1 Bromopropane(nPB) listed as higher hazard substance in Massachusetts. Is this the beginning of the end for nPB?

Cleaner world with 1 Bromopropane/N Propyl Bromide ReplacementIndustrial solvents containing n-propyl bromide (nPB), or 1 bromopropane as it’s also known, are affordable and effective solvent degreasers that have served as a reliable replacement to TCE (Trichloroethylene) for decades now. However, like TCE before it, 1 bromopropane has become known to the public as a potential carcinogen and neurotoxin. Studies have found that nPB has both acute and chronic toxicity caused by solvent vapor exposure from inhalation and through skin absorption. Worker safety is a key factor here as nPB is a popular solvent for both cold cleaning and vapor degreasing.

How is nPB Being Managed Today?

Given that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection updated the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) and added n-propyl bromide to their list of toxic chemicals; this is a reasonable indicator that 1-bromopropane will likely become restricted or limited by the EPA in the near future. If you are under such restrictions or if you simply want to provide a safer working environment, we have a line of products ready to serve as drop-in replacements.

Finding a 1 Bromopropane Alternative that is Right for You

Many nPB alternatives offer the same if not better cleaning power as the nPB solvents they replace. These products are drop-in replacements because they can be swapped with the current nPB cleaners as a safer solution and it will not slow your cleaning process. Ecolink is a licensed distributor of FluoSolv AP® which is an excellent replacement for nPB based solvents. FluoSolv® AP (All Purpose) is non-hazardous and has a high allowable exposure limit. The Fluosolv® line has products that excel in both modern vapor degreasing equipment or spray and wipe aerosol application. To see how Fluosolv products stack up to TCE, nPB and MEK, Click Here.


Not Ready to Move on from 1 Bromopropane? Hypersolve has you Covered

Let’s face it, for many users of nPB based products, there may be little incentive to switch to a new, potentially more expensive, replacement material. 1 bromopropane based solvents simply do a great job cleaning in the following applications:

  • Adhesive and sealant removal
  • Asphalt Extractions (Bituminous Asphalt)
  • Automotive parts cleaning
  • Carbon soil removal
  • Cleaner/degreaser
  • Drying agent
  • Metal cleaning, hydraulic parts, wheels and brakes
  • Non-destructive Inspection
  • Precision cleaning
  • Printed wiring board cleaning
  • Surface wipe cleaning

Given adequate ventilation and ensuring safety precautions, you could very well continue using nPB based products in your operations with minimal risk. If this is the case, Ecolink offers Hypersolve™ based on stabilized n-propyl bromide. We can and will continue to supply Hypersolve until the day you look to switch to an EPA/OSHA friendly solvent.

Whether using 1 Bromopropane products or not, learn from the concept of Zero Waste. Zero Waste is an effective hazard reduction practice that can be applied to the use of nPB or any potentially harmful solvent.

What is Zero Waste?

The U.S. Zero Waste Business Council has the goal of teaching zero waste practices to businesses and communities to help them become more healthy and sustainable. Through Zero Waste, businesses can cut greenhouse gases, reduce litter and pollution, and reinvest resources locally. Zero Waste Businesses save money, become more efficient, and manage risks. All of these benefits will help create jobs and more value for the businesses and the communities. If you want to be a part of this movement and grow from these opportunities then apply for Zero Waste certification here.

One of the ways you can help your business contribute to Zero Waste is through solvent distillation. Ecolink proudly partners with CBG Technologies to promote their solvent distillation equipment which continually helps customers save money on recoverable solvent as well as reduce waste output.

Call for information or a quote on any of our nPB alternative products at (800) 563-1305 or send an email inquiry to

You might also be interested to see our aerosol cylinders. Check out the video below for a demonstration:

TURA in Massachusetts: Leading the Chemical Industry Towards a Greener Future

TURA, NPB replacementTURA stands for the Toxics Use Reduction Act, which was passed into law by Massachusetts State Legislature in 1989. Negotiated by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), the law was enacted to promote the reduction of both the amount of toxics used and the toxic byproducts generated by businesses. We will outline the goals and consequences of this act for businesses while upcoming articles will address replacement options for the hazardous substances being affected.

Goals of the Toxics Use Reduction Act’s Program

The TUR Act was established with the objective of promoting safer and cleaner production while also enhancing the economic viability of Massachusetts businesses. Toxics use reduction focuses on the use of toxic chemicals and the generation of wastes in the manufacturing process, but not on the management or treatment of wastes after production.

