Get The Right Cleaning Solvent Alternative

Sustainability and regulatory concerns are driving companies to look for alternatives to traditional solvents like N-Propyl Bromide (NPB), Trichloroethylene (TCE), and perchloroethylene (PCE/ PERC) for metal parts cleaning and degreasing.  Hubbard-Hall has been helping manufacturers tackle these issues with lower-impact solvents or aqueous cleaning chemistries.

Current Regulatory Status: April 2024

  • Trichloroethylene: In October 2023, EPA proposed a risk management rule to address unreasonable risk posed by trichloroethylene (TCE) to human health, including the final revised risk determination for TCE
  • Perchloroethylene: In June 2023, EPA proposed to ban most uses of PCE and establish a workplace chemical protection program (WCCP) for uses not prohibited to address the unreasonable risk to human health.
  • nPB: also known as 1-bromopropane (1-BP), In December 2022, EPA released a final revised risk determination for 1-BP. The final revised risk determination finds that 1-BP, as a whole chemical, presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health under its conditions of use. Risk evaluation for 1-Bromopropane
  • Methylene Chloride: EPA finalizes regulations under the TSCA to manage the risks associated with methylene chloride. The regulations include prohibitions on the manufacturing, processing, and distribution of methylene chloride for consumer uses. Additionally, most industrial and commercial uses, including paint and coating removers, are prohibited. Strict workplace protections are established through the Workplace Chemical Protection Program to ensure the safety of workers in remaining uses.
  • 18 Months After Finalization (Estimated Late 2025)1: Workplaces will have approximately 18 months from April 2024 to comply with the Workplace Chemical Protection Program. During this time, they must implement stringent workplace controls and periodically monitor their environments to ensure that workers are not exposed to harmful levels of methylene chloride.
  • Future: EPA plans to hold webinars to educate stakeholders about the final risk management rule and will develop guides to help small businesses comply with the regulations. Opportunities for public and stakeholder engagement will be provided, including one-on-one meetings with EPA representatives and access to email alerts and public dockets for updates and information.

Which is the Right Choice for You?

Next-Gen Solvents


Solvent cleaning or vapor degreasing is a process in which an organic solvent is used to dissolve organic contaminants on the component.

More environmentally friendly solvents such as modified alcohols (Dowclene™ and Dualene™) can be used in a vacuum degreaser for cost savings, safety, and efficacy. This type of solvent cleaning will require capital investment, including the purchase of a vacuum degreaser.

Tergo is a precision cleaning fluid that is a non-flammable, thermally and hydrolytically stable cleaner that can be dropped into an open top vapor degreaser with minimal changes or retrofitting.

Aqueous Cleaners


Aqueous cleaning is a water-based process that utilizes chemical additives, surfactants and rinsing to remove contaminants.

We offer 70+ water-based chemistries for any soil, substrate or cleaning process.  With a transition to aqueous cleaning, you should consider how this will impact your process with the use of heat, multiple tanks, drying time and increased footprint.

Cleaning celebrity, Mike Valenti, joined our podcast for a 2-part series on this very topic: Part 1 & Part 2.

Looking for Proof?

Looking for Proof?

This webinar hosted by TURI (Toxic Use Reduction Institute) showcases how CD Aero was able to find annual cost savings and productivity improvements when switching from solvent to aqueous cleaning with the help of our experts.

Cleaning is a Process

Although chlorinated/fluorinated/brominated solvents have advantages in precision cleaning, there are other methods for removing soils from the surface of metal. Cleaning is considered a process because it is not just about the chemistry – good cleaning depends on several factors:

  • Metal type
  • Soil type
  • Parts geometry
  • Available footprint
  • Application cleanliness requirements
  • Throughput requirements
  • Energy demands
  • EHS and regulatory
  • Waste handling
  • Cost

Why Switch to an Alternative?

On December 20, 2019, the EPA finalized the designation of 20 chemical substances as “high priority for risk evaluation” under the Toxic Substance Controls Act (TSCA). Included are Methylene chloride, Perchloroethylene (PCE/ PERC), n-Propyl Bromide (NPB) – which the EPA refers to as 1-bromopropane – and Trichlorethylene (TCE).

Today, these chemicals are moving through the process required by TSCA to evaluate any unreasonable risks they may present to human health or the environment.  The next step is risk management of these existing chemicals in order of priority. There are several actions EPA could take to address the unreasonable risk, including regulations prohibiting or limiting the manufacture, processing, distribution, commercial use, or disposal of the chemical substance, as applicable.

Solvent Risk Mitigation by Regulatory Bodies

In addition, different regulating bodies have different opinions on risk mitigation. Below is an example on how OSHA, ACGIH and the EPA differ in acceptable exposure limits for TCE/PEC/nPB/MEC.
SolventOSHA (PEL) ppmACGIH (TLV) ppmEPA (ECEL) ppm

Ppm – parts per million
Tlv – threshold limit value
Pel – permissible expose limit
Ecel – existing chemical exposure limit (8 hour)
Stel – short term exposure limit (15 minutes)

Ready to take the first step toward solvent replacement?
Schedule a cleaning consult today.