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Air Monitoring Applications

Paints and Coatings

Paints consist of mainly three components: (1) a pigment to add color which sometimes contains heavy metals such as lead, chromium and cadmium; (2) a binding agent or “vehicle” which bonds the paint pigment, remains on the coated surface when dry, and also gives paints its protective properties; and (3) a petroleum-based solvent which dissolves the pigment and binding agent for application. Most enamel-based paints use a mild petroleum-based solvent with an alkyd vehicle, and have a long drying and curing time. Conversely, lacquer-based paints require stronger solvents to speed the drying time. Paints and coatings are applied using one of a variety of methods – using a brush, by dipping, with a pneumatic sprayer, through electro-deposition or by aerosol means. Additives are often added – a commonly used additive is a biocide, which provides resistance to fungal growth but as a drawback may result in exposure to formaldehyde.

During the painting process, various volatiles are emitted into the environment. The EPA has determined that VOC levels originating from indoor paint (while drying) can be as much as 1,000 times greater than for outdoor levels. Vapors enter the air readily in an occupied space because the painted object typically involves a large surface area, and limited ventilation capability is available indoors; whereas, outdoors the VOC’s tend to evaporate quickly and easily into the surrounding air. Additionally, the indoor vapor emissions from paints can continue for as long as six months.

Paint emissions are known to increase the levels of ozone gas in the atmosphere, which results in a proportionate increase in the number of reported asthma, or other upper respiratory ailments and cancer cases.

An industry worker who works with paints or coatings on a daily basis could be exposed to over 300 VOC’s in the average workday. The state of California has banned high-emissions paint solvents and thinners to reduce smog-forming emissions and the threat to public health; the mandate will take effect on December 13, 2013.

It is estimated that the painting and coatings industry employs nearly half-million workers in the US across a wide-range of industries including automotive, commercial and residential building construction, and paint manufacturing.

Paint Composition
Pigments are classified as either natural or synthetic types. Natural pigments include various clays, calcium carbonate, mica, silicas, and talcs. Synthetics include engineered molecules, calcined clays, precipitated calcium carbonate, and synthetic silicas. Other pigments commonly used for UV protection and opacity are titanium dioxide, phthalo blue and red iron oxide. Some pigments are toxic, such as lead-based pigments.

Binding agents include synthetic or natural resins, including: acrylics, polyurethanes (contain isocyanates), polyesters, melamine resins, epoxy, or oils.

Solvents The most widely used aromatic hydrocarbons solvents in paint are benzene, toluene, mixed xylenes, ethylbenzene (BTEX), and high flash aromatic napthas; aliphatic hydrocarbons include hexanes, heptane, VM&P naphtha

Contaminants of Interest:
Formaldehyde
Ozone
Aromatic Hydrocarbon Solvents – Benzene, Toluene, Xylenes, BTEX, Aromatic Naphtha
Aliphatic Hydrocarbon Solvents – Naphtha, Mineral Spirits, Terpenes
Oxygenated Solvents – Ketones (MEK), Esters, Glycol Ethers, Alcohols
Isocyanates and Diisocyanates (Binding Agents)
Lead, Cadmium and Chromium Compounds (Pigments)

