UMass Lowell Toxics Use Reduction Institute Laboratory

1:43 PM

Lab update of activities for December 2009

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Green Cleaning Testing
The lab is assisting several companies in their search for safer cleaning methods. One company is looking to replace toluene in its pre-painting operation. The lab has conducted bench testing and some basic piloting of the top products. The company is going to start evaluating these products on-site in January.

The wax removal project started back in October found a couple of options. While the lab has been waiting for sample parts, the company has taken the successful results and applied the testing methods on-site, using other products. They were getting good results with simply boiling water, skimming the wax off the top, then adding cleaner to the boiling pot to remove the rest of the wax.

We are getting ready to work with a LED company to replace acetone in their cleaning process. Representatives from the company came to the TURI Lab to discuss the project.

The site visit at the company looking for assistance in reducing the use of nPB in its aircraft parts manufacturing facility took place and the lab’s objective was to identify possible non-aqueous wipe solvents. Testing is ongoing.

In addition to the end users of safer cleaning products, the lab has been working with a couple of manufacturers of janitorial/household cleaners. Testing has been conducted to help these products get Green Seal and EPA DfE certification/recognition.

Overall, the lab has worked with 7 companies since July and conducted 34 trials.

More work has been done to try and provide end users with a way to easily identify products that have received performance testing for janitorial applications. The plan will be to link the products with certifications to the testing we have conducted for these products. The testing will include all of the relevant testing beyond the minimum testing required for certification, allowing the end user to get a better idea of how well these products work.

Material Safety Data and Technical Data sheet links were checked to determine which products needed new MSDS/TDSs or if the vendor contact information was up to date. Early next year the lab will begin to reach out to vendors to get newer products listed in the database.

The lab presented at the TURA 20th anniversary symposium held in early November. The topic focused on how the lab’s hands-on assistance has increased how many companies have adopted the changes we have identified for them. Before the hands-on assistance the lab had a 30% adoption rate, after changing the program, 80% adoption.

The lab is working on a couple of articles looking at how well green cleaners really work. The paper will be based on the testing program that the lab uses to assess products.

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