ECSA started its sustainability programme in 2007 with the ambitious aim to cover the whole chlorinated solvents value chain.


The programme was prepared by an independent consultancy with the mission to ensure responsible production, distribution, use and end-of-life management of chlorinated solvents. Nine objectives were set under the three vision elements: Sustainability by product and application; Value chain engagement; Stakeholder engagement and communication.


ECSA reviewed the progress in 2012. The online toolbox is now extended to a 5th substance; Carbon Tetrachloride and is even more user friendly and accurate.  The sheer number of results is already impressive: for example, ECSA analyzed 60 applications and summarized recommendations for a safe & sustainable use of the chlorinated solvents in an online toolbox. This Product & Application Toolbox contains recommendations for more than 350 individual activities. Consult the Product & Application Toolbox.


In 2012 the ECSA Guidance on Storage and Handling of Chlorinated Solvents was translated into several languages to support distributors and users of Chlorinated Solvents in their local language (English, French, German, Italian and Russian are now available online).
Not only the sheer quantity but also the quality of the results in the sustainability programme is worthy of mention: for example, dichloromethane and carbon tetrachloride are the first two REACH substances that passed the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Chemicals Assessment.


European Chlorinated Solvents Producers can be proud of the substantial progress that has been made under their EC 2012 Sustainability report cover page2012 Sustainability report cover pageSA Sustainability Programme between 2007 and 2012. ECSA will continue its efforts in pro-active communication towards stakeholders, such as the revamped website which delivers comprehensive information about chlorinated solvents and adds tools for a further dialogue with the downstream users of chlorinated solvents.


See more information in the following chapters summarizing the key elements of the programme or access the full report


Internal pages of this chapter


ECSA Sustainability vision page
Sustainability by product and application page
Value chain engagement page
Stakeholder engagement and communication page



IOELVs for DCM, CTC and PER published

February 2017

Indicative Occupational Exposure Limit Values (IOELVs) for DCM, CTC and PER have been published by the EU Commission (cf. DIRECTIVE (EU) 2017/164 of 31.1.2017), which are in line with the REACH DNEL(inhalation) for workers. 
These IOELVs have to be considered by member states for setting national exposure limits (OELs), which they have to accomplish by 21. August 2018. Only national OELs are legally binding for occupational safety, whereas the IOELVs have to be considered by users in case no OELs is set, yet.  The relevant OELs are provided with the SDS of the solvents suppliers (cf. chapter 8.1). 


IARC monograph on DCM

January 2017

DCM has been re-classified by IARC (IARC website) from Group 2B (Possibly carcinogenic to humans) to the next higher Group 2A (Probably carcinogenic to humans). This reclassification from 2014 has been published recently (Dichloromethane).In the opinion of ECSA the reclassification is not scientifically justified. IARC Monograph classifications are also questioned by other associations such as the American Chemical Council (ACC). However the IARC classification is of no regulatory relevance in EU as European legislation is triggered by classification according to the CLP (GHS) regulation (EC 1272/2008).  


New Study on DCM

October 2016

Together with HSIA, ECSA supported a study to clarify the mode of action of cancer formation for methylene chloride (DCM). A publication is expected soon in a peer reviewed scientific journal. The outcome of the study shows that below a threshold there is no risk on cancer formation related to DCM.


Use of Perchloroethylene is safe in Germany

October 2016

The German federal authorities published a comprehensive guidance on the safe use of PER in dry-cleaning based on German regulations (2. BImSchV in force since 1990). ECSA supported the English translation of this guidance, which is now available on the website of the LAVG, the federal authority in charge.

The exposure study, as referenced in the guideline, proved that the use of PER is safe, if PER is applied according to regulations such as the 2. BImSchV and exposure is very low, well below the current German OEL.