UMass Lowell Toxics Use Reduction Institute Laboratory

Database can answer your cleaning questions, just ask.

From time to time we get requests for finding safer cleaning products. Many times these questions can be answered by using our on-line test results database, CleanerSolutions.

The latest question:

From Scotland:
I'm advising a community group in Stirling who have been told that a trike unit for cleaning such stock will be situated near their houses. From a whole range of angles - green chemistry, green jobs ( more and safer jobs from not using/reducing solvent use) , water pollution, general toxics use reduction, reduced occupational hazards to workers in the unit - it doesn't seem to make sense to clean this way. Would you happen to know about the USA alternatives to solvent use for cleaning railway rolling stock? Has TURI produced any reports on this or do you know of any good contacts who might be able to help me on the subject?

Our Response:
We have done many projects replacing TCE. Here is a link to a couple of larger projects: Results 1, Results 2
This link lists the products that we have successfully tested for replacement of TCE for all soil types: Results 3
This is a somewhat shorter list for oils and grease removal: Results 4

And a question from Washington State:
We're looking to clean some ceramic parts that were held in place using Crystalbond. We had FTIR done on some parts that showed signs of staining after heating in a vacuum but the results were inconclusive. I did a search for Crystalbond FTIR and your site came up. I have two questions in your client 155 project 2 you mention FTIR showing both toluene and or Crystalbond. I was wondering if it would be possible to get a copy of the FTIR and see if that's what we're seeing. My second question has to do with the cleaning agents you discuss in C155 part 1. I've been looking for the DuPont DBE-4 (which you list as 99.6% effective) but haven't found it available in an over the counter solution, is there a brand-name product I should be looking for? Also, though it's not mentioned in your report, is there any chance the results were compared with Acetone (typically used solvent) and/or Crystalbond 509 solvent? We're going to try bulk cleaning with the Shopmaster RC you recommend (replacing the acetone currently used) but would like to try the DBE-4 for final cleaning.

Our Response:
Glad that the site provided some useful information for you. You may not be able to find DBE-4 on its own. We were informed later on that the solvent is normally sold to manufacturers of products as an ingredient. The Shopmaster RC does have a DBE mixture in it and may be the closest you can get.
Testing did include Crystalbond 590 S Stripper (see attached reports 155-4, 155-5).
The FT-IR may not be so helpful but I have included the report and image (report 155-6)

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