1001 N. Central Ave. Suite 200 Phoenix, Arizona 85004
(602) 506-6750 (602) 506-6179 FAX

This guide is designed to help you understand and comply with regulations for spray coating. See how you can save money, improve working conditions, comply with regulations, avoid penalties, keep customers and neighbors satisfied, and reduce air pollutio n.

Why Reduce Air Pollution?

Air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, ozone, and fine particles increase health care costs, cause property damage, and reduce visibility.

VOCs Produce Ozone

Organic solvents, known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), chemically react in Arizona's bright, hot weather to produce ozone. VOCs are used in paints, thinners, strippers, and cleaners. Reducing the amount of VOCs in coatings will reduce your disposal costs.

What damage is caused by ozone?

Ozone, a corrosive, attacks your lungs, throat, and eyes; it causes damage to crops and materials including painted surfaces.

Where is the VOC in Coatings?

Coatings consist of solids and solvents (VOCs, water, and exempt compounds). Solvents act as the carrier for the solids and evaporate into the air before, during, and after application. VOC amounts in coatings are limited by Maricopa County regulations to reduce ozone formation and improve air quality.

Know the VOC Content of Your Coatings

The VOC content of coatings is usually printed on the exterior of the can by the manufacturer. This convenient reference enables you to operate in compliance with the County regulations. If VOC content is not on the label, ask your supplier for a specific ation sheet which lists the VOC content.

Thinning a Coating Increases VOCs

When you thin or reduce a coating with a VOC, you create a product which may no longer comply with County VOC limits. Thinning with water and exempt compounds does not affect VOC content .

Know VOC Limits

Maricopa County regulations contain specific VOC limits for different coating applications. Obtain a copy of the coating VOC limits for your process. Post mixing instructions to stay at or below the correct VOC content for your coating applications.

Lower Limits For Oven Dried Coatings

Maricopa County regulations require lower VOC limits for coatings dried in ovens when the temperature exceeds 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The content is lower because VOCs exposed to high temperatures may become highly reactive and form ozone quicker. Ensure that your oven temperature controls are accurately maintained.

Choose and Use Complying Coatings

Many complying coatings are available to meet the specific VOC requirements for your operation. Technology continues to develop innovative coatings and coating systems to meet County VOC limits. It is important that you maintain contact with man y manufacturers of coatings and application equipment to make sure you have the best system for your operation. Improved coating quality, lower quantities of coatings purchased, and reduced waste disposal costs save you money.

What Coating Systems Are Out There?

Other coating systems may be available and all systems have advantages and disadvantages. Be sure to consider worker safety, respiratory protection, waste disposal, surface and equipment compatibility, fire safety requirements, odor rel eases, and emissions of potentially toxic materials when deciding on a coating system. Contact your supplier for additional information.

But My Coatings are Non-Photochemically Reactive

When coatings are exempt from the requirements of specific applications contained in coating regulations, they still must comply with the requirements of Maricopa County's general VOC regulation. General solvent provisions allow limited amounts of highly reactive solvents to be in the the coating. These highly reactive solvents, which include ethylbenzene and toluene, are called photochemically reactive because they contribute to the extremely rapid formation of ozone in the air. Obtain a copy of Maricopa County general VOC regulations (Rule 330) and make sure you do not exceed the daily limits.

Maintain Your Spray Booth Filters

It is important to maintain your booth to ensure that your operation does not cause property damage. Paint overspray can travel through ineffective filters and damage the finish of automobiles and structures near your operation. Always make sure that t he filters are installed properly and cover all openings. If your set-up requires dual filters, make sure both are in place.

Check Filter Pressure Gauge

A manometer is used to determine the pressure drop across the spray booth filters. As the filters pores become clogged, the pressure drop increases. Check your manometer frequently for accuracy and maintain its fluid level.

Keep Your Curtain Wet

Waterwash booths should provide a continuous sheet of water down the face of the rear booth panel. If the booth does not provide a continuous sheet of water, i.e. if dry spots appear, the water spray lines should be checked for clogged openings. Be sure t o check and maintain the chemicals and additives in the water.

