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RE: Vapor Degreasers
I have essentially the same problem, however, mine involves Perc. The theory
that I used to convince upper management to change the degreaser
solution/equipment was REGULATIONS! I impressed on them how important it
was to reduce our air emissions because of the reporting requirements. I
also told them of the cost that this "new" reporting would incur. For
example; I told them that when our emissions reached 10 tons or more, we
would have to file Title 5, and in turn that would trigger PSD and modeling.
I also told them that it would increase our TNRCC inspections. When I
related a cost figure to this reporting, they were eager to see what the
other options were. Having regulator on you site doesn't really sit well
with plant managers. Also, if you know a little bit about OSHA and some
industrial hygiene, you can show some insurance savings by protecting the
workers. We all know that protecting the worker is an essential part of our
job, but I conveyed it as a dollars and cents item to get upper management's
attention. By reducing the exposure to the worker and making the worker
more comfortable, they will in turn become more productive.
I have also found some great alternatives (all of which have a draw back.)
Selig Chemical makes an excellent replacement solvent. It is n-propyl
Bromide. This solvent does and excellent job. However, it is a
halongenated solvent and the EPA has not taken a stand on it at this time.
That worries me in that the PEL will be very low, and there could be several
draw backs on the regulatory front.
3M makes a hydrofloroether. This chemical meets all the regulatory
requirements and the EPA has taken a positive stand on it. It has a
reasonable PEL, and is worker friendly. However, the cost is extremely
high, and it doesn't work near as well as the n-propyl Bromide.
We have also looked into changing equipment. Aqueous cleaners seem to work
the best, but they are very expensive. Also, there is a company out of
Bloomington, IL that has a spray on application. It works okay, but it
doesn't do quite what we need.
Lacy A. Meyer
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [SMTP:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 1999 6:05 PM
Subject: Vapor Degreasers
Will be visiting a firm who is using a vapor degreaser with TCE as
solvent. Its a dinasaur that is apparently being misapplied. Its
refrigeration system is starting to fail as the employees are
of fumes and odors. I need to be a proactive change agent to
that there are better ways to remove lubricants and coolants from
parts prior to welding and painting. I'm requesting ammunition to
them to convince them to do source reduction and process
(aqueous cleaning or ultrasonics or other ideas you might have). I
understand there are NESHAPS reporting requirements to EPA which I
they are not doing. Can anyone fill me in on those and suggest good
Thanks in advance.
Warren J. Weaver
PO Box 5046
York, PA 17405
Certified ISO 14000 Auditor (#E051734)