TURA is intended to be an efficient process that would produce less waste. Massachusetts companies are required to form a plan to reduce, avoid, or eliminate the use of toxic chemicals. Each yearly cycle this plan must be recertified and noted with new efforts to improve toxics use reduction. Additionally, businesses must limit the generation of hazardous waste, emissions, and by-products to the land or air per unit of product manufactured.
Want to know more? Click here for a complete list of TURA chemicals or visit the MassDEP website.

Upcoming TURA Deadlines

The MassDEP is exercising an amnesty period for late applications and will accept overdue TURA annual chemical use reports until July 1, 2016. Those companies utilizing this amnesty program will receive a warning letter and will be required to pay one year of past due chemical use and the $1,000 administrative late fee. Businesses are required to submit Form S’s for as many years as they owe a report on the chemical, up to a maximum of three.

Each Massachusetts facility subject to TURA will need to update their TUR Plans for the 2016 calendar year and submit them by July 1st. Below are updates to the list of high hazard substances (HHS) to be reported on TURA Form S in 2017.

Added the following HHS with a reporting threshold of 1,000 pounds:

  • 1-bromopropane (n-propyl bromide, nPB)
  • Hydrogen fluoride
  • Cyanide compounds
  • Dimethylformamide (DMF)

Lowered the reporting threshold of these HHS to 1,000 pounds:

  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Cadmium and cadmium compounds
  • Perchloroethylene (PCE)
  • Hexavalent chromium compounds
  • Formaldehyde
  • Methylene chloride

Need Help Cutting Back on Toxic Output? Contact Our Knowledgeable Team for Advice

Ecolink offers many innovative products that comply with TURA standards by containing fewer harmful substances. We strive to provide clean chemical solutions for a greener future, which is why we offer chemical management services to our clients to help them comply with ever-changing environmental health and safety standards. If you would like to know more about chemical management, click here. You can visit our Product List to see what we offer or contact us at (800) 563-1305 and to speak with our trusted advisors.

Industrial Degreasing: Simple Solutions for Your nPB Replacement Needs

For the past 20 years, n-propyl bromide (nPB) has been a highly popular, industrial solvent that is used for degreasing plastics, optics, and metal surfaces. In addition to providing excellent degreasing power, the solution is prized for its eminent affordability. However, considering that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) appears poised to add NPB to the List of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) that was created in 1990 as an extension of the Clean Air Act, these benefits are currently of nominal value.

According to the EPA, “Based on the chemical and physical properties of nPB, petitioners [in the scientific community] claim that nPB is carcinogenic, has toxic reproductive effects and is a neurotoxin.” Consequently, the EPA “will launch a comprehensive review on the impact of the chemical n-Propyl Bromide, setting the stage on whether it should be added to a List of Hazardous Air Pollutants in the Clean Air Act” (

A Few Options for nPB Replacement From Ecolink

If your company or organization uses nPB in large quantities for industrial degreasing operations, now is the time to switch to a different degreaser that delivers the same efficacy as nPB but is formulated to be safer for humans and the environment. At Ecolink, we provide several degreasing solutions that meet this description. Depending on what you need to degrease and how you plan to degrease it, below are six nPB replacement options that could meet your requirements.

  1. BULLDOG – Concentrated and aggressive; ideal for any surface not harmed by water
  2. ECOLINK 1171 – No-residue, fast evaporating, low VOC; ideal for wiping
  3. Eco-Spray ZV-2 – No-residue, fast evaporating, no VOC; ideal for spraying
  4. ECOLINK 1171HF – No-residue, fast evaporating, low VOC; ideal for wiping and spraying
  5. PINNACLE– No-residue, neutral pH, low VOC; ideal for immersion and parts washers
  6. ECOLINK 250-SS – No-residue, fast evaporating, low VOC; ideal for wiping, spraying, and parts washers

The products above are just a few of the industrial degreasing solutions that we offer for nPB replacement. In many cases, these and other Ecolink degreasing solvents can be used as drop-in replacements for cleaners that contain nPB, meaning that your degreasing processes can remain in full swing while your nPB degreasers are replaced with safer cleaning solutions.

Looking for an Effective nPB Replacement?
nPB has yet to be added to the EPA’s List of Hazardous Air Pollutants, but considering nPB’s negative association with the development of cancer and other chronic health problems, it appears that it’s only a matter of time before the EPA adds the hazardous, organobromine compound to the list. That’s why now is a great time to contact us about replacing nPB degreasers with ones that have a better safety profile but deliver the same cleaning power.

