SEMA eNews Vol. 20, No. 3, January 19, 2017

EPA Moves to Ban Trichloroethylene in Vapor Degreasing

By Stuart Gosswein

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to ban the production and use of trichloroethylene (TCE) as a vapor degreaser. This follows a recent EPA proposal to ban such TCE use when in aerosol form. TCE is a volatile organic compound that is primarily used to process refrigerants.  It is also used in some consumer commercial products as a metal degreasing solvent since it is relatively inexpensive, has a low fire risk, quickly evaporates and requires no rinsing.

Vapor degreasing is associated with a variety of occupations, including metal fabrication and plating, electronics assembly and repair shops. The EPA has identified some potential TCE health risks that can be addressed by switching to alternative chemicals.

For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.

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