India to become CTC free by year end

Efforts had been taken to stop complete usage of CTC, used as a solvent and cleaning agent in various industries, and it would be totally phased out before December 31 this year, Susanta Deb, Field Consultant representing German NGO, GTZ-Proklima, that is implementing the phase-out plan in the country in coordination with the Government, told PTI here.

India is a signatory to the Montreal Protocol on Substances, an international treaty involving 193 countries for phasing out production of ozone-depleting substances.

The Ozone Cell in the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests is the agency coordinating the phase-out of CTC. The Cell had put in place a regulatory frame work and national phase-out plan to ensure domestic CTC production and imports progressively decrease in compliance with national targets.

CTC was widely used in many industry segments for its high solvency power, low cost and not inflammable, making it popular in many cleaning applications for the last six or seven decades, Deb said.

The chemical is an occupational health hazard because of its toxic nature and absorbed by the skin, causing cancer, gastrointestinal and respiratory systems besides suppressing the human immune system, Deb said.

CTC also reduces crop yields and affects aquatic life, he said, adding its global warming potential was about 1,400 times higher than that of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas.

Within the frame work of the the Montreal Protocol, governments of Germany and France have mandated GTZ-Proklima to provide technical assistance to CTC consuming industries in Indian textiles and metal cleaning sectors.

The production and consumption of CTC in the country for non-feedstock use in 2009 was 43,636 tonnes, Deb said.

Alternatives to CTC for use in various sectors like metal degreasing, precision cleaning, jewellery casting, cleaning process in oxygen systems, electrical systems, offset printing and textile industry for stain removal, had been discovered and details about them and application methods were being imparted to the Indian industries, he said.

However, replacement of CTC as gas alternative to the refrigerant segment is yet to be achieved the deadline had been universally accepted as the end of 2013 by the global community.

Deb was in the city recently to organise a workshop on withdrawal of CTC in cooperation with various industrial forums here.

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