If you need assistance with assessing which of our nPB replacement cleaners are a good fit for what you plan to degrease and the method(s) of degreasing you plan to use, please call us today at (800) 563-1305, or refer to the contact page on our website. We look forward to presenting you with eco friendly, highly efficacious degreasing options for nPB replacement.

Replacing NPB Industrial Cleaners Can Reduce Operating Costs

NPB (a.k.a. n propyl bromide) is a strong cleaning agent that is used for various types of cleaning applications, from simple surface cleaning projects to heavy-duty degreasing operations. Although the solvent works well for its intended uses, it is now in the dubious position of the hazardous, chlorinated cleaning solvents it replaced: It is considered dangerous to humans and the environment and should be replaced with a safer cleaning agent.

Even so, many companies and organizations are hesitant to replace NPB industrial cleaners due to costs associated with the changeover, such as retiring their unused supply of the NPB cleaners, conducting tests to discover replacement cleaners that have the same efficacy, and training employees to use those cleaners once they are purchased. However, there are also some compelling cost saving opportunities that come with replacing NPB industrial cleaners.

Reduced Injury Risk
Since 2013, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) has considered NPB to be “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” especially when exposure to the cleaner is routine. Acute exposure to NPB can also cause health problems, such as irritation to eyes, mucous membranes, upper airways and skin. In short, NPB is a mercenary injury attorney’s dream.

In addition to precipitating costly legal settlements, NPB exposure can lead to increased workers compensation claims, higher rates of absenteeism, and impaired job performance — all things that take a financial toll on the company or organization that experiences them. When these phenomena result from NPB use, replacing the cleaner could literally save millions of dollars.

Less Costly PPE
OSHA and the EPA use a four-level rating system for personal protective equipment (PPE) that those who work with dangerous substances or in dangerous situations wear. Class A PPE offers the most comprehensive protection, totally insulating workers in a safety suit with a breathing apparatus. Level D offers the least protection, with no breathing apparatus included.

Outfitting a single worker in Level D PPE is the equivalent of buying him an expensive business suit. Applying that cost to multiple workers can quickly make PPE expenditures reach the six-figure mark. If switching to NPB replacement cleaners allows you to equip workers with a lower level of PPE than they currently wear, the cost of PPE could be significantly reduced.

Lower Utility Costs
Work environments that create a high level of exposure to NPB industrial cleaners need a special ventilation system that traps airborne contaminants, with the goal being to prevent them from entering other work areas and the natural environment. Considering that air distribution fans are commonly the most power consuming components in a building’s electrical system, using non-toxic cleaners that don’t require special ventilation strategies could reduce utility costs.

No EPA Fines
In February 2015, the EPA filed a petition to add NPB to its List of Hazardous Air Pollutants — a move that predicts the ban or severe regulation of the cleaning agent. Entities that continue to use NPB in violation of federal usage parameters face stiff fines that may escalate in amount as violations continue. Considering the heavy toll that the recent recession took on the coffers of so many companies, paying costly, avoidable fines to the EPA is simply financially unacceptable.

No Changeover Downtime
For companies whose everyday operations are highly dependant on NPB industrial cleaners, one of the worst things that could happen is having to quickly replace the cleaners after NPB is banned, without a changeover plan in place. This situation could lead to an extended period of downtime for operations that require the cleaning power of the banned chemical in the cleaners.

Technically, proactively replacing an NPB cleaner doesn’t reduce operating costs. Rather, it helps to ensure that revenue streams that NPB cleaners support remain robust. Performing a gradual phase out of NPB that includes the gradual introduction of a safer cleaning agent is the ideal way to ensure that no money is lost on already purchased NPB products, and that replacement products meet all the performance requirements of the replaced NPB cleaners.

Still Using NPB Cleaners?
If so, the sooner your company or organization replaces them, the sooner it will be in the position to realize the cost saving opportunities listed above. If you need assistance finding replacement cleaners that meet the requirements NPB industrial cleaners, Ecolink can provide you with several options. For example, our fluorinated solvents that contain HFC, HFE and HFPO are considered much safer than NPB solvents and can deliver the same level of cleaning power.

We can also create a custom blend if none of our stock products meet your requirements.

To start the NPB replacement process, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or refer to the contact page on our website. By replacing NPB industrial cleaners, you can do something good for your workers, good the environment, and good for the bottom line of your company or organization.