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News from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute
at the University of Massachusetts Lowell 

January 2013 
In this Issue
Testing Reliability of Hexavalent Chromium-Free Substances
Attend Mid-Year Research Updates
AB Cleaners Demonstrates Wet Cleaning Technology
TURI's free weekly e-bulletin features previews of recent publications and websites relevant to reducing the use of toxic chemicals.

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Testing Reliability of Hexavalent Chromium-Free Substances


TURI is working with Massachusetts companies in the aerospace and defense industries, as well as the Department of Defense and NASA, to evaluate safer alternatives to hexavalent chromium sealants.


Hex-Chrome 3
Test vehicle shows corrosion after two weeks in a salt fog chamber.


Polysulfide sealants containing soluble hexavalent chromium compounds are currently being used in a variety of applications in aerospace manufacturing. Applications

Hex-Chrome 2
Beachfront testing of test vehicles at NASA.

mostly involve the filling of gaps and recesses to prevent water intrusion and collection.  


These sealants are used on both ferrous and aluminum assemblies and are often over coated with a variety of common paint systems.   


TURI and collaborators are currently testing accelerated and long-term corrosion on fifty test vehicles. We expect to share the final results in March 2013.


Look for a notification of an upcoming conference in June 2013 focusing on the aerospace/defense supply chain that will feature a detailed presentation on this research project.  


For more information on this research, contact Project Manager Greg Morose.

Attend Mid-Year Research Updates

You're invited to attend the mid-year research updates from UMass Lowell faculty who are developing safer alternatives to toxic chemicals. All presentations are from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at TURI, Wannalancit Mills, 600 Suffolk St., Suite 501, Lowell.

Jan. 23 -- Photovoltaics -- Asst. Prof. Meg Sobkowicz-Kline of Plastics Engineering is studying safer processes for manufacturing conducting polymers.   


Jan. 30 -- Disinfection -- Asst. Prof. Nancy Goodyear of Clinical Laboratories and Nutritional Sciences is conducting performance testing of safer disinfection formulations and methods designed to facilitate real-time detection of residual organisms.  


If you would like to attend the above research presentations, please contact Pam Eliason at 978-934-3142.   


Also contact Pam if you would like more info about the following project that were already presented:

  • Asst. Prof. Chris Hansen of Mechanical Engineering presented his research on safe alternative chemistries to replace styrene monomer in polyester resins.
  • Asst. Prof. Emmanuelle Reynaud of Mechanical Engineering and Assoc. Prof. Daniel Schmidt of Plastics Engineering presented their research on alternatives to nail polish using safer thiol-ene chemistry. 

Read more about the TURI Academic Research program. 

AB Cleaners Demonstrates Wet Cleaning Technology
Joon Han, right, shows another dry cleaner how clothing made of silk, cashmere and wool is wet cleaned.

More than 30 people squeezed into AB Cleaners in Westwood to see wet cleaning in action during a December demonstration.


Owner Joon Han showed other dry cleaners, representatives from local public health departments and Representative Paul McMurtry the wet cleaning process that eliminates the use of the toxic chemical perchloroethylene (perc). Han was inspired to make the switch in order to protect the health of this young family as well as his customers.

Professional wet cleaning technology allows for
AB Cleaners
Representative Paul McMurtry congratulates Joon Han for eliminating the use of perc, protecting the environment and the health of his employees and becoming a green small business.
"dry-clean-only" clothes to be effectively washed with water and detergents in computer-controlled machines and finished with tensioning and pressing equipment.


Read more about the TURI grant program for dry cleaners.


View more demo photos.


View the videos


View Part 1 - Washing and Drying

View Part 2 - Using the Tensioning Equipment

AB Cleaners Video 2