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 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.
Thinking of Switching From TCE?
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.