Solvents for surface cleaning – such as brominated, fluorinated, chlorinated and modified alcohol solvents – have favourable properties which make them widely used in this field. Despite cleaning and process requirements, the legal status, especially under REACH, becomes more and more a significant driver for choosing the right solvent for cleaning applications.
In the following paragraphs you will find some information about the recent developments and current status under REACH for different solvents.
– Perchloroethylene (PER):
ECHA’s “Substance Evaluation Report for Perchloroethylene” published in October 2014 concludes, based on the REACH registration dossier, that no further regulatory actions like authorisation or restriction is needed at EU level. PER is one of the few substances that came out of this evaluation with no further information requested.
PER is not considered as Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC). Therefore companies can continue to use the solvent which is, due to its excellent solvency power and easy and efficient recycling behaviour.
Firbimatic produces Dual solvent systems, operating with perchlorethylene and convertible to modified alcohols.
– Trichloroethylene (TRI):
The use of TRI after April 21st, 2016 (Sunset Date) is only allowed if a specific authorisation for the relevant use is granted.
Article 58 (1) (c) (ii) of the REACH legislation outlines that users can benefit from transitional arrangements if the application for authorisation was submitted prior the so called “Latest Application Date”.
– 1-Bromopropane / n-propylbromide (n-PB)
At the end of September 2016 the European Commission drafted the amendment of Annex XIV including n-PB due to the classification as toxic for reproduction (category 1B), hence it is a Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC). After the sunset date which will be fixed possibly during this year 2017, the use of n-PB will be only allowed, if an authorisation is granted for the specific use.
– Alkoxy-propanols (Modified Alcohols)
These solvents provide excellent cleaning results for many applications due to their balanced ability to dissolve polar and nonpolar substances. These products have a low toxicity and a good environmental profile and are therefore not considered as SVHC. Almost 90 % of Firbimatic metal-cleaning machines produced today operate with modified alcohol solvents.
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