Buy Less Paint - Increase Your Transfer Efficiency

Save money by increasing the percentage of paint solids deposited on the surface of your product. A 30% transfer efficiency means 70% of paint solids are on the floor, booth walls, and exhaust filters. When you get more paint to stay on the product, you b uy less paint, save money, and prevent pollution.

Wasting Paint Is a Waste of Money

Low transfer efficiency wastes paint that you have paid for. Low transfer efficiency increases your booth filter purchases, increases your booth cleaning expenses, and increases your waste disposal costs. Train painters to maximize transfer efficiency, th ereby saving money and preventing pollution.

How Can I Increase Transfer Efficiency? Use:

  • Electrostatic Spraying - Paint droplets are given an electrical surface charge which attract them to the grounded product. This attraction achieves a "wrap-around" affect where paint lands on the backside of the object.
  • High-Volume Low Pressure - High volumes of low pressure air atomizes paint through larger air holes. Low pressure reduces turbulence and bounce-back.
  • Flowcoating - Paint flows over conveyorized products. Coating is collected and recirculated.
  • Rollercoating - Coating is applied by a mechanical series of rollers from a paint trough to a flat surface.
  • Dipcoating - Parts are immersed into a tank of coating followed by drainage of excess coating back into the tank.
  • Brushcoating - Coating is manually applied with brushes or rollers.

Following these steps will also increase transfer efficiency - Minimize airflow through booth; eliminate cross drafts; reduce air pressure in gun; and allow dipped parts to drain completely.

Contact your equipment supplier to obtain more information on how to improve transfer efficiency.

Store Your Solvents, Coatings, and Wastes Properly

Seal all containers of coatings and solvents tightly. Cans and drums must be equipped with tight fitting lids and shall remain closed to prevent evaporation. Store waste solvents in tightly sealed containers. All solvent-laden rags and cloths, i ncluding those used to clean parts and spray equipment, must be stored in closed fireproof containers.

Clean Equipment Properly!

VOCs from your facility is reduced significantly by cleaning spray guns and equipment properly. Never clean lines by spraying VOCs into the air or into filters. Purging lines in this manner wastes clean-up solvent and is in violation of County regulations. Always direct the clean up solvents, using minimal pressure, into containers or soak spray guns in closed containers. County regulations require all VOC containers to be tightly sealed when not in use. Always try to avoid the use of V OCs for clean-up.

Follow Mixing Directions Carefully!

Coatings often require mixing with a thinner or catalyst. Always mix according to the manufactures instructions. Otherwise the coating may not adhere correctly, produce the desired finish, meet performance specifications, or comply with Cou nty air pollution control regulations.

Keep Records Accurate and Current

County regulations require detailed records of coatings, reducers, and clean-up materials containing VOCs. Recordkeeping has several advantages including tracking production expenses which may enable you to cut costs. In addition, penalties for violatio ns are based upon the number of days you were out of compliance. It is to your benefit that accurate records clearly show a mistake was made on only one day.

Caution: Read Between the Lines

Never accept a contract which requires that you use coatings that do not comply with County requirements. You are liable for each day that non-complying coatings are used.

Violations Cost You Money!

Air pollution regulations are law. Penalties can be $10,000 per day for each violation. Make sure your employees are properly trained to operate coating equipment in compliance with County regulations.

Properly Display Your Permit

County regulations require a "Permit to Operate" be posted in an accessible location. Remember, permits contain conditions which operators must meet. Make sure operators understand all permit requirements, even if this entails translating into another lan guage.

Applicable Maricopa County Rules

Rules 200, 315, 320, 330, 335, 336, and 345

Where Can I Get More Help?

For additional information contact:

  • Environmental Services Department
    Pollution Prevention Office
    (602) 506-6138

  • Environmental Services Department
    Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP)
    (602) 506-5150

  • Coating, Fabricating, and Finishing Associations

  • Manufacturer's Technical Sales Representative

  • Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology

  • National Paint and Coatings Association, Inc.

Maricopa County Small Business Environmental Assistance Program
1001 N. Central Ave. Suite 200
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 506-6750
or e-mail us at:mailto:dwilcox@esenvmgmt.maricopa.gov

Last Updated 11/11/1997