Release 00-07
April 27, 2000 
CONTACT: Jerry Martin
Gennet Osborn
(916) 322-2990

ARB Adopts Airborne Toxic Control Measure for Automotive Consumer Products

       SAN DIEGO --  Today the California Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted an airborne toxic control measure for automotive consumer products that contain health-threatening chemicals.  The new measure is expected to cut statewide emissions of chlorinated toxic air contaminants (TACs) by 5.2 tons per day (TPD) by 2003.

       ARB Executive Officer Michael P. Kenny said, “Several automotive brake cleaner products currently contain toxic chemicals.  The Board’s action today substantially reduces that exposure and makes working conditions safer for automotive repair workers.  The action also reduces soil, ground water, and waste water contamination statewide.”

       Automotive consumer products are commonly used in maintenance and repair activities to remove grease, grime and dirt from a variety of automobile parts.  The control measure sets up rules for the manufacture and sale of products containing the following TACs: perchloroethylene (Perc), methylene chloride (MeCl), and trichloroethylene (TCE).  Statewide emission estimates for automotive consumer products are estimated at 4.2 TPD for Perc, 0.7 TPD for MeCl and 0.3 TPD for TCE.

       The Board identified Perc, MeCl, and TCE between July 1989 and October 1991 as carcinogens with no identified threshold exposure level.  Noncancer health effects of Perc include dizziness, headache, liver and kidney damage, and rapid heartbeat.  MeCl exposure can contribute to cardiac arrhythmia and loss of consciousness.  TCE’s health effects include headache nausea, tremors and respiratory irritation.  These health effects can also occur from exposures in the workplace.

       The measure sets up key dates for the phase-out of automotive consumer products containing Perc, MeCl, and TCE:

       There are already alternate products on the market that can replace those controlled under the measure.  Up to 70 percent of automotive maintenance and repair facilities now use complying products, therefore, product cost is not expected to increase.

       The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency.  ARB?s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy.  The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

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