Solvent emissions

4 May 2002

On 20 March, the TSA held an open meeting of Scottish drycleaners to look at the Solvent Emissions Directive and imminent legislative change which will affect all cleaners, regardless of size, over the next five years.

Advising members on how to comply with legislation is one of the TSA main jobs. The Solvent Emissions regulations are likely to be implemented in the UK towards the end of this year

Roadshow pilot

This meeting was a pilot for a national "roadshow" to explain to cleaners what the SED will require and other legal issues.

Pat Dowling of Alex Reid, a key member of the TSA Retail Committee, explained in detail what cleaners will have to do to comply with the SED.

They will have to:

• register with a competent authority

• pay the annual registration fee

• devise a solvent management plan

• implement this with acceptable documentation

• achieve a very low solvent mileage

• bring net emissions down below 20g of solvent per kg of work processed - this means 80kg/litre for perc cleaning and 50kg/litre for hydrocarbon. Properly maintained fourth and fifth generation machines should be able to comply.

Existing installations will have until October 31 2007 to achieve these targets but you should start working towards them now.

New installations (brand new units just fitted out) and existing units which have undergone

substantial change will have to comply immediately from the implementation date of the new regulations.

The good news for cleaners implementing the Directive is that they will probably be allowed to deduct still residue disposals from the solvent mileage calculations if they have the correct documentation.

Compliance will mean a cleaner will use less solvent and is likely to have fewer competitors.

To implement the Directive in their business, cleaners will:

• need accurate weigh scales, checked regularly

• need step by step training notes for their operators, and to have solvent log sheets.

Competent maintenance is essential. Most machines will need much improved leak detection.Cleaners will have to do a weekly solvent mileage calculation.

The TSA Health, Safety & Environment Guidelines, have full details of health and safety compliance in dycleaners and include a sample solvent management plan. (£49 for TSA Members; £94 for non-members). Contact TSA +44 (0)208 863 7755. HSE Approved Code of Practice for COSHH (free of charge)

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