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.