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3M contributes to the new Solvents Emissions Directive debate

3M Europe : 02 July, 2006  (Company News)
There is much debate at the moment about the continued use of chemicals affected by the new Solvents Emissions Directive, including 'Trike' (trichloroethylene), nPB (n-Propyl Bromide) and other solvents used for cleaning and degreasing applications.
Rather than having to make a decision between these chemicals, 3M is suggesting a third way with its Novec solvents range, which can meet the Directive's requirements without the carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction problems associated with other chemicals. Other benefits of the Novec range experienced by existing users include significant cost savings and improved cleaning performance. To find out more, users are invited to attend one of the 3M technical seminars being held in 2006.

The new Directive, which becomes mandatory at the end of October 2007, has major implications for the thousands of companies who currently use Trike as a solvent for cleaning and degreasing purposes. Although nPB has been suggested in some quarters as a substitute, it is still classed in the EU as a CMR substance and therefore, many people believe it will still require substitution under the terms of the Directive.

Says Mark Nursall, Technical Sales Specialist, 3M UK, 'There is no time to lose: with just 18 months until the Directive takes effect, there is a lot of work that companies need to carry out, including getting approvals for any products they decide to use. Rather than debating whether Trike, nPB and other chemicals in the same category can still be used, it surely makes sense to focus on substitution of CMR classified products altogether which, after all, is what a large proportion of the Directive is about. With our products, users can avoid using CMR classified solvents such as Trike and nPB altogether.'

The range of Novec solvents do not carry any of the risks identified by the Directive and can therefore be used in a wide variety of applications as substitutes for Trike and nPB in ultrasonic and vapour degreasing systems. Furthermore, these are well established products with a proven track record: companies in the electronics, aerospace, automotive, military and medical device production markets have all been using Novec solvents for up to a decade. Novec solvents are non-flammable, do not contribute to ozone depletion, have high operator exposure limits and offer excellent cleaning efficiency and materials compatibility.

Free trial
To enable current users of Trike and nPB to find out more about how they can achieve 100 per cent compliance in time for the Directive's deadline, they are invited to have a free trial of the Novec solvent solution or attend one of the regular 3M technical seminars.
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