ODS Regulation

Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) are internationally regulated by the Montreal Protocol of 1987 and its succession amendments.

These are implemented into European legislation by the regulation EC 1005/2009 on substances that deplete the ozone layer, valid from 1.1.2010. This regulation supersedes the former regulation EC 2037/2000. Consult this Regulation here.

The new as well as the old regulation have no impact on the three chlorinated solvents DCM, TRI and PER and their use is not restricted in any means by this legislation. However, two other substances being manufactured by the producers of chlorinated solvents are affected, i.e. Carbon Tetrachloride (CTC) and, starting from 2010, Chloromethane or Methyl Chloride (MeCl).

CTC shows a stratospheric ozone depleting potential (ODP) of 1.1 (reference: R 11 = 1), therefore its manufacture, recycling, uses, volumes for certain uses, disposal, import and export of CTC (or mixtures or wastes containing CTC > 1 %) have been regulated since the implementation of ODS legislation. It is mainly used as an industrial intermediate and only a small fraction as a special solvent in a few industrial processes or as a laboratory solvent. It is no more allowed to use CTC for the synthesis of other ozone depletion substances like FCHCs (R11 o R12), HFCs, FBCs and halons which were used in previous times as refrigerants or fire extinguishing agents. Emissions during manufacture, transport, use and disposal must be minimised by application of strictly controlled conditions (closed systems).

Each participant in the whole supply chain is obliged to report annually relevant statistical data to the European and national authorities. For further details please see the ODS regulation EC 1005/2009 and the website of the European ODS secretariat. Additional national restrictions may exist in certain countries.

MeCl (methyl chloride) is almost exclusively used as an industrial intermediate and only a small fraction as a low temperature solvent in special industrial processes or as a laboratory reagent. It is virtually not relevant as an ODS due to its very low stratospheric ozone depleting potential (ODP) of 0.02 (reference: R 11 = 1) and its use under practically emission free strictly controlled conditions as MeCl is a gas (stored and transported pressure liquefied) that needs to be handled in closed systems.

Thus man-made industrial emissions are not relevant compared to the several million tons that are naturally produced by algae, bacteria, fungi and certain plants in the oceans and in soil all over the world.

MeCl is a 'new substance' under the ODS regulation meaning that its manufacture, use, import and export are not restricted in any way. Nevertheless, manufacturers, importers and exporters (but not users) of MeCl or mixtures containing > 1 % MeCl are obliged to report annually statistical data to the European and national authorities within the first quarter of a new year.

Last update: 06/2014

 

 

IOELVs for DCM, CTC and PER published

February 2017

Indicative Occupational Exposure Limit Values (IOELVs) for DCM, CTC and PER have been published by the EU Commission (cf. DIRECTIVE (EU) 2017/164 of 31.1.2017), which are in line with the REACH DNEL(inhalation) for workers. These IOELVs have to be considered by member states for setting national exposure limits (OELs), which they have to accomplish by 21. August 2018. Only national OELs are legally binding for occupational safety, whereas the IOELVs have to be considered by users in case no OELs is set, yet.  The relevant OELs are provided with the SDS of the solvents suppliers (cf. chapter 8.1). 

 

IARC monograph on DCM

January 2017

DCM has been re-classified by IARC (IARC website) from Group 2B (Possibly carcinogenic to humans) to the next higher Group 2A (Probably carcinogenic to humans). This reclassification from 2014 has been published recently (Dichloromethane). In the opinion of ECSA the reclassification is not scientifically justified. IARC Monograph classifications are also questioned by other associations such as the American Chemical Council (ACC). However the IARC classification is of no regulatory relevance in EU as European legislation is triggered by classification according to the CLP (GHS) regulation (EC 1272/2008).  

 

New Study on DCM

October 2016

Together with HSIA, ECSA supported a study to clarify the mode of action of cancer formation for methylene chloride (DCM). A publication is expected soon in a peer reviewed scientific journal. The outcome of the study shows that below a threshold there is no risk on cancer formation related to DCM.

 

Use of Perchloroethylene safe in Germany

October 2016

The German federal authorities (LAS) published a comprehensive guidance on the safe use of PER in dry-cleaning based on German regulations (2. BImSchV in force since 1990). ECSA supported the English translation of this guidance, which is now available on the website of the LAVG, the federal authority in charge. 

The  recent exposure study of the LAS (2015) , as referenced in the guideline, proved that the use of PER is safe, if PER is applied according to regulations such as the 2. BImSchV and exposure is very low, well below the current German OEL.