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Re: Request for case studies and stories connecting P2 and employee/public health

Cindy -

The EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) Automotive Refinishing
Partnership promotes pollution prevention and best practices that
benefit worker and community health as well as the environment.
http://www.epa.gov/dfe/pubs/projects/auto.  Best practices reduce
hazardous air pollutants, VOCs, and other chemicals of concern during
spray painting and related auto refinishing (collision repair)

In addition to the well documented health benefits of using  HVLP spray
guns (with training and proper technique) to reduce emissions,
conducting all spray applications in a well maintained spray booth or
prep station, and using alternative solvents with low VOC and zero HAPs
content to clean equipment, the DfE program encourages auto body shops
to adopt other pollution prevention practices that benefit worker and
community health.

These include:

   Using ventilated sanders

Dust created during the sanding process may contain toxic materials such
as isocyanates, lead, chromium, and silica that are harmful to the lungs
and nervous system.  Use of a High Velocity Low Volume (HVLV) vacuum
sanding system can protect workers and others nearby from harmful dust.
When used and maintained properly, vacuum sanders can control 93-98% of
the dust generated from the disc sanding operation and may minimize the
need to use a respirator during sanding operations.  Vacuum sanders can
pay for themselves over time by eliminating expensive repaints,
shortening clean up time, and extending sandpaper life. [Excerpt from
August 2007 draft DfE publication – “Vacuum Sanders:  A Key to Reducing
Dust and Hazardous Air Pollutants”]

   Switching from solvent-based to waterborne automotive coatings

The benefits of switching to waterborne from solvent-based automotive
paints stretch far beyond business – they make sense for the environment
and worker health and safety as well.   Health hazards associated with
exposure to toluene, xylenes, ethylbenzene, and other toxic chemicals in
solvent-based coatings include damage to the nervous, reproductive,
cardiovascular, and respiratory systems.   Organic solvents can also
cause damage to the liver and kidneys, as well as cancer, dermatitis,
and eye irritation.  Waterborne coatings, along with lead-free and
hexavalent chromium-free paints are safer choices for the workplace and
the environment.  However, you should be aware that automotive paints
still contain chemicals of concern, including isocyanates (and
polyisocyanates) which are a leading cause of occupational asthma.
Automotive paint manufacturers stress that automotive paints should
always be used by professionals, along with proper control technologies
and protective equipment to minimize emissions of air toxics and prevent
respiratory, eye, and dermal exposures.”  [Excerpt from 2007 Draft DfE
Publication:  “Using Waterborne Basecoats in Collision Repair Shops:  A
Case Study”]

   Managing Worker Health and Safety

Safety Beyond the Shop – AOK’s strong safety ethic not only serves to
protect the health of its workers, but also ensures the well-being of
the surrounding community and environment.  As companies that use
hazardous chemicals, auto body shops have an obligation to keep their
workers and the public informed about the chemicals in use and their
possible health or environmental hazards.  The careful and efficient
use, handling, and disposal of chemicals in any shop is good for
business and the environment.  {Excerpt from DfE’s 2001 Publication:
“Managing Worker Health and Safety:  An Auto Refinish Shop Success

I hope these examples are helpful.

Mary Cushmac
Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
Design for the Environment Program
Mail Code 7406M
Washington, DC 20460
Phone (202) 564-8803; Fax (202) 564-0884

             Cindy McComas                                              
             u>                                                      To 
             Sent by:                 p2tech <p2tech@great-lakes.net>   
             owner-p2tech@gre                                        cc 
                                      Request for case studies and      
             08/01/2007 11:50         stories connecting P2 and         
             AM                       employee/public health            
              Please respond                                            
              Cindy McComas                                             

To all P2Techers:

The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable is interested in bringing
more attention to the employee health and public health benefits
resulting from P2 efforts.  To better understand what has been
accomplished and documented in this area the Roundtable is collecting
success stories that highlight this connection.  Please send me any
relevant case studies, newsletter articles, grant reports, or other
project reports.  Thanks in advance.  Some examples are below:

o  switching to aqueous-based coatings at a wood furniture finishing
operation results in significant reductions in HAPs and VOCs; HAP
reductions result in less reported incidence of headaches, fatigue,
nausea, and irritation of the upper respiratory tract; reductions in
VOCs were quantified as reductions in ground-level ozone formation;
ground-level ozone can adversely affect sensitive populations including
those with asthma or other respiratory diseases.
o  eliminating TCE use by switching to aqueous cleaning in metal parts
degreasing; workers report "feeling better" (i.e. eliminated feelings of
sleepiness, fatigue, headache, confusion, and feelings of euphoria
resulting from TCE exposure); risk of long-term affects on kidneys,
liver, gastrointestinal system, and the skin are mitigated.
o  implementing coolant management practices and in-process recycling
equipment; issues with dermatitis and irritation of the upper
respiratory tract eliminated; risk of Legionnaires disease eliminated.
o  high rates of asthma in community lead to heightened sensitivity
among community members of asthma triggers; community complaints about
odors from auto body shops result in an NOV for painting cars outside;
referral to P2 program results in switching to HVLP guns and spray
operator training, which translates into VOC reductions; reduced
incidence in asthma events noted over time.

Cindy McComas

Minnesota Technical Assistance Program
University of Minnesota
612/624-4678, 800/247-0015

Helping Minnesota businesses maximize resource efficiency, prevent
pollution and reduce costs.

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