Pollution Prevention (P2)
in Auto Body & Auto Repair
Pollution prevention (P2) is important for auto body and repair shops, and car washes. These sectors use a variety of hazardous materials that may contribute to hazardous releases, discharge, and contribute to exposure of staff and customers, and hazardous and soild waste.
PPRC has developed many resources to help businesses find safer, yet effective products and practices, for auto repair, auto body and car wash businesses, including our brand new video, 13 P2 Tips in Auto Repair. Please see our auto sector resources list below.
A few examples of potentialy harmful materials and hazardous wastes related to chemical use in automotive sectors include:
Hazardous Material Use
Paint strippers and thinners
Paint contaminated filters
Wastewater or washwater sludge
Spent solvent (if not recycled)
Spent fluids (if not recycled)
Recovered oil contaminated with solvents or other incompatible material
Parts cleaning solvents
Certain automotive fluids
Car & Shop Floor Cleaning
Wheel cleaners/rust removers containing hydrofluoric acid or ammonium bifluoride
PFAS-containing stain guards or water repellents or car waxes
Washwater and sludge containing heavy metals, oils, automotive fluids, and/or PFAS
Toxic solvents and other harmful chemicals can cause damaging health impacts such as cancer, organ toxicity, neurological effects, and development or reproductive harm.
Toxic solvents and other harmful chemicals can have detrimental environmental impacts including aquatic toxicity, groundwater pollution, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Teducing the use of hazardous materials and using/ managing them properly, workers are less likely to be exposed. This can help businesses avoid liability while ncreasing productivity.
Implementing P2 and using safer products minimizes environmental impacts and enables improved safety of customers and employees.
PPRC and Ecobiz offer educational videos, factsheets, and a comprehensive automotive sector guide and are available for free assistance.
Resources for Auto Body
Spray Efficiency Training – PPRC’s spray efficiency half-day training, with its virtual simulator, is available for the painters in your facility to improve their technique and knowledge.
Waterborne Automotive Coatings – Waterborne paints are being used as a safer alternative to solvent-based paints, paint strippers, and equipment cleaning solvents.
EcoBiz - EcoBiz certifies and recognizes Oregon auto body shops that prevent and reduce air, water, and hazardous waste pollution.
Resources for Auto Repair & Vehicle Cleaning
Best Management Practices for Parts Cleaning –provides information on best management practices for parts cleaners (aka parts washers) as it relates to preparation, operations, and disposal of solvent in the washer.
Parts Washers Comparison – Includes information on the advantages and disadvantages of several types of parts cleaners. This document will be updated in the near future to include enzymatic parts washers.
Safer Alternatives in the Auto Repair Industry – Webinar featuring best practices from auto repair facilities including the City of Seattle, Seattle City Light, and Swedish [JM1] Automotive, along with guidance from the Washington State Department of Ecology.
Less Toxic Auto Repair: Degrease with Aqueous - Two aqueous alternatives are demonstrating equivalent performance to petroleum-based solvents without the toxic exposure, and eliminate most, if not all, solvent use and waste at some shops.
Ultrasonic Parts Cleaning in Auto Repair – Learn more about the feasibility and performance of ultrasonic parts washing.
EcoBiz - EcoBiz certifies and recognizes Oregon auto repair shops that prevent and reduce air, water, and hazardous waste pollution.