A US EPA Ban for TCE?

Could TCE ban on dry cleaning and aerosol degreasing solutions set precedent for paint strippers?

TCE poison bottle by AF Studio.
Deadly: subject to Trump’s presidency which kicks in by the end of this month, TCE (Trichloroethylene), could be banned from some substances in the US. Image by AP Studio (via Shutterstock).

In a previous post, we looked at why US households use paint stripper with a chemical that is banned in EU Member States. The chemical is DCM: Dichloromethane to give its full name. At the start of December 2016, the EPA has proposed a ban on TCE, otherwise known as Trichloroethylene for some applications.

It is used in aerosol degreaser and for spot cleaning in dry cleaning facilities in the States. It is those two uses that alerted the Environmental Protection Agency. A 2014 assessment identified cancer risk concerns, either short-term or long-term. They propose a ban on:

  • The manufacture, process, and distribution of TCE in aerosol degreasing and spot cleaning solutions;
  • Its commercial use, as demonstrated in the above fields; and,
  • A requirement to provide notification of prohibition orders (i.e., safety data sheets and record keeping).

The EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention’s Assistant Administrator Jim Jones said the proposal represents “the first time in a generation we are able to restrict chemicals already in commerce that pose risks to public health and the environment.

“I am confident that the new authority Congress has given us is exactly what we need to finally address these important issues.”

If passed, this could be the first substance ban by the Environmental Protection Agency since 1989. Who Perhaps this could pave the way for a ban on DCM, in line with EU Member States. With Donald Trump being sworn in as the President of the United States at the end of this month, the plan could be scuppered.

Premium Door Stripping, 04 January 2017.

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