayed by a blowtorch; wherever it touches is harmed.

Significant New Use Rule

The chemical danger TCE poses moved the EPA to release “a final Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) for TCE, stating any company that manufactures, imports, or processes TCE for use in a consumer product must notify the agency 90 days in advance.” Furthermore, “The SNUR exempts the use of TCE in several cases, including cleaners and solvent degreasers, because these ongoing uses cannot be subject to a SNUR.”

If your organization is in a loophole the SNUR creates, you may not have to hassle with the notification of usage described above, but choosing a TCE replacement chemical is still in your financial best interest, especially in the long run. When you do a common sense cost calculation of the benefits of using TCE solvent versus a low-toxic TCE replacement — such as a solvent from the Fluosolv line — the latter option brings a sunnier outlook.

The Health Impact of TCE

To list and describe the negative health effects of TCE would require a long whitepaper. We’ll truncate the information, listing the general types of physiological damage acute and chronic exposure to TCE causes:

  • Neurological effects
  • Hepatic and renal effects
  • Cardiac effects
  • Reproductive effects
  • Developmental effects
  • Carcinogenic effects
  • Respiratory effects
  • Skin effects
  • Immune system effects

If you routinely work in an environment where TCE degreaser is applied, you’re likely to be one miserable individual before all is said and done. Neither will your employer be happy, as it financially absorbs sick days, pays a workers compensation claim, and settles a chemical injury lawsuit that result from the exposure. Add in the negative publicity the lawsuit could generate, and you have four very good reasons to pursue a TCE replacement Chemical.

Need a TCE Replacement Chemical?

If so, don’t wait for the EPA to force your hand. Ecolink’s line of NuGenTec FluoSolv™ solvents are suitable TCE solvent replacements in two important respects: chemical efficacy and human safety. FluoSolv™ CX, for example, has no “chronic or acute toxicity associated with them which makes it a worker friendly solvent.”

To get started on selecting a TCE replacement chemical that’s better for the health of your workers and the long-term finances of your organization, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or send us an email through our contact form. We look forward to presenting options that offer the same or better efficacy than TCE, without as many safety concerns.


Trichloroethylene Health Effects: A Case for Replacement

Trichloroethylene (TCE) has been used since the 1920s for a variety of purposes. Today, it’s primarily known as an industrial solvent used in degreasing applications. TCE works well as a general purpose degreaser for industrial jobs, but it poses health problems to those who apply it consistently, and it can even affect workers who apply it on a one-off basis for spot degreasing needs. If you receive acute exposure to TCE vapor, you could experience any of the following trichloroethylene health effects:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Headaches
  • Mucous membrane irritation
  • Skin irritation
  • CNS problems

Citing a studies on the effects of TCE from the 1970s, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has this to say about the effects of acute exposure to TCE: “Exposure to TCE air levels of 27 ppm for one to four hours caused drowsiness and mucous membrane irritation, and at 81 ppm, headaches … An 8-hour exposure (two 4-hour exposures separated by 1.5 hours) to 110 ppm TCE for two 4-hr periods resulted in decreased performance on tests of perception, memory, reaction time, and dexterity.”

The trichloroethylene health effects of chronic exposure paint a darker picture. According to ATSDR, chronic exposure to the levels of TCE listed above can precipitate the following serious health problems that may not go away:

  • Neurological effects
  • Hepatic and renal effects
  • Cardiac effects
  • Reproductive and developmental effects
  • Carcinogenic effects

It reads like a laundry list of things that no company would want to befall its workers. This is why many companies have made the move to replace TCE with an application-compatible solvent that has a considerably better safety profile. More on that later.

Exposure Limits

The exposure limits above are rather high considering the hazardous effects of TCE, but these levels — and levels even higher — are what you might find in an industrial work setting, where TCE is used as a degreaser for business-critical solvent applications. The presence of TCE in such settings appears to be on its way out. A July 2015 news release from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states the EPA is “taking regulatory action to reduce exposure to this chemical.”

TCE Replacements

TCE is a solvent with a nearly 100-year history. It’s done a great job as a degreaser for many organizations. Yet, like many other solvents of TCE’s generation, using the solution at high exposure levels involves too many current and long-term risks for companies and their workforce.

