Myths of Cleaning
Myth 5 of 8: Solvents will all be banned through government regulation
It’s true that for some classes of solvents their use either has been or is in the process of being phased out. However, many others are still permitted, although in some cases there are regulations regarding aspects of usage like ventilation. In general, authorities like the EPA take the view that solvents used today will not be prohibited until equally effective and affordable, but more benign, versions emerge.
Some solvents used in the past have created environmental problems. Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are two obvious examples. Use of these is governed by the Montreal and Kyoto protocols and they will disappear in due course. Likewise, solvents like tricholoroethylene (TCE) are strictly regulated and again disappearing. Volatile organic compounds, (VOC’s) are problematic and regulations regarding their use may tighten in future. But a complete ban? Not until affordable alternatives become available.