Air Sampling Media by Regulatory Method
Method Contaminants of Interest Sampling Media
OSHA
OSHA 7 Organic Vapors Sorbent Tube – Coconut Charcoal; ORBO-32S (20267-U)
Passive Sampling-Radiello BTEX/VOCs-(RAD130)/(RAD145)
OSHA 12 Benzene Sorbent Tube – Coconut Charcoal; ORBO-32S (20267-U)
OSHA 16 Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) Sorbent Tube –Silica Gel; ORBO-52S (20229)
OSHA 42 Diisocyanates Filter – Glass Fiber Filter Coated w/1-2PP (20811/20812-U)
New! Dry Sampler – ASSET EZ4-NCO Dry Sampler (5027-U/5028-U)
OSHA 47 Methylene Bisphenyl Isocyanate (MDI) Filter – Glass Fiber Filter Coated w/1-2PP (20811/20812-U)
New! Dry Sampler – ASSET EZ4-NCO Dry Sampler (5027-U/5028-U)
OSHA 48 Petroleum Distillate Fractions (PDF) Sorbent Tube – Coconut Charcoal; ORBO-32S (20267-U)
OSHA 52 Formaldehyde Sorbent Tube – 2-HMP Coated XAD-2; ORBO 24 (20231)
Passive Sampling-Radiello Aldehydes-(RAD165)/DSD-DNPH (28221-U)
OSHA 69 Acetone Sorbent Tube – Carbosieve S3; ORBO-91 (20360)
Passive Sampling-Radiello BTEX/VOCs-(RAD130)
OSHA 84 Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) Sorbent Tube – Carbosieve S3; ORBO-91 (20360)
OSHA 1002 Xylenes / Ethylbenzene Sorbent Tube – Coconut Charcoal; ORBO-32S (20267-U)
Passive Sampling-Radiello BTEX/VOCs-(RAD130/RAD145)
OSHA 1004 Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK); Hexone Passive Sampling-Radiello BTEX/VOCs-(RAD130)
OSHA 1007 Formaldehyde Passive Sampling-radiello Aldehydes-(RAD165) / DSD-DNPH (28221-U)
OSHA ID 103 Chromic Acid and Chromates (Hexavalent Chromium) Filter- PVC (23387)
OSHA ID 121 Metal and Metalloid Particulates (Pb, Cr, & Cd) Filter – MCE (23381)
OSHA ID 125G Metal and Metalloid Particulates (Pb, Cr, & Cd) Filter – MCE (23381)
OSHA ID 189 Cadmium Filter – MCE (23381)
NIOSH
NIOSH 1003 Hydrocarbons, halogenated Sorbent Tube – Coconut Charcoal; ORBO-32S (20267-U)
NIOSH 1501 Aromatic Hydrocarbons Sorbent Tube – Coconut Charcoal; ORBO-32S (20267-U)
Passive Sampling-Radiello BTEX/VOCs-(RAD130)
NIOSH 2541 Formaldehyde Sorbent Tube – 2-HMP Coated XAD-2; ORBO 23 (20257-U)
Passive Sampling-Radiello Aldehydes-(RAD165)/DSD-DNPH (28221-U)
NIOSH 5521 Isocyanates Impinger (20270-U)
New! Dry Sampler – ASSET EZ4-NCO Dry Sampler (5027-U/5028-U)
NIOSH 5522 Isocyanates Impinger (20270-U)
New! Dry Sampler – ASSET EZ4-NCO Dry Sampler (5027-U/5028-U)
NIOSH 7024 Chromium and Compounds Filter – MCE (23381)
NIOSH 7048 Cadmium and Compounds Filter – MCE (23381)
NIOSH 7300 Elements (Pb, Cd, & Cr) Filter – MCE (23381)
NIOSH 7600 Chromium Hexavalent (Chromic Acid and Chromates) Filter- PVC (23387)
NIOSH 7604 Chromium Hexavalent (Chromic Acid and Chromates) Filter- PVC (23387)
NIOSH 7605 Chromium Hexavalent by ICP Filter- PVC (23387)
ASTM
ASTM D3686 Organic Vapors Sorbent Tube – Coconut Charcoal; ORBO-32S (20267-U)
Passive Sampling-Radiello BTEX/VOCs-(RAD130)
ASTM D6196 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) Thermal Desorption Tubes
Passive Sampling-Radiello BTEX/VOCs-(RAD145)
EPA
EPA TO-11A Formaldehyde Impinger (20270-U) w/DNPH adsorbing solution
EPA TO-13A Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) by GC/MS Polyurethane Foam (PUF); ORBO-2000 (20037)
EPA TO-17 Polar and non-polar VOC’s, select aldehydes Sorbent Tube – Solvent / Thermal Desorption TD Tubes
DNPH Tubes
Passive Sampling-Radiello BTEX/VOCs – (RAD130)/(RAD145)
ORBO-65P (20029-U), ORBO-65M (20028-U)
EPA 207 Isocyanates in Stationary Source Emissions Impinger (20270-U)
New! Dry Sampler – ASSET EZ4-NCO Dry Sampler (5027-U/5028-U)

References
US EPA-40 CFR Parts 51 and 59: National Volatile Organic Compound Emission Standards for Aerosol Coatings (pdf)
National Center for Manufacturing Sciences: Paints and Coatings Center
Canadian Paints and Coatings Association


Formaldehyde back to top

Formaldehyde is a common indoor air pollutant, a VOC that is colorless with a strong and unique odor. It is present within carpets, flooring, in furniture, as well as in the plastics we use everyday. It is also found in medical preservatives, adhesives, particleboard, coatings, paper, paints, foam, etc. Exposure can take place by inhalation of formaldehyde in the vapor form or by adsorption (liquid form) through the skin. Exposure to formaldehyde may result in watery eyes, irritation and burning of the eyes, stuffy nose and skin rashes. It is also known to cause headaches and flu-like symptoms. Chronic exposure may also result in bronchitis. Formaldehyde can trigger other ailments like asthma, and behaves like an allergen.

Several paints contain biocides which off-gas formaldehyde. It is one of the only VOC’s regulated by the EPA; OSHA regulates it as a known carcinogen. Formaldehyde is a concern in various other industries such as healthcare  (hospitals and veterinary care), to teachers and students in a laboratory environment, to construction workers; also, in pulp, paper, automotive, and maritime industries. It is a common contaminant investigated in Vapor Intrusion, Sick Building, and Building related illness cases.

