THE EUROPEAN Commission is proposing an outright ban on the use of the chemical product hexachloroethane (HCE) in the manufacture of non-ferrous metals because, it says, it "poses an unacceptable environmental risk, in particular to aquatic organisms." The ban is to begin on June 30, 2003.

Hexachloroethane is a key agent in aluminium and magnesium smelting processes where it serves a de-gassing function, removing air bubbles from molten metal. The compound is also used to remove impurities from molten metals and to recover metal from ...

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