Vapour degreasing of metal articles has been used as an industrial process since the 1930s and the most commonly used solvent has been Trichloroethylene. Health and safety controls on the use of Trichloroethylene (enforced by HSE) have been in place for many years. More stringent restrictions on emissions for surface cleaning installations with a solvent consumption of more than 1 tonne a year have been introduced to protect the environment with new requirements applying from 31 October 2007. Because the environmental requirements are more stringent, compliance with them should also meet health and safety needs for worker exposure.

The SEA has produced guidance in conjunction with DEFRA, EEF & HSE to assist members in meeting their legal obligations under the Solvent Emissions Directive. The guidance is available to download below:

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