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Best Practices

The DfE Program’s Best Practices approach is designed to enhance the awareness of health and environmental concerns, minimize pollution, and protect workers and communities by promoting the use of safer alternative chemical products and cleaner, more efficient practices.

Automotive Refinishing Partnership
Auto Refinish Project IconThe DfE Program is working with the automotive refinishing (collision repair) industry to identify and
Auto body shops can be clustered near schools and residences.
promote best practices to reduce exposures to potentially harmful chemicals during spray painting and related tasks. Key chemicals of concern include isocyanates, the leading attributable chemical cause of work-related asthma, as well as organic solvents, lead, and hexavalent

chromium. There are over 50,000 auto body shops and many are located near residences and schools.

The DfE Program is working with EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) and EPA Regional Offices to provide best practices and compliance assistance training across the country as part the EPA Collision Repair Campaign, which complements the DfE work and other efforts to reduce air toxics in communities.

Spray Polyurethane Foam
Spray Polyurethane Foam Project IconThe DfE program is also engaged in identifying best practices to reduce isocyanates and other chemical exposures during installation of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation in residences, schools, and

other buildings. Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is a widely used and highly-effective insulator and sealant; however, eye, skin, and inhalation exposures to its key ingredient, isocyanates, and other chemicals in SPF products of concern in vapors, aerosols, and dusts during SPF installation can cause asthma, lung damage, respiratory problems and other breathing difficulties, skin and eye irritation, or other potential adverse health effects.

Safe work practices should be in place to avoid exposure at every stage of SPF installation. Building occupants and other trade workers not involved in the SPF installation should vacate the premises during installation of various types of SPF products in consultation with the contractor. To prevent chemical exposures during and after installation, SPF applicators and helpers should use best practices to control exposures based on the type of SPF product applied as recommended by the manufacturer.

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