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AIHAJ. 2000 May-Jun;61(3):431-8.

A study on the substitution of trichloroethylene as a spot remover in the textile industry.

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Université de Montréal, Département de santé au travail, Québec, Canada.


Since the ban on 1,1,1-trichloroethane, the textile industry has been using trichloroethylene (TCE) as a spot remover to clean oil and grease stains from fabrics at inspection stations. TCE is a toxic substance recently classified as a probable human carcinogen. The purpose of this study was to use a systematic substitution procedure to replace TCE with a less hazardous option for spot removing in a textile company. After documenting the problem and understanding the processes involved, numerous sources of information were searched to identify the greatest number of plausible solutions. Then criteria were established to help consider only the options that seemed technically acceptable. Five options were retained: 1-bromopropane, a petroleum-based solvent, a hydrochlorofluorocarbon-based solvent, an appliance that uses hot steam, and the elimination of the oil and grease spots at the source. The latter option, which had been partially implemented by the textile company, was not considered in this study. After being tested in the workplace and evaluated on their technical plausibility and impact on health, safety, and environment, the remaining four options were not considered as suitable replacements for TCE. Thus, local ventilation with the implementation of further measures for the reduction/elimination of stains at the source were recommended to lower TCE exposure for workers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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