SAINT PAUL, Minn.— On Friday, State Representative Ami Wazlawik (DFL – White Bear Lake) introduced legislation to ban trichloroethylene (TCE) in Minnesota. The bill (HF 2276) would prohibit the use of TCE for manufacturing purposes and products that contain the chemical.
“No Minnesotan should ever experience preventable health risks,” said Rep. Wazlawik. “Emissions of high levels of TCE went undetected in our community for over a decade. Community members fear that these exposures may have increased risks for cancer and other serious health issues. It’s time that we protect the health of Minnesotans by banning TCE.”
TCE is an industrial solvent used to degrease metal parts or produce other chemicals. It can also be found in some products, including stain removers and protective finishes for wood or artwork.
TCE can cause a range of serious health effects. Research has shown that long-term exposure can increase the risk of kidney cancer, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and liver cancer. Additional evidence suggests it can also impact the reproductive system, immune system, and central nervous system. It may also impact fetal development during pregnancy.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed banning the use of TCE for aerosol degreasing, spot cleaning in dry cleaning facilities, and vapor degreasing in late 2016 and early 2017. However, the EPA indefinitely postponed these bans in December of 2017.
The first public hearing for the bill will be held Wednesday, March 13 in the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division.