Substitution of Chlorinated solvents: Tetrachloroethylene in textile manufacturing
The chlorinated solvent Tetrachloroethylene (CAS 127-18-4; perchloroethylene/ PER) was found to be used as a spot cleaner/ stain remover in textile and garment manufacturing.
PER is also used industrially in dry cleaning of garments. It can be used as additive in adhesives, greasing agents or coatings for the leather, shoe or metal processing.
Tetrachloroethylene is hazardous to human health due to its carcinogenicity (IARC, carcinogen group 2A). It is also listed on the SDSC as endocrine disruptor.
The alternative substances, cyclohexane and propan-2-ol, do not list on the SDSC.
The substance is suspected of causing cancer and is known to be toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects. Therefore the substance is classified according to CLP Regulation, Annex VI (1272/2008) as Carc. 2 and Aquatic Chronic 2.
Despite the known hazardous effects, PER is used in many industrial applications in the EU and outside due to the
excellent technical properties. Exposure situations mainly affect workers through skin contact or inhalation and the
Restrictions and occupational safety and health and environmental measures are defined in many countries for the use. The use in closed processes to avoid the exposition and the monitoring of occupational limit values for long term and short term exposure are essential in existing regulations.
If the use of a spot cleaner/stain remover in open processes cannot be avoided a non-hazardous alternative must be found, which has comparable excellent technical properties.
The investigation of suitable alternatives to PER as stain remover is ongoing.
At date a mixture of cyclohexane (CAS 110-82-7; Classification Flam. Liq.2/ Asp. Tox. 1 /Skin Irrit. 2 /STOT SE 3/ Aquatic Acute 1/Aquatic Chronic 1) and Propan-2-ol (CAS 67-63-0; Classification Flam. Liq. 2/ Eye Irrit. 2/ STOT SE 3) is in use as alternative spot remover. Always based on usage of appropriate personal protective equipment during use.
Chlorinated solvents are widely used as stain removers in textile garment. The substitution proved positive in the elimination of a carcinogen and an endocrine disruptor.
GESTIS, International Limit Values: http://limitvalue.ifa.dguv.de
Harmonised classification of cyclohexane: https://echa.europa.eu/de/information-on-chemicals/cl-inventory-database/-/discli/details/37570
Harmonised classification of Propan-2-ol: https://echa.europa.eu/de/information-on-chemicals/cl-inventory-database/-/discli/details/22308Further languages available
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Publication or last update: 04.01.2018