Trichloroethylene, or TCE, is a priority chemical identified under TSCA. It is a toxic organic compound typically only used by industry as a solvent to remove grease from metal parts, as a spot cleaner or to make hydrofluorocarbon chemicals. It is carcinogenic to humans by all routes, and EPA estimates nearly 250 million pounds are used in the U.S. annually. TCE has gone through a Risk Evaluation process under TSCA and in November of 2020, EPA published their Final TCE Risk Evaluation. The final risk evaluation examined 54 conditions of use and found the majority created an "unreasonable risk" to users. As a result, new restrictions and regulations will follow.
In Kansas, aerospace manufacturers and their job shops are the primary users of TCE. Under an EPA grant, the Pollution Prevention Institute (PPI) worked with its TCE users to host stakeholder meetings or roundtables in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021. Read more about these roundtables and view past content below.
Four different TCE Roundtables were held in Wichita, Kansas, targeting aerospace original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their job shops that use TCE. The 2017 and 2018 events were limited to stakeholders who had TRI reportable quantities of TCE use. This allowed PPI to host a smaller meeting of stakeholders with similar quantities and process use. Despite the stakeholders being competitors, 100% of the industries invited participated in both the 2017 and 2018 TCE Roundtables.
The 2019 event included any Kansas aerospace industries that used TCE. The event was recorded and included expert regulatory and research guest speakers from EPA Headquarters, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and a featured speaker from SAFECHEM. Resources from all three events are posted below.
The Jan. 26, 2021 event was held virtually due to the pandemic. It feature an EPA presentation on the Final TCE Risk Evaluation and case studies on TCE alternative solvent cleaners and tools.
TCE roundtable resources
- 2017 presentation file: PPI and partners
- 2018 presentation files: PPI and EPA
- 2019 presentation files: PPI, EPA and KDHE
- 2019 recording
- Environmental contamination public health concerns related to TCE use
- NESHAP Subpart T as it relates to getting out of "once in, always in"
- EPA Risk Management for TCE
- EPA Safer Choice Program
- Alternatives from MA Toxic Use Reduction Institute
- Select BMPS for TCE degreasing
- Pollution prevention services and intern program
- International Aerospace Environmental Group's work on alternatives and TSCA resources