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Wall Paint Exposure Assessment Model (WPEM)

What Does WPEM do?

. The Wall Paints Exposure Assessment Model (WPEM) estimates the potential exposure of consumers and workers to the chemicals emitted from wall paint which is applied using a roller or a brush.

How Does WPEM Work?

. WPEM is a user-friendly, flexible software product that uses mathematical models developed from small chamber data to estimate the emissions of chemicals from oil-based (alkyd) and latex wall paint. This is then combined with detailed use, workload and occupancy data (e.g., amount of time spent in the painted room, etc,) to estimate exposure.
. The output of WPEM was evaluated in a home used by EPA for testing purposes and, in general, the results were within a factor of 2. The WPEM provides exposure estimates such as Lifetime and Average Daily Doses, Lifetime and Average Daily Concentrations, and peak concentrations.

What Do I Need to Use WPEM?

. Specific input parameters include: the type of paint (latex or alkyd) being assessed, density of the paint (default values available), and the chemical weight fraction, molecular weight, and vapor pressure.
. Occupancy and exposure data are provided by the model as default values but the model is designed to be flexible and the user may select other values for these inputs: activity patterns on weekdays/weekends for workers or occupants, and during the painting event; number of exposure events and years in lifetime; room size (volume); building type (e.g., office, single family home); number of rooms being painted; air exchange rates; etc.
. For those chemicals in which the mathematical emissions model does not apply, you can enter emissions data.

What Type of Computer System Do I Need?

. Processor - IBM-compatible computer with a Pentium microprocessor (minimum speed: 33 MHZ)
. Memory - 640K
. Hard disk space - 2 MB
. Operating System - Windows 95 or higher

What is WPEM's Status and Availability?

. WPEM Version 3.2, a Windows-based tool is available. The model has been peer reviewed by experts outside EPA. This model was developed under a contract by Geomet Technologies, a subsidiary of Versar, Inc. for the EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Economics, Exposure, and Technology Division, Exposure Assessment Branch. WPEM was developed under the Design for the Environment Program, Designing Wall Paints for the Indoor Environment. This project was accomplished in coordination and cooperation with the National Paint and Coatings Association (NPCA), in addition to paint manufacturers and chemical suppliers.

The WPEM model can be downloaded and installed using download WPEM.

WPEM Questions/Answers

The user's guide and background document is available below as a pdf file
Wall Paint Exposure Model (WPEM) Version 3.2 User's Guide pdf file, 668KB

[PDF] PLEASE NOTE: the items mentioned at this page are in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). To view or print them you will need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader program installed on your computer. The Reader can be downloaded and used with no charge; for more information at EPA about PDF files.

Who Can I Call for More Information?

For more information about the model, contact:
Christina Cinalli
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. (Mail Code 7406M)
Washington, DC 20460
Phone: (202)564-8542
E-mail: Cinalli.christina@epa.gov


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