If your company uses a TCE solvent and needs a replacement, Ecolink can supply a stock solution or custom cleaner that delivers the same efficacy, without all of the hazardous trichloroethylene health effects. To demonstrate the effectiveness of your new degreaser, we’ll even send you a free sample you can use for your TCE-based cleaning operations.

To get started on selecting a TCE replacement, please call us today at (800) 563-1305, or use the contact form on our website. We look forward to supplying you with a safer solvent that the EPA won’t regulate.

Finding TCE Substitutes for Vapor Degreasing in 6 Steps

Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a halocarbon solvent known primarily for its use as an industrial degreaser. TCE is highly effective for numerous degreasing applications, but many companies and organizations are replacing TCE due to its negative impact on the health of workers and the environment.

If you use TCE, and you need to replace it, below is a six-step guide for substituting the solvent with one that works just as well, if not better, for your TCE-based industrial cleaning operations. In addition, the solvent will help protect your finances by protecting the health of you workers. Eco friendly TCE replacements can reduce the chance of acute or chronic chemical injury.

  1. Shop With an Eco Friendly Solvent Supplier

Your best chance of finding safe, efficacious TCE substitutes starts with shopping for them at an eco friendly solvent supplier, such as Ecolink. After selecting an eco friendly solvent supplier, it’s time for step two.

  1. Find Solvents Listed as TCE Replacements

One of the specialties of many eco friendly solvent suppliers is providing replacements for hazardous cleaning agents. Consequently, you’re likely to find a solvent identified as a TCE replacement in a supplier’s product list. This feature can dramatically expedite you search.

  1. Look for a Replacement in the Proper From

After you identify TCE substitutes, see which ones are available in the form that you need them (hand wipes, aerosol, drums, etc.) Don’t forget that the form in which the solvent is used / applied can play a significant role in the success of the cleaning operation, both in terms of time and soil removal.

  1. Find a Substitute in the Right Supply Volume

How much TCE do you use daily or monthly? Can the supplier provide a replacement in a volume that’s cost effective for your needs? Can you receive a bulk supply? Can you receive a small supply that you order as needed? These are questions to answer before you place the first order.

  1. Consider Placing a Custom Solvent Order

If you can’t seem to find TCE substitutes that match your needs in each respect, you may be in the market for a custom solvent order. Custom orders are designed to meet the needs of a specific user and can be supplied in bulk or on an as-needed basis.

  1. Place the Order Get and the Replacement

Now that you’ve identified the right TCE substitute, it’s time to place your order. If you’re ordering from Ecolink, feel free to request a free product sample before you formally order. After you see how well the sample works, you can order with greater confidence.

Who We Are

Ecolink is a longtime supplier of environmentally safe and environmentally preferred industrial cleaning agents. If you need a TCE replacement that works as well as the hazardous solvent but without all of the drawbacks, we can present you with several options, as well as produce a custom solution if you need it.

For more information about TCE substitutes for vapor degreasing, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or use our contact form. We look forward to helping you find a strong, safe replacement for you TCE-based cleaning solvents.



Finding TCE Alternative Cleaners: It’s Easier Than You Think

There are three main reasons why companies and organizations still use solvents that contain trichloroethylene (TCE): the chemical is highly affordable, it suits a variety of solvent-based applications — from degreasing to formulating pepper spray — and it’s financially inconvenient to halt a solvent-based operation while one solution is swapped with another.

From a business perspective, these are good reasons to keep using TCE despite its toxicity. However, over time, TCE can go from being one of your proverbial best friends to being a foe like no other. This happens when the chemical causes chronic illnesses in workers, including cancer. Millions of dollars in settlements and legal fees can ensue, and a company can kiss its reputation for being a good steward to its workers goodbye.

How Easy is it to Switch?

In terms of cost and effort, it would be much harder to replace machines that use TCE solvent than to replace the solvent. There’s no equipment that’s specifically designed for TCE, which means a suitable replacement for the chemical can be “dropped in” the machinery without an appreciable change to the cleaning process. In fact, you may find that, even though a replacement has a better safety profile, it delivers more cleaning power than TCE.

