Hazards of PER Alternatives

October 2016 - As of 2013, the French Authorities have decided to progressively stop the use of dry-cleaning machines that use Perchloroethylene (PER) as cleaning solvent (cf. arrĂȘtĂ© 2345), which is widely used within textile cleaning for its unique properties, as it is the most efficient non-aqueous cleaning solvent, and provides a high level of safety to workers and surrounding buildings as it is non-flammable. 

Dry-cleaners in France are now forced to use alternative solvents with different physical properties that do not provide the same level of safety, in particular flammable solvents. Since the regulation came into force, several fires have broken out in dry-cleaning shops applying flammable solvents, that did only by chance not result in harm to shop workers and people living in the neighbourhood. ECSA would like to re-affirm that under controlled conditions PER is and remains the safest and most efficient solvent of choice for dry-cleaning. For decades ECSA is providing recommendations on the safe handling of PER in regards to machine operation and solvent recycling, to protect people and the environment against adverse exposure and spillage along the whole life cycle of PER.


Methylene chloride

December 2014 - Trained and certified professionals can use DCM based paint strippers in the UK.

The UK Authorities have launched in 2014 a public consultation that led to the vote by the UK Parliament for national amendments to REACH.

The amendments will allow in the UK the supply and professional use in the UK of paint strippers based on the solvent methylene chloride (dichloromethane, DCM) by introducing mandatory trainings and examinations of competence for competence for professional users. The UK Health and Safety (HSE) which was responsible for consulting on this proposal,  is currently developing the training syllabus and testing regime for professional users of DCM-based paint strippers with the assistance of Heath and Safety Laboratory.



October 2014 - Perchloroethylene out of CoRap with no further data requirements 
Download the ECSA News Release "
No further information request" for the popular dry-cleaning solvent (PDF)


Carbon Tetrachloride

January 2014 - Chlorsolv Consortium appeals to ECHA BoA.

The ChlorSolv REACH Consortium has launched an appeal to ECHA's Board of Appeal against the ECHA decision following the CoRAP 2012 process (substance evaluation).


ExpoDetergo in Milano

October 2014 - ECSA present at ExpoDetergo

ECSA Manager was  present at the ExpoDetergo International, Milano.


Methylene chloride

July 2012 - Methylene Chloride confirmed as readily biodegradable

A new study conducted by ECSA on biodegradation of dichloromethane in a closed bottle test according to OECD guidelines resulted in this finding. The study was required after an international agreement was reached this year by the OECD Cooperative Chemicals Assessment Programme on the hazard assessment of dichloromethane, leading to intense discussions on the available data on biodegradation for the substance.

The focus of the OECD Cooperative Chemicals Assessment Programme is to derive OECD-wide agreed hazard assessments of chemicals. These are available to the public and can be used for risk assessment and other activities within national or regional programmes.

The substance dichloromethane was assessed under this programme by the OECD Member States end of last year. The available studies demonstrate that methylene chloride is rapidly biodegradable. However, these studies were judged insufficient by OECD to allow classification as readily biodegradable due to the volatility of the substance and lack of a suitable OECD guideline test (OECD 301).  A recently performed Closed Bottle test (OECD 301 D) with dichloromethane confirmed that this substance is rapidly and readily biodegradable.

The members of the European Chlorinated Solvent Association (ECSA) welcomed the test results which will lead to an update of both the REACH and the OECD assessment of methylene chloride.