Small Chemical Plants

These produce a variety of solid, liquid, and airborne waste. Further chemicals that escape accidentally into the air increase the cost of the product as well as pose a threat to human health and the environment.

Best Practices for Small Chemical Plants

  • • Establish a waste reduction program.
  • • Conduct a waste survey identifying: the composition and source of the waste being generated and the potential for air pollution; the unintended escape of chemicals from valves and other places along the process, storage, and disposal lines.
  • • Keep all containers covered to prevent evaporation, spillage, or drying out of the material.
  • • Reuse all materials that can be reused.
  • • Separate all hazardous material from non-hazardous material.
  • • Improve scheduling to make sure that the final product is delivered rapidly, thereby avoiding potential air pollutants.

Surface Coating and Painting of Materials

Painting and coating is used to preserve and protect surfaces and products and for decoration of various materials including metal, wood, and plastics. Glue and adhesives are typically used in many of these operations to prepare the texture of the underlying surface. Frequently solvents are used to prepare the surfaces by cleaning them and removing unwanted previous material. Cleaning, painting, and coating can produce toxic air pollutants and VOCs.

Best Practices for Painting and Coating of Materials

  • • Use cleaners that have low toxicity and low VOC content for surface coating and painting of materials.
  • • Use coating techniques that do not require spraying.
  • • Train workers how to use minimal amounts of cleaning materials, paints, and varnishes.
  • • Where spraying is necessary, do so in a special booth with proper air systems and filters.

Wood Furniture Manufacturing

Wood furniture manufacturing facilities include cabinet shops and plants that make residential and industrial furniture. Toxic air pollutants including toluene, xylene, methanol, and formaldehyde are released during the finishing, gluing, and cleaning operations. These chemicals can cause eye, nose, throat, and skin irritation, and damage to the heart, liver, and kidneys.

Best Practices for Wood Furniture Manufacturing (See Guide Sheets for the Wood Furniture Manufacturing Industry, endnote 74.)

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