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EU’S PROPOSED EXPOSURE LIMITS FOR TRICHLOROETHYLENE
A new initiative launched in January by the European Commission includes proposed changes to the EU’s Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive that would set exposure limits or other measures for seven chemical carcinogens, including trichloroethylene (TCE). A fact sheet published by the commission indicates that liver and kidney cancer are associated with exposures to TCE. The commission further states that the chemical also causes eye and skin irritation, may cause drowsiness or dizziness, and is suspected of causing genetic defects.
In November 2016, EPA named TCE among the first 10 chemicals it will evaluate for potential risks to human health and the environment under the new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) legislation. The following month, EPA proposed banning two uses of TCE: as a spot cleaner in dry cleaning and as an aerosol degreaser.
Information related to exposure limits for TCE appears below.
From the European Commission fact sheet on protecting workers from cancer-causing chemicals:
Under the OSH framework, risks to the safety and health of workers must be eliminated or reduced to a minimum. The Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive sets a number of concrete provisions specific to chemical carcinogens. Employers must identify and assess risks to workers associated with exposure to specific carcinogens and mutagens, and must prevent exposure where risks occur.
SOURCES
European Commission: “Annex to the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council Amending Directive 2004/37/EC on the Protection of Workers from the Risks Related to Exposure to Carcinogens or Mutagens at Work,” (
PDF
, January 2017).
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Editor's Note: Fumes vs. Vapors
 
The original wording from the Center for Public Integrity's report "Common Solvent Keeps Killing Workers, Consumers" mistakenly refers to "fumes" in a context where "vapors" is the correct term. The Synergist has corrected this error in the digital edition.
 
Unfortunately, the error found its way into the print version of the November issue. The Synergist regrets the error and will publish a correction in the December issue.
 
Ed Rutkowski, editor
Editor's Note: Fumes vs. Vapors The original wording from the Center for Public Integrity's report "Common Solvent Keeps Killing Workers, Consumers" mistakenly refers to "fumes" in a context where "vapors" is the correct term. The Synergist has corrected this error in the digital edition. Unfortunately, the error found its way into the print version of the November issue. The Synergist regrets the error and will publish a correction in the December issue. Ed Rutkowski, editor
 
Editor's Note: Fumes vs. Vapors The original wording from the Center for Public Integrity's report "Common Solvent Keeps Killing Workers, Consumers" mistakenly refers to "fumes" in a context where "vapors" is the correct term. The Synergist has corrected this error in the digital edition. Unfortunately, the error found its way into the print version of the November issue. The Synergist regrets the error and will publish a correction in the December issue. Ed Rutkowski, editor