Substitution of trichloroethylene in a vocational training facility specialized in printing processes
A printing vocational training facility used trichloroethylene for the cleaning and washing of printing rolls. Trichloroethylene is a known carcinogen, endocrine disruptor and neurotoxicant. Several options were assessed and eventually trichloroethylene was substituted by a coconut oil-based compound.
Trichloroethylene is carcinogen cat.2A according to IARC (R45) and neurotoxic cat. 4 according to Vela et al. Because of these two important risks, formaldehyde is listed in the hazardous Substance Database according to SUBSPORT Screening Criteria (SDSC).
The alternative substance is a natural oil with no risks.
The vocational training facility used trichloroethylene for the cleaning and washing of printing rolls. Trichloroethylene is a known carcinogen, endocrine disruptor and neurotoxicant. This case had serious implications since students were exposed to the product. Union representatives requested the substitution of trichloroethylene with a harmless product. The search for alternatives took into account the results of Project Subsprint (developed in 1995 with the participation of Madrid’s regional union, CC.OO.) on the substitution of organic solvents with vegetable oil-based cleaners.
The chosen substitute was a coconut oil-based compound. Despite the changes in the cleaning process derived from the use of the new product, the teaching staff reported its effectiveness.
The process also raised awareness about the significance of substituting dangerous chemicals among teachers and students, future printing machine operators.
Health risks were eliminated. Information for teachers and students was improved.
The use of the new product implies a modification of the cleaning process. Coconut oil is less volatile and dries slowly. This factor slows down the cleaning process but it did not represent an objection to the substitution of trichloroethylene.
Comments from information provider:
The implication of the teacher and his autonomy to contact different suppliers was a key factor for the success of the substitution process.
A hydrocarbon-based alternative product (Eurowash 2100) was assessed. The product contains aliphatic aromatic hydrocarbons and was eventually rejected for its possible carcinogenicity (R45).Further information
BG ETEM: Database of Approved Washing and Cleaning Agents for Offset Printing http://praevention-dp-bgetem.bg-kooperation.de/?set_language=en
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Publication or last update: 25.04.2012