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Improving Air Quality in Your Community

Outdoor Air - Industry, Business, and Home: Fiberglass Fabrication Operations - Additional Information

This information will help you gain a better understanding of fiberglass fabrication operations. The topics below address the following questions:

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What are fiberglass fabrication operations?

Fiberglass fabrication operations produce many kinds of products, including tubs, showers, spas, car and truck accessories, boats, and storage bins. Activities at fiberglass fabrication operations include mold preparation, gel coating, laminating, equipment cleaning, systems operations, and finishing operations.

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What kinds of pollutants are emitted from fiberglass fabrication operations?

Fiberglass fabrication operations emit pollutant such as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs)and volatile organic compounds (VOC). These pollutants can contribute to health problems that may affect facility employees and the community. While Federal, state, local, and Tribal regulations limit the amount of emissions from fiberglass fabrication facilities, dangerous releases of HAPs can occur if a facility does not operate in compliance with regulations.

  • The primary HAP at most facilities is styrene, which is present in resins and gel coats. A portion of the styrene evaporates during the curing process. The EPA Health Effects Notebook contains information related to styrene.
  • Paints, thinners, solvents, and adhesives can release some HAP and VOC. Chemicals in these substances can react in the air to form ground-level ozone (smog), which has been linked to a number of respiratory effects. EPA has developed a Web site related to ground-level ozone.

For more information on the toxicity of these pollutants, check out information on the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). EPA also has more information available at its Air Toxics Web site.

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How can I help fiberglass fabrication operators reduce air pollution?

  • Make Connections
    • Get to know local fiberglass fabrication facility owners and operators. They know best about the materials and processes used in their business and the regulations with which they must comply.
    • Keep local media aware of progress by sending them updates. Publicity can reward success and attract more public involvement.
  • Make a Plan
    • One idea is to form a work group that includes local owners and operators to develop and implement workable pollution reduction plans.
  • Locate Resources
    • Find state, local, and Tribal contacts.
    • Use the resources listed on these Web pages to get help with analysis, technical information, equipment, training, and funding.
  • Encourage Pollution Prevention
    • Encourage or sponsor training for employees of local fiberglass fabrication operations.
    • Training can be used as an incentive for fiberglass fabrication operations to use more environmentally friendly practices
  • Reward Facilities
    • Use media connections to provide coverage for successful efforts. Positive publicity can mean increased business.
    • Visibly displayed awards or certificates may also increase business.

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What other Web sites related to pollution reduction in the fiberglass fabrication operations sector are available?

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