Automotive Refinishing Safety Information
About this Design for the Environment's (DfE) best practices project
Automotive repair shop workers and owners, this information is aimed at helping you protect yourselves and the citizens in your communities.
The information came from a DfE best practices project (1997-2013) conducted in partnership with the automotive refinishing industry and its career/technical schools.
Goals of the project were to:
- Increase awareness of the health and environmental concerns associated with refinishing activities.
- Develop best practices for automotive refinishing shops.
- Encourage the use of cleaner, safer, more efficient and effective practices and technologies that reduce air toxics.
The project helped EPA to:
- Conduct training in best practices for auto refinishing in schools and businesses across the country from 2005-2012. Read about automotive repair best practices training.
- Develop numerous tools to enhance the awareness of health and safety issues associated with automotive refinishing, which you can find in this website.
Automotive refinishing best shop practices
Best shop practices focus on changes in key areas that small auto refinish shops can make. Compiled from real-life shop experiences, the topics include:
- Shop and spray booth ventilation
- Sanding, solvent wiping, paint mixing, and spray painting
- High-volume, low-pressure spray guns
- Supplied air respirators
- Worker health and safety
- Autobody Refinishing General Best Shop Practices: Safe Work Practices that Reduce Worker Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals
(EPA/744-R-98-008) -- This document focuses on the key components of beneficial change in small auto refinish shops. Compiled from real-life shop experiences, the documents serve as worker protection and pollution prevention goals for the small shop.
Shop and spray booth ventilation
- Breathing Easy
(EPA/744-F-02-008) -- This fact sheet provides practical information and guidance to auto refinish shops on how to ensure proper ventilation of the paint mixing room. The information includes ventilation system basics and diagrams, risk reduction ideas, common mistakes, tips, and design considerations.
- Spray Booth Filters: The Key to Quality Jobs and Clean Emissions
(EPA/744-F-08-001) -- This fact sheet highlights key factors regarding the need to use and maintain paint booth filters to achieve a quality job and protect the painter, others in the shop, and the environment.
Para la versión de español, vea Filtros de Cabinas de Rocio: La Clave Para Empleos de Calidad y Emisiones Limpios
Sanding, solvent wiping, paint mixing, and spray painting
- Paint Mixing Best Practices Checklist
- Best Practice for the Paint Mixing Room for Auto Refinishers
- Spray Painting Best Practices Checklist
- Best Practices for Auto Refinishers When Spray Painting
- Vacuum Sanders: Reducing Dust and Hazardous Air Pollutants - Fact Sheet
Para la versión de español, vea Lijadoras con Aspiradora: Reduce al Polvo y Contaminantes Peligrosos del Aire
- Solvent Wipe Down Best Practices Checklist
High-volume, low-pressure spray guns
- Spray Gun Cleaning Best Practices Checklist
- HVLP Spray Guns: Cost-effective, Environment-friendly Technology
Supplied air respirators
- User Friendly Supplied-Air Respirators: Options for Auto Refinishers
Worker health and safety
- Health and Safety Management Best Practices Checklist
- Hazard Communication Standard for Chemical Labels and Safety Data Sheets In GHS Format
This fact sheet provides an overview of Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and chemical hazard labels, and includes tips on how these materials can be used to better protect health and the environment by providing enhanced and consistent information on chemical hazards.
Technical Reports & Success Stories
- Automotive Refinishing Industry: Isocyanates Profile [Revised Draft]
(EPA/744-R-97-007) -- The purpose of this report is to investigate isocyanates, especially concerning their use in the automotive refinishing industry. The report provides information on automotive refinishing, control technologies employed to reduce exposures, and the regulatory status of a group of isocyanate compounds. The report also points out opportunities for innovation in reducing exposures and risks and promoting pollution prevention.
- Emission reduction calculator(1 pg, 204 K) -- (in Excel) can estimate emissions and material-use reductions achieved through implementing best practices.
- Coordinating Committee for Auto Repair (CCAR) - Greenlink Virtual Shop Exit -- this website presents a virtual automotive refinishing shop. Helpful information about health and safety and best practices are provided for specific activities that take place in a automotive refinishing shop.
- State and Environmental Agencies and Small Business Assistance Programs -- this Web page provides links to state environmental agencies, pollution prevention and compliance assistance, and small business assistance Web sites for each state.
- NIOSH Hazard Controls: Control of Dust From Sanding in Autobody Repair Shop
- Get information on the Collision Repair Campaign.
- California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) Exit -- OEHHA adopted new and revised Reference Exposure Levels (RELs) for toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) for use in the Air Toxics Hot Spots program. RELs are airborne concentrations of a chemical that are not anticipated to result in adverse noncancer health effects for specified exposure durations in the general population, including sensitive subpopulations.