Trichloroethylene, also known as TCE, is a versatile solvent used in a wide range of industrial applications. But even though this chemical is useful, it’s also dangerous. Read on to learn more about TCE and its risks, and where you can find a replacement for trichloroethylene.
What Is Trichloroethylene?
TCE is used in a variety of commercial and industrial settings. Here are some of the main uses of this solvent:
- Degreasing – TCE is primarily used by companies to degrease and clean metal equipment. The solvent is a very popular choice for vapor degreasing, as its non-flammability and high boiling point make it ideal for the removal of stubborn grease.
- Refrigerant production – The solvent is also used in the manufacturing of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants.
- Extraction solvent – Additionally, TCE has been used in the textile industry as an extraction solvent to remove impurities such as fats, waxes, and oils from certain fabrics like cotton and wool.
Dangers of Trichloroethylene
TCE use has slowly been phased out by multiple industries, as the solvent is becoming heavily regulated and even banned in certain countries. These regulations stem from the toxicity of TCE and the health effects it has caused for hundreds of workers around the world:
- TCE is a known carcinogen and can cause lymphoma and various types of cancer.
- Moderate levels of exposure may cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion, loss of coordination, respiratory irritation, and eye irritation.
- High levels of exposure may cause damage to the various organs and then the central nervous system. It may also cause permanent cardiac issues, memory loss, unconsciousness, and even death.
- Additionally, the chemical has been shown to contaminate drinking water sources and groundwater through storage tank leaks and improper disposal methods. This means that the chemical can affect unsuspecting people, particularly those living near facilities that use trichloroethylene.
Because of the regulations and toxic effects associated with TCE, many companies are looking for an effective trichloroethylene replacement. Luckily, there are now safer alternatives available that effectively replace hazardous solvents like TCE, while also ensuring the protection of workers’ health and the environment.
Interested in Buying a Safe Replacement for Trichloroethylene?
Ecolink provides a selection of environmentally preferred high-quality solvents for various industrial applications. Our products prioritize the safety of our environment and workers’ health, without compromising quality.