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April 2009
No ban on use of EnSolv as cleaning solvent in Europe

Rumours have been circulating recently  that EnSolv   (stabilised n-Propyl Bromide) was to be banned in Europe because of  its ozone depletion potential (ODP).

This is completely wrong.

The EU has confirmed the continued use of the solvent normal Propyl Bromide (nPB). The decision was taken by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in the framework of the 2009 recast of the EU Regulation on the limitation of ozone depleting substances (ODS Regulation). The ODS Regulation is the legal instrument implementing the EU’s obligations under the Montreal Protocol on ozone depleting substances.
The new ODS Regulation establishes a reporting scheme, under which producers, importers, and exporters will communicate the production volumes and use of nPB in the EU.
EnviroTech is pleased to see that the EU took a decision which respects available data and scientific proof. We expect EU decision-makers will continue to base their decisions on sound science when the case for reclassification of nPB is heard at the European Courts of Justice.
EnSolv is safe for people and the environment which is why sales have grown so rapidly in the past two years and is why the EU Commission has to monitor the increased consumption.

n - Propyl Bromide (nPB) is, like many other substances, rightly under constant review by the UN Environmental Panel to ensure that it is not affecting the ozone layer. The UN EP and the US EPA asked for a very sophisticated 3 dimensional study on the affects of very short lived halogenated compounds from Prof. Don Weubbles, who is the originator of  ODPs and this is due for publication soon. This report will give  comparative ODPs for nPB and other commonly used halogenated solvents which until now has not been possible due to the difficulties of comparing different atmospheric models. The report demonstrates that nPB will have minimal impact on the ozone layer and gives no cause for concern.

Volatile halogenated compounds are the substances which most effect the ozone layer.  Compounds containing Fluorine in particular  are under constant review as this is the most reactive  of the halogens. The original fluorocarbons, CFC R11 and 113,  sold in Europe as, Freon and Arklone, were used as refrigerants, aerosol propellants and cleaning solvents and were the original culprits for ozone depletion and phased out of use during the 1970s and 80s allowing the ozone layer to slowly recover. Many others have been restricted and banned since this time the most recent, used for cleaning, being HCFC 141b. When first introduced this was assumed to be an acceptable replacement, however, further work over the following years established that it too was depleting the ozone layer and it was  banned together with other fluorine based liquids used in refrigeration and air conditioning (the “F” gases). Now new fluorine compounds and blends are again being offered as alternatives for cleaning, such as HFEs and HFCs, and only time will tell whether these too will cause problems with ozone depletion and global warming.

Because nPB,(EnSolv is the patented stabilsed version) is a perfect and very simple drop-in replacement for the other solvents used in vapour degreasing it has been the subject of innumerable studies for its environmental and toxicological effects. nPB is not considered by any of the International agencies as a carcinogen and in many parts of the world it is becoming the solvent of choice for managements who do not wish to expose their workforce to carcinogens. EnSolv is a patented product used worldwide.



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