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Why Replace TCE & Chlorinated Solvents?. Heidi Wilcox Surface Solutions Laboratory (SSL) Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) University of Massachusetts Lowell. NEWMOA September 28 th , 2005. Overview. Who we are & what we do TURI & SSL DOES EVERYONE KNOW US ?

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Why replace tce chlorinated solvents l.jpg

Why Replace TCE & Chlorinated Solvents?

Heidi Wilcox

Surface Solutions Laboratory (SSL)

Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI)

University of Massachusetts Lowell

NEWMOA September 28th, 2005

Overview l.jpg

  • Who we are & what we do


  • Why TCE?

  • About TCE

    • Health

    • Environmental & WE regulations/thresholds

  • EPA/TURI Grant

  • Alternatives

    • Vapor degreasing drop-ins (solvents)

    • Aqueous

  • The Database & how SSL can Help!

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Toxic Use Reduction Institute

  • The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) researches, tests and promotes pollution prevention and alternatives to toxic chemicals used in Massachusetts industries and communities

  • Came out of TUR Act of early 1990’s

  • Sister agency to OTA


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The Surface Solutions Lab (SSL)

  • TURI established the Surface Cleaning Laboratory

    • Now known as the Surface Solutions Laboratory (SSL)

    • Designed with the capability to evaluate the effectiveness of different cleaning chemistries and equipment for a variety of substrates and contaminants

  • The goal is to assist industry in the search for safer cleaning processes

    • By developing and promoting safer alternatives to hazardous solvents

      • A special focus on aqueous/semi-aqueous cleaners

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The Elimination of SolventExposure in Surface Cleaning

  • The focus of SSL is to replace hazardous solvents with a special focus on the halogenated hydrocarbons

    • 30% of trials have been to replace halogenated solvents

    • 30% were conducted to replace other hazardous solvents

      • Toluene, MEK, N-methyl-2-pyrollidone, etc.

    • Others were contaminant driven concerns

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  • Identify small, non-filing users of TCE (chlorinated solvents). Project is targeted at smaller businesses using chlorinated solvents, who may not have direct access to pollution prevention information & resources

  • Focus primarily on cleaning

    • Vapor degreasing, Immersion, Hand wipe & Others

  • Offer technical assistance to reduce or eliminate chlorinated solvent use

  • Offer compliance assistance with MACT standards

  • Disseminate information

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Why Focus on TCE?

  • In 2003 the Mass Toxics Use Reductions Program (TURA) initiated a High Priority Substances Strategy (HPS)

  • It recognized chemicals of greatest concern in the state & aimed to reduce or eliminate them

  • TCE is on the TURA more Hazardous Substances list

  • Chemicals on the HPS were chosen based on their potential fornegative impacts on human health and the environment & their LEVEL of use in Massachusetts

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What is TCE?






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It is Also ……

  • A man-made chlorinated solvent = C2HCl3

  • A potentially dangerous health hazard

  • Identified as a high priority substance by TURA

    • Made the list because:

      • It was determined to be especially TOXIC

      • It was used in sufficient quantity in MA

      • Viable alternatives DO exist for most applications

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Work Environment Problems

  • Hazardous solvents have been & continue to be used in cleaning applications

  • These chemicals pose a series of health threats or hazards for exposed workers

  • There exists a need to control and/or replace/substitute/eliminate such hazards

    • Control features are not always fool proof

    • Can lead to worker & environmental exposures that will cost money

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Other Issues to Consider

  • Environmental accountability

  • Increasing regulation on toxic solvents

  • Disposal costs & other regulations

  • Community perception


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TCE Usage Patterns

  • 80% = Vapor degreasing

    • Fabricated metal parts

    • Some textiles

  • 5% intermediate product in organic chemicals or pharmaceuticals

  • 5% solvent for dry-cleaning, pre and post spotting and chemical extractor

  • 10% exported

    (EPA 2004)

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Sources of TCE Exposure

Potential Exposure Routes

  • Breathing vapors at work, near a factory that makes or used TCE, off gassing from consumer products (adhesive, paint etc…)

  • Ingestionby eating contaminated food

  • Direct skin contact such as bathing or washing in contaminated water or direct

  • Drinking contaminated water (wastewater)

    Potentially 400,000 U.S. workers exposed annually

    (TCE fact sheet Lowell Center 2003)

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Workplace Exposure Limits

  • OSHA

    • PEL = 100 ppm TWA 8-hr wk shift

    • 200 ppm not to be exceeded during any 15 min. work period

    • 300 ppm for 5 minutes in any 2-hour work period


    • REL= 25 ppm TWA 10-hour work shift


    • REL=50 ppm TWA 8-hour work shift

    • 100 ppm as STEL (Short Term Exposure Limit)

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TCE Target Organs

  • Brain – headache, depression, coma

  • Heart – irregular heartbeat

  • Liver – acute chemical hepatitis cirrhosis

  • Kidney – tubular injury

  • Skin - dermatitis

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Health Effects of TCE Inhalation Exposure (handout)

Breathing Small Amounts

CNS effects






poor coordination

loss of concentration

Other effects

lung & skin irritation

Breathing Large Amounts

May Cause;

impaired heart function



Large amounts for long period of time;

(Chronic exposures)

nerve damage

kidney & liver damage

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Cirrhosis & Dermatitis


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TCE Exposure & Cancer Risk

  • 9th Report on Carcinogens by National Toxicology Program (NTP) determined TCE to be an anticipated Carcinogen

  • International agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined TCE to be a probable carcinogen to humans

  • Animal studies -Liver, Kidney, Lung

  • Epi. Studies – Kidney, Liver, Cervix, Lymphatic

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TCE Release Patterns

  • TCE’s major environmental releases are;

    • AIR - emissions from vapor degreasing

    • Water - wastewater from metal finishing, paint and ink formation, electronics, textiles electronics component manufacturing and adhesive and rubber industries.

