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Safer Alternatives for Toxic Chemicals and High VOC Content Industrial Formulations

Safer Alternatives for Toxic Chemicals and High VOC Content Industrial Formulations

 

The trainings focused on low-VOC, low toxicity formulations, and non-chemical alternatives to toxic and high VOC content formulations used extensively today in three application areas. 

  • Graffiti management 
  • Parts cleaning and automotive aerosol cleaning in auto repair facilities 
  • Parts cleaning, coating equipment cleaning, hand wipe cleaning, and thinning in industrial facilities 

The fourth and fifth sessions go into greater detail on some of the safer formulations and technologies that are available commercially.

Session 1: Graffiti Management

This session will describe the graffiti removers on the market today. Millions of dollars are spent each year on graffiti control by cities and counties and safer alternatives are available. It will include a discussion of three alternative safer graffiti removers that were formulated and tested by the Institute for Research and Technical Assistance (IRTA), a nonprofit organization during an EPA project conducted in California. It will also include a description of many other processes and technologies that can be used for graffiti management. The costs of the alternatives will be discussed.

Session 2: Auto Repair Facility Parts Cleaning and Aerosol Cleaning

This session targets the mineral spirits used in parts cleaners and the halogenated and nonhalogenated solvents used in auto aerosol cleaners today. Many of these formulations have high VOC content and many pose toxicity problems. It focuses on the water-based cleaning formulation alternatives for parts cleaning, water-based brake cleaning formulations and equipment, and safer formulations for other aerosol cleaners that were formulated and tested by IRTA in California auto repair facilities. The costs of the alternatives are presented and discussed.

Session 3: Industrial Operation Parts Cleaning, Aerosol and Nonaerosol Handwipe Cleaning, Coating Equipment Cleaning and Thinning

This session provides detailed information on the water-based cleaner alternatives that can be used in parts cleaning in industrial machine shops. It covers coating equipment cleanup solvents that are safer and can substitute for the toxic and high VOC content cleaners used today. It also identifies safer alternative formulations that can be used in metals processing and aerospace companies for hand wipe cleaning. Finally, focuses on information on safer alternative thinning formulations for autobody shops and other solvent-borne coatings used in industrial companies. Costs of the alternatives are discussed.

Session 4: Formulator/Supplier Alternatives Session

The session on May 18 included formulators/suppliers of commercial products or technologies that can be used as safer alternatives to many of the toxic and high VOC content products used today.  The session featured Jeff Beard from Brulin who discussed a product his company offers for aerosol cleaning in auto repair facilities and for both aerosol and nonaerosol hand wipe cleaning in industrial facilities.  Next Kory Shahani and Ajit Shahani from eChem talked about water cleaning equipment that can be used in auto repair and industrial facilities, water-based cleaners for use in the equipment, and two low-VOC, low toxicity graffiti removers.

Session 5: Formulator/Supplier Alternatives Session (Cont.)

The session includes a formulator/supplier of commercial products or technologies that can be used as safer alternatives to many of the toxic and high VOC content products used today.  On May 25, Steve Wilson of Cold Jet presented information on a dry ice blasting system that can be used for graffiti removal, engine degreasing in auto repair facilities and plant equipment cleaning in industrial facilities.

About the Instructor:

Dr. Katy Wolf is a consultant on solvent alternatives. She was previously the director of the Institute for Research and Technical Assistance (IRTA), a nonprofit organization established in 1989. IRTA’s work involved finding safer low VOC, low toxicity alternatives. IRTA also performed emerging and advanced technology demonstrations that reduce or eliminate the use of hazardous substances. IRTA’s work focused heavily on solvent alternatives in cleaning, dry cleaning, electronics, paint stripping, coatings, lubricants, paint thinners, and adhesives. 

 

Dr. Wolf spent fourteen years at the Rand Corporation, where she performed research on alternatives to ozone-depleting substances and chlorinated solvents. Dr. Wolf has authored more than 200 publications. She has a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics.