Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
Your business may use solvents to remove grease and oil. You can apply solvents using rags, vapour or immersion degreasing baths.
If your business carries out vapour degreasing you will use halogenated solvents, including:
Organic solvents can have a significant impact on human health and air quality. You should try to find the most eco friendly degreaser. A number of products can be bought that don't rely on chlorinated or fluorinated compounds, and which have far fewer environmental or health impacts.
If you use degreasing solvents you may need a pollution, prevention and control permit.
If you have a permit, licence or exemption you must comply with its conditions, including any conditions about solvent emissions or other emissions.
You must not use ozone depleting substances (ODS) for most degreasing or solvent applications, including:
Some vapour degreasing baths use banks of refrigerant-filled coils in the condensing zone. If your equipment still contains CFCs, HCFCs or halon-based refrigeration systems, you must make sure that your staff or contractors who service and repair refrigeration equipment comply with the controls on ozone depleting substances (ODS). Most ODS have been phased out but may still remain in older equipment.
You must comply with your duty of care responsibilities when dealing with waste.
You may need to deal with the following materials and substances as hazardous/special waste:
For further information, see our guidance on hazardous/special waste.
Do not discharge to public sewers, surface waters or groundwater without consulting your regulator. You may need a discharge consent, groundwater authorisation or other authorisation. For further information, see our guidance on discharges to water and sewer.
Trike and n-propyl bromide are classified as category two carcinogens. If you use these substances you should try to replace them with a less harmful alternative. You may be required to do this as a condition of your permit or by health and safety laws.
European trike producers have signed a voluntary agreement on the safe use of trike in metal cleaning. Trike will not be supplied for metal cleaning or degreasing unless the user has a closed system.
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