The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed an updated evaluation of existing air risk assessment advice (RAA) for Trans-1,2 – Dichloroethylene (t-DCE) using a new methodology that will likely lead to lower permitted emissions of the chemical by Water Gremlin.
MDH develops health-based guidance values to evaluate potential human health risks from exposures to chemicals in ambient air.
The new methodology is interesting in that it uses research data from 1985 and applies modern computer modeling to interpret it. It’s not surprising that after 35 years better technology is available.
This is a resourceful new technique. Without taking the time (often years) and additional money to do brand new studies MDH has access to better information that can be used to set more up-to-date health-based guidance values.
As is widely known when Water Gremlin started to use tDCE as a replacement for TCE it had limited study. the Minnesota Department of Health had to create and provide the health-based value guidance for this chemical based on limited information and do so very quickly. It was always expected that the HBVs would be reevaluated at a later time. The possibility existed that the values would increase or decrease.
With new computer modeling, MDH revised the chronic RAA of t-DCE from 70 micrograms/cubic meter to 20 μg/m3.
The sub-chronic RAA value was set at 200 μg/m3 for exposures over 30 days and less than 8 years.
Over the past year, Water Gremlin has been reviewing and testing additional less toxic options for coating their battery terminals. Our hope is that the company is well positioned to use this knowledge to proactively comply with the new levels even before they are legally required to do so. This would be a good faith effort to make amends with the community that has been impacted by years of chemical misuse.
Water Gremlin, how will you respond to the new risk assessment advice from MDH?