April 4th, 2022
The Clean Air Act (CAA) includes explicit provisions regarding VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions which apply to many industries, including plastics processing. The CAA requires the EPA to regulate releases of toxic air pollutants including mercury, PCBs and VOCs.
Non-compliance with these regulations can result in stiff fines, depending on how much a facility’s noxious emissions are over the acceptable limit. These penalties can add up quickly and get into thousands of dollars, especially for a larger operation.
In addition to apprehension about fines being levied, every manufacturer should be concerned about possible negative effects on employee health and the environment in general. In the USA, the control of VOC emissions is in place primarily to prevent ozone formation which is a constituent of photochemical smog. Ozone at ground level causes health issues related to lung and respiratory functions. Environmentally, it can damage vegetation/crop yields, and is a greenhouse gas that causes atmospheric warming.
The states that have the strictest regulations for VOC emissions are California, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
EPA-Exempt Mold Cleaner: X-EMPT
In 2019, a new mold cleaner was introduced to the plastics industry by Slide Products, Inc. The formulation was specifically developed to make it easier for plastics processors to comply with air quality regulations. This product was branded “X-EMPT” and is still the first and sole mold cleaner available in the plastics/mold making space that contains only EPA-exempt VOC compounds.
X-EMPT is designed to clean molds that have cooled to temperatures ranging from 32-200°F (0-149°C). Once applied, the product works fast to remove sticky, waxy, oily buildups before quickly evaporating with no residue or wiping needed. This process allows molds to be cleaned and stored within minutes, ready for the next production run.
Michael Muth, President of Slide Products, believes the product has great potential, especially for facilities that are concerned about staying compliant with EPA regulations and being as environmentally conscientious as possible.
“X-EMPT surpasses California’s strict CARB standards, and like all of Slide’s products, contains no chlorinated solvents. We named it ‘X-EMPT’ because we wanted that attribute to stand out as soon as a customer looked at the can.”
The mold cleaner is available in 16-ounce aerosol cans, as well as 1-gallon, 5-gallon and 55-gallon containers.