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Re: Replacement for MEK

Tammy -

You may want to check the library at the United Soybean Board
(www.unitedsoybean.org) for information on soy based solvents (methyl
soyate) as replacements for MEK.   There have also been reports on the
p2techlist server on ethyl lactate and combinations of methyl soyate and
ethyl lactate.

The EPA Design for the Environment Program (DfE) would also like to get
more information on safer substitutes for MEK and other volatile organic
compounds and hazardous air pollutants, such as MEK, toluene, xylene,
ethyl benzene, etc., used in auto refinish paints and other
formulations.  DfE would be interested in actual success stories in this
area.  The DfE Formulator Project has started to compile a table of
selected properties for representative solvents  as a discussion piece
for the Green Chemistry Conference in Washington, DC, in June,  to
encourage more activitiy in this area.  You can find the table, which
currently includes MEK, methyl soyate, and ethyl lactate,  on the DfE
website at www.epa.gov/dfe/PDFs/table3.pdf.

In addition, the virtual auto body shop, co-developed by the
Co-ordinating Committee for Auto Repair (CCAR) and DfE, links to readily
accessible health effects information on MEK and other toxic solvents
used in automotive paints and other formulations
(www.ccar-greenlink.org/cshops/solvents.html).  You can find more
information on the DfE Auto Refinish Project at


Mary Cushmac/David DiFiore
U.S. EPA Design for the Environment Program (7406M)

                    Tammy Allen                                                                 
                    <tallen@co.pinella        To:     p2tech@great-lakes.net                    
                    s.fl.us>                  cc:                                               
                    Sent by:                  Subject:     Replacement for MEK                  
                    01/09/02 10:30 AM                                                           
                    Please respond to                                                           
                    Tammy Allen                                                                 

Can anyone identify a potential alternative cleaning solvent for MEK in
the following application:

A facility is trying to eliminate the use of MEK in cleaning, but has
hit a snag in their screen cleaning (screen printing).  The inks they
use are MEK-based and cannot be changed currently due to their
government customer specs.  The MEK is wiped on an 8x8 screen.  So far,
they tried ethyl acetate, but it dissolved the PVA in the screen.  Now
they are trying acetone, but the employees complain of smell and health
hazards.  Any suggestions on a solvent that is safe and could quickly
remove an MEK-based ink without hurting PVA-based materials?

Thank you for any assistance,

Tammy L. Allen
Senior Environmental Specialist
Pinellas County Environmental Management
512 S. Ft. Harrison Ave.
Clearwater, FL  33763

(727) 464-4761
Fax (727) 464-3174

e-mail: tallen@co.pinellas.fl.us