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Collision Repair Campaign

Basic Information

The Collision Repair Campaign is an effort to address health threats through a two-year campaign to drastically reduce auto body emissions at the national level.  Each EPA regional office involved in the Campaign will work with their respective partners (e.g. community, industry, small businesses, etc.) to significantly reduce human and environmental exposure to air toxics from auto body shops.  While similar work has been done in the past in pockets around the country, the Campaign represents a unique, unprecedented nationwide effort to accomplish bold goals in toxic reductions.  The community campaign aimed at reducing toxic exposures from collision repair shops is voluntary.

The Collision Repair Industry was identified for a number of reasons: 

  • A number of communities have identified these shops as an environmental and health concern, hence the number of efforts across the US to address this issue.
  • These shops are widespread in nature and tend to be clustered in minority, immigrant, and low income neighborhoods.
  • Many of these shops are not in compliance with existing occupational and environmental regulations.
  • Many of these shops are small businesses and don't often use standard methods for auto body repair and painting, and they do not comply with accepted industry practices or current control technologies. 

Goals:

  • To reduce the negative environmental and health impacts on employees and surrounding communities by reducing Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP, also known as air toxics), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), and Particulate Matter (PM) emissions.
  • To provide training, technical assistance, and outreach to local communities and shop owners about established best management and pollution prevention practices.
  •  To provide information about the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants:  Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Surface Coating Operations at Area Sources Rule and encourage early compliance. 

Health Impacts from Collision Repair Activities:

  • Particulate Matter (PM)
    • Asthma, heart attacks, bronchitis, premature mortality
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
    • Asthma and Bronchitis
  • Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP, also known as air toxics), including Lead, Chromium and Cadmium
    • Neurotoxicity, lung cancer
  • Diisocyanates
    • Leading cause of occupational asthma; skin and lung sensitization
  • Solvents
    • Iirritation, headache, nausea, liver, kidney, nervous system damage

Potential Benefits:

  • Through implementing best practices, which include installing and maintaining control equipment and using safer paints and solvents, toxic exposures are expected to be reduced by 90%.
  •  It is estimated that utilizing best practices in 1,000 shops will reduce HAP and VOC emissions by 3.5 million pounds annually.
  •  Shop owners also will reduce paint and solvent costs, as well as related hazardous waste disposal costs through this program.
  • The Campaign creates better environmental stewards, happier and healthier community neighbors and improves worker safety and health.
  • The Campaign will also better prepare the industry to comply with an upcoming area source federal rule designed to reduce auto body emissions.

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