Exposure Limits
Agency Exposure Limit
OSHA (PEL) for General Industry: 0.75 ppm; 2 ppm STEL
for Construction Industry: 0.75 ppm; 2 ppm STEL
for Maritime: 0.75 ppm; 2 ppm STEL
ACGIH (TLV) 0.30 ppm, 37 mg/m³ TWA
NIOSH (REL) 0.016 TWA; 0.1 ppm Ceiling (15 minutes)
NIOSH (IDHL) 20 ppm
(TWA=Time-weighted average; TLV=Threshold Limit Value; PEL=Personal Exposure Limit, REL=Recommended Exposure Limit; IDHL=Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health concentration)

References
OSHA Hospital eTool-Glutaraldehyde: Best Practices for the Safe Use of Glutaraldehyde in Health Care. OSHA Publication 3258, (2006), 261 KB PDF, 48 pages.
OSHA Safety and Health Topics - Formaldehyde
OSHA Formaldehyde Standard
OSHA Chemical Sampling Information - Formaldehyde
NIOSH Safety and Health Topic - Formaldehyde
EPA Air Toxics - Formaldehyde
OSHA Chemical Sampling Information - Acetaldehyde
NIOSH Pocket Guide - Acetaldehyde
Application Guide for RAD165 - radiello Passive Sampler for Aldehydes

Applications
Formaldehyde by OSHA Method 52 (713-0264)
Aldehydes/ketones in air by US EPA TO-11, IP-6A, ASTM® D5197 (795-0298)
Analysis of 21 Aldehyde / Ketone DNPH Derivatives Using Ascentis™ RP-Amide (Length 15 cm) (pdf)
Analysis of 21 Aldehyde / Ketone DNPH Derivatives Using Ascentis™ RP-Amide (Length 25 cm) (pdf)

Related Products
radiello Cartridge Adsorbent for Sampling Aldedydes - (RAD165)
radiello Aldehyde Calibration Standard - (RAD302)
DSD-DNPH Passive Sampling Device for Aldehydes, pk of 10 - (28221-U)
Aldehyde Standards Aldehyde/DNPH Standards
Ascentis® HPLC Columns C18 and RP-Amide columns 25 or 15 cm x 4.6, 5 µm


Ozone back to top

Ozone is present everywhere in the atmosphere. We need “good ozone” to sustain our planet and protect us from the damaging UV rays of the sun. When ozone is prevalent at high elevations of the atmosphere, it has a protective effect; however, at lower elevations it reacts with VOC’s and produces smog in outdoor environments. Outdoor ozone is often the cause of high levels of indoor ozone. Indoor ozone is of great concern because it reacts with the indoor VOC’s to form toxins; and, it is also suspected to react with chemicals on our skin. Additionally, ozone affects the respiratory system, and can cause ailments such as asthma.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) has concerns that high ozone levels result in the following detrimental affects on the respiratory system:

  • Irritation of the respiratory system causing coughing and irritation in the throat and chest
  • A reduction in lung function, making breathing shallow and labored
  • Inflammation and temporary damage to the lining of the lung

It is known that air pollution causes damage to paints and related materials depending on the composition of binding agents, which often contain synthetic polymers. Ozone (which is a photochemical oxidant) reacts with these polymers and degrades them; this creates in the need for more frequent painting, which in turn results higher costs to the manufacturer or end-user and also more air pollution.

Exposure Limits
Agency Exposure Limit
OSHA (PEL) for General Industry: 0.1 ppm; 0.2 mg/m³ ppm TWA
for Construction Industry: 0.1 ppm; 0.2 mg/m³ ppm TWA
for Maritime: 0.1 ppm; 0.2 mg/m³ ppm TWA
ACGIH (TLV) Heavy Work: 0.05 ppm TWA
Moderate Work: 0.08 ppm TWA
Light Work: 0.10 ppm TWA
Heavy, Moderate, or light workloads (≤ 2 hrs): 0.20 TWA
Appendix A4: Not Classifiable as a Human Carcinogen
NIOSH (REL) 0.1 ppm; 0.2 mg/m³ ppm Ceiling
NIOSH (IDHL) 5 ppm
(TWA=Time-weighted average; TLV=Threshold Limit Value; PEL=Personal Exposure Limit, REL=Recommended Exposure Limit; IDHL=Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health concentration)

References
OSHA Safety and Health Topics – Ozone
AirNOW – Ozone
EPA Ground Level Ozone
Paint Quality – Going Green
Radiello® Passive Sampler for Ozone (pdf)

Related Products
radiello Cartridge Adsorbent for Sampling Ozone (O3) - (RAD172)