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Improving Air Quality in Your Community

Outdoor Air - Industry, Business, and Home: Paint and Coating Manufacturing

You can help paint and coating manufacturers reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) that may affect employees, their families, customers, and the community by encouraging paint and coating manufacturers to conduct these activities:

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Change Products

      How?
  • Eliminate the use of heavy metals, such as chromium, lead, and mercury in coating mixtures. Non-hazardous biocides are available to replace mercury-containing coatings designed to kill bacteria.
  • Reformulate coatings to higher-solids coatings, waterborne coatings, powder coatings, or ultra-violet (UV) light-cured coatings.
      Benefits
  • Approximately 40-65% of a paint or coating is VOC. By reformulating the mixture to have a lower VOC content, VOC air emissions are reduced.
  • One manufacturer successfully replaced lead pigments used for corrosion resistance with yttrium, which is 100 times safer as a dust than lead at typical levels of use. Use of yttrium in the coating also eliminates the need for a chrome pretreatment in the finishing process. Use of the yttrium coating should eliminate up to 1 million pounds of lead in this coating application over several years (PPG Industries).
      Costs
  • Research and development of new products.
  • Capital costs for any new equipment necessary.
  • Training employees on new products.
  • Educating customers about new products.
      More Information

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Change Cleaning Procedures

      How?
  • Mandate a "clean as you go" policy to reduce the amount of solvent needed for removing heavy build-up.
  • Where tanks can be cleaned manually, use a wiper or squeegee rather than solvents.
  • Use a high pressure spray hose to clean tanks. This reduces the amount of solvent needed.
  • Reuse cleaning solution or solvent. For example, use dirty solvent for initial cleaning. Then follow with clean solvent.
  • Use cleaners with a low hazardous air pollutant and volatile organic compound content, such as water-based cleaners.
  • Dedicate equipment to a single product, or family of products that are similarly colored, to reduce the need for equipment cleaning between batches.
      Benefits
  • One manufacturer eliminated emissions of HAPs, reduced the volume of the solvent waste stream by 95%, and saved the company $9,600 per year (due to the reduction in waste generation and solvent consumption) by replacing the solvent used for cleaning (The Carbohydrate Economy).
      Costs
  • Capital costs for any new equipment necessary.
  • Training employees on new procedures.
      More Information

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Recycle Materials

      How?
  • Reuse dust captured by a baghouse during pigment grinding.
  • Set up, or participate in, a paint exchange where customers return unused paint that can be reworked into future products.
  • Rework or blend off-specification materials into new products.
      Benefits
  • One manufacturer recycles and reuses 95% of the solvent used in the cleanup process. This reduces emissions and the amount of solvent purchased (Pollution Solutions).
  • In one year, a paint manufacturer took back 44,000 gallons of unused paint from its customers and consumers and reworked it into new paint products (Valspar Corporation).
      Costs
  • Capital costs for any new equipment necessary.
  • Training employees to use new equipment and procedures.
      More Information

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Reduce or Eliminate Particle Pollution Emissions

      How?
  • Reduce emissions of particle pollution (dust) by using a baghouse to collect dust.
  • Use pigments in a slurry or paste instead of in dry form to minimize dust.
  • Grind or mix raw materials with sandmills instead of ballmills. Sandmills are more efficient and require less solvent for cleanup.
      Benefits
  • Reduces emissions of HAPs, dust, and VOC.
      Costs
  • Capital costs for any new equipment necessary.
  • Training employees to use new equipment and procedures.
      More Information

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Reduce Loss from Evaporation

      How?
  • Cover tanks during blending, mixing, and while waiting to transfer the paint or coating into packaging.
  • Cover tanks to reduce leakage of vapors.
  • Securely cover all materials to reduce the chance of spills when transferring materials.
      Benefits
  • Replacing the lid on a solvent storage tank cost one manufacturer $500, but netted an annual savings of $9,604.

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