ARB Adopts Airborne Toxic Control Measure for Automotive Consumer Products
For immediate release
SAN DIEGO – Today the California Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted an airborne toxic control measure for automotive consumer products that contain health-threatening chemicals. The new measure is expected to cut statewide emissions of chlorinated toxic air contaminants (TACs) by 5.2 tons per day (TPD) by 2003.
ARB Executive Officer Michael P. Kenny said, "Several automotive brake cleaner products currently contain toxic chemicals. The Board's action today substantially reduces that exposure and makes working conditions safer for automotive repair workers. The action also reduces soil, ground water, and waste water contamination statewide."
Automotive consumer products are commonly used in maintenance and repair activities to remove grease, grime and dirt from a variety of automobile parts. The control measure sets up rules for the manufacture and sale of products containing the following TACs: perchloroethylene (Perc), methylene chloride (MeCl), and trichloroethylene (TCE). Statewide emission estimates for automotive consumer products are estimated at 4.2 TPD for Perc, 0.7 TPD for MeCl and 0.3 TPD for TCE.
The Board identified Perc, MeCl, and TCE between July 1989 and October 1991 as carcinogens with no identified threshold exposure level. Noncancer health effects of Perc include dizziness, headache, liver and kidney damage, and rapid heartbeat. MeCl exposure can contribute to cardiac arrhythmia and loss of consciousness. TCE's health effects include headache nausea, tremors and respiratory irritation. These health effects can also occur from exposures in the workplace.
The measure sets up key dates for the phase-out of automotive consumer products containing Perc, MeCl, and TCE:
- Automotive consumer products manufactured after June 30, 2001, must not contain Perc, MeCl, or TCE.
- Products manufactured on or before June 30, 2001, containing Perc, MeCl, and TCE, may not be sold or distributed for use after June 30, 2002.
- Finally, automotive maintenance and repair facilities may not use products containing Perc, MeCl, or TCE after December 31, 2002.
There are already alternate products on the market that can replace those controlled under the measure. Up to 70 percent of automotive maintenance and repair facilities now use complying products, therefore, product cost is not expected to increase.