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PERC Designated as Higher Hazard

Organization(s) Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection
Project Description The Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) Program designated perchloroethylene (perc) - a chemical commonly used in dry cleaning - as a Higher Hazard Substance. Massachusetts companies that use at least 1,000 pounds (about 75 gallons) of perc annually and have 10 or more employees must report their use in 2009 to MassDEP by July 1, 2010. Companies newly covered by TURA must identify and evaluate safer alternatives beginning in 2012. The Office of Technical Assistance and Technology (OTA) and the Toxic Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell will work with companies to help them examine safer options and reduce toxic chemical use.

The TURA program estimates that up to 50 Massachusetts facilities are likely to be affected by the new Higher Hazard Substance designation. Perc users include dry cleaners and companies involved in chemical packaging, printing, metal working, electronics, and plastics and coating industries.

In the case of perchloroethylene used in garment cleaning, vapor degreasing, and brake cleaning, safer options include both chemical substitutes and process changes. A promising alternative for dry cleaners is "wet cleaning" - a machine-based process that uses water and specially formulated detergents, softeners, and conditioners. This method can save energy and costs while protecting human and environmental health.

Under the 2006 amendments to MA TURA, the TURA Administrative Council, with input from a Science Advisory Board and MA TURI, may recommend up to 10 chemicals per year for designation as Higher Hazard Substances. The amendments are meant to focus the State's toxics use reduction efforts on chemicals that pose the most serious threats to human health and the environment. In addition to designating perc as a Higher Hazard Chemical, the TURA Program designated three chemicals - isobutyl alcohol, sec-butyl alcohol, and n-butyl alcohol - as Lower Hazard Substances. Companies that use these chemicals - primarily in paints, coatings, and thinners - will no longer be required to pay a chemical use fee to the State.

More Info www.mass.gov/?pageID=eoeeapressrelease&L=1&L0=Home&sid=Eoeea&b=pressrelease&f=090203_pr_tur&csid=Eoeea
Project Contact
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Project Keywords
Industrial Sectors Garment Cleaning
Activity Keywords Research and development
Newsletter Northeast Assistance & Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 19 No. 1, Spring 2009 [PDF]


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Last Modified 09/08/2009

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