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Environmental Fate

  • Volatile & evaporates quickly into air during cleaning operations. Can break down into phosgene, a known lung irritant

  • Precipitation carries TCE to groundwater. TCE is listed as # 1 groundwatercontaminant & is in over 60% of Super Fund sites.

  • Atmospheric lifetime 1-2 weeks

  • Persistence in soil & ground water is longer & can have a half life up to 10 months

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What Participants Asked For

  • Drop in replacements for TCE in existing vapor degreasing equipment

    • Easiest for them, less time consuming

    • Recently spent money on machinery

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How to Find Drop-in Replacements for TCE?

  • Literature search

  • Look at viability

    • Chemically (VP, FP Surface Tension) (HANDOUT)

    • Environmentally (ODP, GWP, VOC)

    • Evaluate health risks (HANDOUT)

  • Contact Vendors for samples

  • Test chemistries

    • Develop testing matrix – soils & substrates

    • Immersion & Vapor degreasing trials

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Where there is a Will there is a Way! Our Homemade Vapor Degreaser

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Identified 20 alternative drop-in solvent degreasers

Six Classes of Chemicals





Volatile Methylsilioxanes


Identified Drop-In Solvents Alternatives to Chlorinated Solvents

*Replaced Solvents

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Chlorinated SolventsTrichloroethylene (TCE)

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HydroChloroFluoroCarbonAGC Chemicals - AK-225

3 Rows and much less information know then about TCE

H ydro f luoro c arbon dupont vertrel cca mca hd degreaser c flux remover c l.jpg
HydroFluoroCarbonDuPont -Vertrel CCA, MCA, HD Degreaser C, Flux Remover C

3 Rows and much less information know then about TCE

H ydro f luoro e ther 3m novec hfe 7100 7200 71de l.jpg
HydroFluoroEther3M - Novec HFE 7100, 7200 & 71DE

3 Rows and much less information know then about TCE

N p ropyl b romide envirotech ensolv ensolv a petroferm lenium gs es kyzen metalnox m6960 l.jpg
N-Propyl BromideEnviroTech - Ensolv, Ensolv A; Petroferm – Lenium GS, ES; Kyzen – Metalnox M6960

3 Rows and much less information know then about TCE

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Issues withSolvent to Solvent Substitutions

  • Often deemed viable alternative due to less environmental regulations

  • Does this make them safer for worker?

  • Are we trading one problem for another?

    • nPB for TCE recent research ANA in Toronto (handout)

    • J. Majersik, MD, University of Utah

    • Severe human neurotoxin but less ODP

  • Possible interim step NOT a solution!

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What ARE the BETTER Solutions?

  • Aqueous Cleaners

    • Can be used diluted

    • Possibility of recycling and reuse of cleaner and water

    • Hopefully eliminates need for air permits due to solvents or hazardous waste disposal permits and the costs associated with both

  • Reformulate Cleaner – Green Chemistry

  • Process change

    • Eliminate contaminant to be cleaned

    • Eliminate cleaning all together

    • Change materials to avoid need for cleaning

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Aqueous & Semi Aqueous Alternatives to TCE

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SSL Testing on Aqueous Alternatives (handout)

  • Worked closely with over 20 companies trying to replace TCE in cleaning

  • A wide range of industries are represented by these companies

    • Aircraft

    • Electronics

    • General Mfr

    • Metal working

    • Optical

    • Plating

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Summary of Aqueous Alternatives Testing to TCE

  • 21 Vendors

  • 44 Products

  • 11 Product Classes

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Conducted over 100 experiments

11 Contaminant types


Buffing Compounds






Cutting Fluids




Contaminants Removed

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Alternative Cleaner Classifications

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Cleaning Varies from Case To Case

  • Process specific & pilot testing on potential replacement cleaning chemicals is recommended

  • Vendor information & alternatives database is available on line at www.cleanersolutions.org/SimpleSolutions/

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Barriers & Challenges

More In Depth Information

with Rich Bizzozero (OTA)

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Tools & Resources for TUR

  • Try it on your own

    • Talk to others industry

    • Use supply chain opportunities

  • Use SSL’s online Simple Solutions Database

    • Obtain a list of alternatives that are substrate, contaminant and equipment specific

  • Call & ask SSL/OTA/DEP for Help

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Alternatives Assessment Information

call 978 934 3133

Jason Marshall or Heidi Wilcox


Hands-on Solvent Substitution Workshop

Tomorrow 1:30 – 3:330

7B Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Surface Cleaning But Were Afraid to Get Your Hands Dirty!

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Jason Marshall