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Paint & Coating Manufacturing (Wet Paints): Reasons for Change
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Paint production processes and raw material inputs do cause environmental impacts as do most manufacturing processes, from worker exposure, to air emissions, to energy and water consumption, and waste.

The application of paint to surfaces, as well as cured paint removal, also contribute to environmental impacts, through worker exposure, generation of waste and/or hazardous waste, offgassing, wear, use of solvents in cleaning or stripping, disposal, and more. These impacts are important and there are measures, such as spray efficiency techniques that can minimize exposure and waste during application.

Production of paints, however, not the end use of paint is the focus of this topic hub. The following points support reasons why the paint production industry should continue to implement pollution prevention and source reduction.
The industry can boast about environmental improvements in the past few decades, from reducing energy and water usage, lower VOC content in formulations, less of the traditional hazardous solvents, and reducing metal and other hazardous constituents. A few statistics from the Paint & Coatings Industry association, illustrate this:

Source: American Coatings Association

Important reasons for taking steps to ensure these types of changes happen can help protect production employees, reduce air emissions and waste generation, and/or save manufacturers money and regulatory burden.

Occupational Exposure

Solvents are used in many paints, and also in equipment cleanup during manufacture. Certain other ingredients in paints can cause human health affects. A study of over 180 paint production workers showed paint industry workers were at increased risk of several irritant and neuropsychological symptoms which significantly related to exposure to paint and organic solvents. (Source: Department of Community Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2013, Zagazig University Egypt http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=40741)

Solid and Hazardous Waste

Technology, equipment, inventory management, spill prevention, and other operational strategies can help reduce wastes from overproduction, changeovers, equipment cleanup and rinsing (e.g., washwater), expired material, and other sources of waste. This saves on purchase costs as well as disposal costs for both hazardous or solid waste. (See P2 Opportunities section for technology, equipment and operational strategy suggestions).

Energy and Water Use

Improved efficiency in energy and water saves money, greenhouse gases, and in the case of water – reduced wastewater and associated treatment and management.

Air Quality

Volatile constituents in some formulations of paint, and dust (from metals in pigments and crystalline silica), along with solvents used in mixing and cleaning, release to the air during material transfer, blending, settling or uncovered storage. VOCs contribute to low-level ozone smog, respiratory problems both occupationally and outside the manufacturing facility. Also, many VOCs have been listed as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), which are regulated under air pollution programs, including National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) 5H discussed below.

Dust, known as particulate matter, can be released during the above activities as well, from powdered ingredients. These may contain metals or crystalline silica (a carcinogen) or other respirable materials that adversely affect air quality and workplace health. Dust ventilation and collection systems capture much of the emissions, but some can still release in the workhouse environment. Once the powders are fully blended with liquids, the exposure from respirable dust is eliminated, during the production of paint.

On October 4, 2006, The EPA amended 40 CFR, part 63, subpart HHHHH, (or 5H) which was first finalized on December 11, 2003.  This regulation requires paint and coating manufacturers to implement provisions to control the release of hazardous air pollutants during certain manufacturing processes.  The rule sets limits on the amount of air toxics (HAPs and VOCs) that a facility can emit during coating production. It also allows manufacturers to comply with the rule by producing coatings that contain less than 5 percent (by weight) of air toxics.  Affected processes include:

Compliance

There are many federal, state and local regulations relating to occupational, air and water/waste releases that may apply to the processes used in paint and coating manufacturing. Efforts to reduce waste, dust, air and wastewater emissions can reduce the regulatory burdens associated with pat manufacturing.

Cost

When calculating cost savings resulting from improved efficiency and pollution prevention implementations, consider the following reductions in actual cost and labor to manage the activities:


 

The Topic Hub™ is a product of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx)

The Paint & Coating Manufacturing (Wet Paints) Topic Hub™ was developed by:

PPRC
PPRC
Contact email: office@pprc.org

Hub Last Updated: 11/23/2014