In any case, there are four steps an industrial solvent supplier such as Ecolink can help you take to replace your carcinogenic TCE solvent: examine your requirements, identify possible TCE replacement cleaners, test solvents with a free samples, evaluate results, and finalize the order.

  1. Examine Requirements

What is your TCE solvent used for? Examining the applications reveals important information, such as whether a dielectric formulation is required, whether aerosol is preferable, whether a high flash point is needed, etc.

  1. Identify Replacements

Are there individual solvents or a line of solvents that offer the same efficacy as your TCE solvent but without carcinogenic effects? Among our TCE alternative cleaners, solvents from the FluoSolv® line often make excellent substitutes for TCE-based solvents.

  1. Test Replacements

After one or more TCE alternative cleaners are identified, we can send you a free sample of the solvent(s), so you can see how well they work. If a sample works well, you’ve found a replacement. If the sample leaves something to be desired, we can alter its formulation to create a custom solvent.

  1. Finalize Order

After a stock solvent or custom solvent proves it can meet your needs, you can order the solution in a small, as-needed supply, a bulk supply, or anything in-between. The formulation data for a custom solvent will be kept on file, so you needn’t have it created over again.

Contact Us Today

Ecolink specializes in providing industrial grade, eco-friendly cleaning solvents. To get started on identifying TCE replacement cleaners, please call us today at (800) 563-1305, or send us an email through our contact form. We look forward to helping you choose cleaners that are safer for your workforce, better for the environment, and easy to implement in your cleaning system.

Why Use a Trichloroethylene Substitute From Ecolink?

Trichloroethylene — better known by its initialism, TCE — is a halocarbon popularly used as an industrial solvent, but it has a long history that includes various uses in different industries.

For example, TCE was used to extract vegetable oils in the 1920s. It temporarily replaced the anesthetics chloroform and ether in the 1940. And, as of 2000, the halocarbon was still used as an anesthetic in Africa. In the industrial sector, TCE’s legacy is as a highly effective degreaser.

TCE Today

Despite its varied history of use, one thing about TCE has remained the same: its toxicity to animals and humans. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR), TCE exposure is related to a variety of health ailments that range from relatively minor to severe. Occupational studies reported from ATSDR show effects of acute and chronic exposure to the halocarbon, signaling the need for a non-toxic trichloroethylene substitute.

Acute exposure is associated with: negative central nervous system (CNS) effects, decreased appetite, gastrointestinal irritation, headaches, disturbance of mucous membranes, and skin irritation. Chronic exposure is associated with more worrisome occurrences: reduced number of word associations, ataxia, decreased appetite, headache, short-term memory loss, sleep disturbances, and vertigo. The higher the exposure limits to TCE, the more the conditions prevail.

EPA Action   

The dangerous health effects of TCE — only a small sample of which are listed above — moved the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue the following July 2015 news release: “EPA Reaches Agreement with Manufacturer to Stop Use of TCE in Spray Fixative Products Used on Arts and Crafts. EPA also taking regulatory action to reduce exposure to this chemical”

For industrial outfits that use a large volume of TCE and are familiar with how EPA regulations of hazardous chemicals work, the move to regulate the degreaser in industrial settings should become a priority. Businesses in the arts and crafts industry that use TCE as a spray fixative are already affected, but regulations typically proliferate to encompass all situations of industrial, high-volume use.


The EPA’s recent regulation of TCE — limited though it may be — signals the perfect time to start looking for a trichloroethylene substitute. The EPA often moves slowly to ban dangerous chemicals, but it moves surely. Advanced warning of a scheduled regulation or ban is typically announced at least months in advance to give organizations time to find safer, suitable replacement solvents, such as the kind available from Ecolink.

Our Products

Ecolink manufacturers eco friendly, stock and custom trichloroethylene substitute solutions that offer as much efficacy — if not more — than the cleaner they replace. If one of our stock solvents doesn’t meet your requirements, we can produce a custom formulation that does.

To get started on selecting the right Trichloroethylene substitute for your degreasing operations, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or fill out the contact form on our website. We look forward to providing you with an environmentally preferred solution that’s better for the health of your workers.