nPB in Canada – Time to Switch

For those of you cleaning in Ontario, Canada the Occupational Exposure Limit (OELs) have been updated:

Effective January 1, 2018, Regulation 833 and O. Reg. 490/09 are amended by (O. Reg. 287/17) and (O. Reg. 288/17) to reflect the adoption of new or revised occupational exposure limits (OELs) or listings for 21 chemical substances based on recommendations by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). These changes were included in the Ministry’s 2016 consultation “Proposed Changes Affecting the Control of Hazardous Substances under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.” An overview of these changes is given below:

  • Addition of specific listings for 4 substances in regulation: Cyanogen bromide, Ethyl isocyanate, Peracetic acid and Phenyl isocyanate.
  • Revisions to exposure limits or listings for 17 substances currently regulated: Acetone, Atrazine, Barium sulfate, 1-Bromopropane, Ethylidene norbornene, Lithium hydride, Methomyl, Methyl formate, Methyl isocyanate, Naphthalene, Nickel carbonyl, Oxalic Acid, Pentachlorophenol, Pentane, and Trichloroacetic acid, 1,2,3 – Trichloropropane, and Triethylamine.
In addition to the changes noted above, effective January 1, 2018, the Ministry has moved forward with the adoption of proposals that were the subject of earlier consultations. These changes include the adoption of a more protective OEL for the substance beryllium, the adoption of the ACGIH method for addressing exposures to the aliphatic hydrocarbon gases (C1 – C4), and changing the minimum oxygen content in section 138(1) of Regulation 851 – Industrial Establishments from 18% to 19.5% as set out in (O. Reg. 289/17).
Some alternatives are:
  1. Replace the nPB with an equivalent solvent like AeroTron which meets the H&S requirements of 150 ppm.  AeroTron is a direct replacement for nPB in that it is non-flammable, high solvency power, quickly evaporates with low surface tension. It is a drop in replacement for nPB in vapor degreasing, it has less of an odor, and it will not require stabilizers like nPB. You can get more information at
  2. Go to aqueous cleaning. This might be of interest for some as it does not use solvents like nPB. However, the cleaning is not as fast or effective – in general – as vapor degreasing. Aqueous cleaning is also going to be time consuming and expensive to move into. But in the long term, this might be the option for your company – but in the short term finding a solvent with equivalent cleaning power and better heath and safety still is a must.
  3. Investigate other industrial solvents. As we know there are many cleaning and degreasing solvents out there. The key will be finding one that will c lean as required by your specifications.

If you would like to discuss vapor degreasing alternatives and options – please feel free to contact us at Reliance 847.640.8923 or contact us at Reliance.

Post by – Reliance Specialty Products, Inc. – vapor degreasing and solvent cleaning experts that manufacture both vapor degreasing equipment and vapor degreasing solvents.