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P2 Best Practices that Benefit Employee and Community Health. EPA Design for the Environment Program Automotive Refinishing Partnership. Mary Cushmac Office of Pollution Prevention & Toxics Environmental Protection Agency Washington, DC Environmental Summit May 2008. Session Goals.

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p2 best practices that benefit employee and community health

P2 Best Practices that Benefit Employee and Community Health

EPA Design for the Environment Program

Automotive Refinishing Partnership

Mary Cushmac

Office of Pollution Prevention & Toxics

Environmental Protection Agency

Washington, DC

Environmental Summit

May 2008

session goals
Session Goals
  • Raise awareness of health benefits from implementing P2 practices
  • Identify employee health benefits as an added incentive for implementing P2 practices
  • Explore ways to measure health & environmental benefits
epa s design for the environment dfe program
EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Program
  • Solves problems collaboratively
  • Brings industry resources to the table
  • Gives access to Agency technical resources
  • Factors in economics
  • Combines multi-media

and multi-disciplinary


dfe partnerships
DfE Partnerships
  • Alternatives Assessments
    • Flame Retardants: Furniture, Printed Circuit Boards
    • Lead-Free Solder in Electronics
    • Wire & Cable
  • Formulator Program
    • Recognition of Safer Formulations
    • Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative (SDSI)
  • Best Practices
    • Automotive Refinishing Session focus
    • Nail Salons
profile of auto refinish industry
Profile of Auto Refinish Industry
  • About 50,000 shops
  • 200,000 auto refinishers
  • 1,400 high school and community college programs
  • Shops/schools use & release harmful chemicals
  • Many shops are located in residential areas
  • Emissions may pose risks to those in the shops/schools and nearby residents
p2 opportunity
P2 Opportunity
  • EPA estimates that auto refinish shops emit 280,000 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and air toxics annually
  • DfE best practices:
    • reduce shop emissions
    • improve shop’s health and safety profile
    • reduce shop costs (in many cases)
    • assist with regulatory compliance (VOCs, hazardous waste, air toxics, odors, worker safety and health)
auto refinishing chemicals and potential health effects
Auto Refinishing Chemicals andPotential Health Effects
  • Diisocyanates are the leading cause of work-related asthma; skin & lung sensitizers; subject of two NIOSH Alerts
  • Organic solvents(toluene, ethyl benzene, xylenes, etc.) are VOCs and air toxics that cause systemic, central nervous system and reproductive effects – Safer substitutes are available!
  • Heavy metals: hexavalent chromium causes lung cancer; lead causes nerve and brain damage – Lead and chrome-free paints are available!
who may be at risk
Who May Be at Risk?
  • Workers and others in the shop
  • Students and others in the class
  • Persons living near auto body shops
  • Children playing in soil contaminated by automotive paint dust and particulates
  • Nearby schools, day care centers, and hospitals
  • Mobile paint sprayers & persons nearby
  • Hobbyists and others who use automotive paints, e.g., artists
other health issues
Other Health Issues
  • 42% of U.S. population live in counties that have unhealthful levels of ozone and particulates (American Lung Association report, State of the Air, May 2008; www.lungusa.org)
  • Sensitive populations are particularly vulnerable to air pollution
  • 20 million Americans have asthma
  • 9 million children have asthma, the leading serious chronic childhood disease (Am. Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology; www.aaaai.org)
dfe auto refinishing partnership strategy approach
DfE Auto Refinishing Partnership –Strategy & Approach
  • Work in partnership with businesses and build a network of support to promote P2
  • Focus on spray painting and other related activities that release toxic chemicals
  • Identify key chemicals of concern and exposure points
  • Identify best practices and safer alternative chemicals
  • Identify factors that motivate change
  • Develop implementation strategy (tools, approaches)
  • Network, communicate, train, and encourage best practices to reduce risk and pollution
  • Evaluate response and measure results
  • Over 100 shop and school site visits; numerous workshops across the country
  • 81% of shops made changes
  • Some best practices were included in the new EPA paint regulation (40 CFR Part 63, Subpart HHHHH)
  • Changes benefit employees & community
    • Reduced emissions
    • Better respiratory & skin protection for workers
    • Healthier workforce and community
    • Cleaner, more productive work area
    • Lower costs (less paint, less waste)
    • Improved business/community relationships
potential emissions reduction with certain best practices
Potential Emissions Reduction with Certain Best Practices
  • One small shop reduced overall VOC emissions by 218 lbs/yr (34%) and particulate emissions by 316 lbs/yr (99%) by adopting best practices*
  • If 300 small shops adopted best practices, emissions could be reduced as follows:
    • 300 x 218 lb/yr VOCs = 65,400 lbs/yr VOCs reduced
    • 300 x 316 lb/yr particulates = 94,800 lbs/yr particulates reduced

*Using HVLP spray guns/training and conducting all spraying in a filtered spray booth.

potential cost savings with p2
Potential Cost Savings with P2







HVLP Spray Guns

HVLP Spray Guns with Proper Technique

* Estimated annual savings, based on 420 gal/yr

Courtesy of the STAR Program, IWRC

mapping air emissions near schools
Mapping Air Emissions near Schools

Note: Air emissions in blue; schools in red

dfe tools
DfE Tools
  • Technical fact sheets, case studies
  • Site visits
  • Best practices & train-the-trainer workshops
  • Outreach kit (binder, folder, and CD)
  • DfE and virtual auto body shop websites
  • Best practices self-evaluation checklist
  • Emissions reduction calculator
  • Collaboration and networking
employee health benefits
Employee Health Benefits
  • Better information on hazards and ways to protect oneself, fellow workers, and family
  • Reduced exposure to hazardous chemicals
  • Respiratory and skin protection
  • User-friendly control technology and more efficient practices to reduce emissions
  • Healthier painters, fewer lost days
community health benefits
Community Health Benefits
  • Reduced toxic air emissions (VOCs & particulates) and hazardous waste near schools, day care centers, and residences
  • Reduced odors
  • Cleaner air
  • Healthier neighborhood – reduction in
    • Asthma
    • Breathing and other respiratory problems
    • Headaches
    • Other adverse health effects
gathering and evaluating data
Gathering and Evaluating Data
  • Occupational asthma data (SENSOR and SWORD programs)
  • Asthma and air quality data (American Lung Association)
  • DfE Self-Evaluation of Best Practices for Schools and Businesses
  • DfE Emissions Reduction Calculator
  • OSHA Health Effects Calculator
on line resources
On-line Resources
  • DfE Auto Refinish Project http://www.epa.gov/dfe/projects/auto
  • Virtual Auto Body Shop http://www.ccar-greenlink.org/cshops
  • STAR® (Spray Technique & Research) http://www.iwrc.org/programs/STAR.cfm
  • NIOSH Health & Safety Topics: Isocyanates


  • OSHA Auto Body Repair and Refinishing http://www.osha-slc.gov/SLTC/autobody

DfE Web Site and Contacts

DfE Automotive Refinishing Partnership


Mary Cushmac



topics to explore in this session
Topics to Explore in this Session
  • How can P2 be linked to employee health?
  • How can we better communicate P2 benefits on employee health?
  • What data could demonstrate P2 impacts on employee health?
  • How can companies be motivated to implement P2 practices for health without fear of liability for health effects?