ECSA Sustainability program

ECSA started its sustainability programme in 2007 with the ambitious aim to cover the whole chlorinated solvents value chain.The programme was prepared by an independent consultancy with the mission to ensure responsible production, distribution, use and end-of-life management of chlorinated solvents.

Nine objectives were set under the three vision elements: 

  • Sustainability by product and application;
  • Value chain engagement;
  • Stakeholder engagement and communication.

Milestones achieved:

Sustainability by product and application

  • ECSA Product & Application toolbox available online. Recommendations for a safe & sustainable use for 5 solvents and more than 60 applications. More than 350 individual activities covered. Consult the Product & Application Toolbox.
  • Dichloromethane and carbon tetrachloride successfully assessed under the OECD HPV Program.
  • Chlorinated Solvents: improved Safety & Quality Assessment Questionnaire for Distributors of Chlorinated Solvents (ESAD)
  • Trichloroethylene: Charter for the safe use of Trichloroethylene signed by all relevant ECSA members and their down stream users.

Value chain engagement

  • Sustainability workshop held with solvents distributors in cooperation with FECC
  • Perchloroethylene: E-DryClean sustainable dry cleaning processing launched for employees and employers/management of dry-cleaning shops.

Stakeholder engagement and communication

  • ECSA Guidance on Storage and Handling of Chlorinated Solvents translated into several languages (English, French, German, Italian and Russian).
  • Revamp of ECSA website to improve stakeholder communication

See more information in the following chapters summarizing the key elements of the programme:

ECSA Sustainability vision page
Sustainability by product and application page
Value chain engagement page
Stakeholder engagement and communication page

Last update : 05/2018

DCM & the Ozone Layer

November 2017 

Dichloromethane (DCM) is a highly Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) with a short atmospheric lifetime of only 0.4 years, hence defined as a Very Short Lived Substance (VSLS), but a negligible Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP). Recent publications (e.g. Hossaini et al.) discussed the effect of DCM on the stratospheric ozone, which postulated a high future growth rate of global DCM production and emissions, which led to discussions to include DCM into the Montreal Protocol on the protection of the ozone layer. ECSA and HSIA have provided factual information on global production and emissions by industry, global natural production, behaviour and effect on the stratospheric ozone, and other regulatory developments at a UNEP meeting on the Montreal Protocol in Nov 2017 (available here), based on a scientific assessment of Archie McCulloch (full paper available here; a one-pager summary is also available here).


 

TRI Authorisations granted

September 2018

Trichloroethylene (TRI) can be used safely under controlled conditions. Five authorisations have been granted to BlueCube Germany (a subsidiary of Olin) to continue to produce TRI for specific uses, for example Industrial Parts Cleaning. Customers of this producer can use TRI for these applications under the conditions set by the EU Commission and the defined risk management measures.


 

UBA PMT criteria published

February 2018

The German Environment Agency (UBA, Umweltbundesamt) has published the assessment of "Persistence, Mobility and Toxicity (PMT)" with the desire to protect drinking water sources. Applying conservative criteria for PMT as defined by UBA, perchloroethylene (PER) and trichloroethylene (TRI) appear as number 2 and 3 on the report. UBA also aims to establish PMT as an equivalent concern to identify SVHC substance for authorisation under REACH. ECSA does not consider SVHC identification using PMT criteria as the appropriate tool to improve drinking water quality due to this being a pure hazard based approach and thus does not consider risk. TRI is already listed in Annex XIV (authorisation) and today PER is handled almost exclusively in closed systems with no intentional emission to water or soil. For further information see the ECSA position paper on PER here.


 

New Study on Dichloromethane

February 2018

Together with HSIA, ECSA supported a study to clarify the mode of action of cancer formation for Dichloromethane (DCM). The study results have been published end of 2018. The outcome of the study shows that below the threshold there is no risk of cancer formation related to DCM.

The full paper is available here.