February 21, 2017
With the ever-changing regulatory and political landscape, it can be difficult to keep up with the current state of the hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) phasedown under the Montreal Protocol. Late last year at the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda, nearly 200 nations approved the timetable to phasedown high global warming potential (GWP) HFCs. Known as the Kigali Amendment, this agreement clearly defines the international phasedown paths for HFC production and use.
UNEP’s Kigali Amendment Fact Sheet (PDF, 1.02 MB) provides a comprehensive summary of the HFC phasedown, making it a great resource for fire suppression specifiers and end-users moving away from legacy high GWP HFCs like FM-200™ and ECARO-25®.
January 31, 2017
On January 11, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a draft of the Federal Register Notice proposing to ban the use of the toxic chemical trichloroethylene (TCE) in vapor degreasing due to significant health risks when used in vapor degreasing. According to its press release, the U.S. EPA is “proposing to prohibit manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce of TCE for use in vapor degreasing. EPA is also proposing to require manufacturers, processors, and distributors to notify retailers and others in their supply chains of the prohibitions.” Comments on the proposed rule must be received 60 days after date of publication in the Federal Register.
Trichloroethylene, also known as TCE or TRIKE, is a toxic volatile organic compound (VOC) that is often used in immersion cleaning, solvent cleaning and vapor degreasing applications. Because TCE poses significant health risks and because viable, safer solvent cleaning alternatives are available, it was only a matter of time before U.S. regulatory agencies proposed a TCE ban or phasedown. As a matter of fact, Europe classified TCE as a Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) under the EU REACH regulations in 2010 and, as of April 2016, the EU officially sunset the chemical.
November 22, 2016
The 3M Novec team wants to congratulate our partner Fireboy-Xintex! Last month, The International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) announced its 2016 Innovation Award winners, honoring Fireboy-Xintex Inc. with the Environmental Award for CG / MA and GA Fixed Fire Extinguishers using 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid. Every year IBEX awards marine industry companies to highlight the importance of innovation in their industry and to recognize companies that continue to create dynamic new products. This year’s award recognizes Fireboy’s commitment to a sustainable solution. Novec 1230 fluid replaces legacy technologies such as halon and FM-200™, both of which are now on phase-down schedules under the Montreal Protocol.
Read the full IBEX Press Release here.
Winners were selected by a panel of judges from Boating Writers International (BWI), a professional organization consisting of writers, editors, publishers, photographers, broadcasters, public relations specialists and others in the communications profession associated with the boating industry.
October 20, 2016
Delegates from 197 countries a reached a landmark deal to phase-down use of the fastest growing greenhouse gases, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), at the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Rwanda. According to BBC News, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has declared this amendment “a major victory for the Earth” and a “monumental step forward, that addresses the needs of individual nations but will give us the opportunity to reduce the warming of the planet by an entire half a degree centigrade.” The new agreement has a three-stage approach, phasing down highly developed countries before developing countries.
At the United Nations conference in Rwanda, 197 nations agreed to drastically reduce their use of HFCs, potent greenhouse gases used in air conditioners, refrigerators and fire protection. HFCs were developed in the 1990s to replace halons and other ozone depleting substances. Although HFCs, such as FM-200™, are not ozone depleting, they have high global warming potentials (GWPs). The continued growth of HFCs would make them a major contributor to climate change, so nations decided to phase-down their production under the same treaty that dealt with halons, the 1989 Montreal Protocol.