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Toxics Reduction


PPRC focuses on reducing toxics at their sources. Source reduction provides environmental protection that effectively reduces both pollution and businesses’ costs. Preventing pollution at the source prevents harmful downstream exposures and costly cleanups. For over two decades, PPRC has been at the forefront of developing partnerships that serve to reduce toxics in processes and products while also improving economic vitality. Here are some of the current projects we are involved with:

Safer Alternatives for Boat Restoration

8This project aims to prevent and reduce toxics entering the Puget Sound by working with commercial and Do It Yourself (DIY) boat restorers and refinishers. The project aims to create awareness about toxics and safer alternative practices in highly impacted communities. We are currently aiming to host a series of educational workshops along the Duwamish Cooridor. We will also develop a series of easy-to-use fact sheets and a short video about best management practices for safer alternatives to common solvents and other toxic materials used in boat restoration and refinishing.

Waterborne Automotive Coatings and Safer Practices

Waterborne automotive coatings are the choice of This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is photo-1485828560670-1f8241f74c0e-1024x683.jpgalmost all major auto manufacturers (OEM’s) and are on the way to becoming industry standard at collision repair shops.  Fact sheets in both English and Spanish have been developed to provide good information on converting your shop to the use of waterborne paint as well as water=based cleaners and degreasers.

Pollution Prevention Assessment / Walk Through

Industrial engineer writing on notepad in factoryTo maintain competitiveness, manufacturers continually seek more efficient and sustainable practices. A P2 assessment can save businesses both resources and money.  If your business has environmental goals, or challenges with waste, water, energy, or toxics use and exposure, we can help. We are currently offering this assessment FREE to participating business.

P2 Assessments can help businesses:

  • Reduce use of and exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Eliminate wastes and waste costs
  • Improve water efficiency and stormwater quality
  • Improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions

For more details, see the full page on Pollution Prevention Assessment services or contact Michelle Gaither.

Safer Alternatives for the Automotive Industry

AutoShop_croppedPPRC developed a series of resources to help automotive owners and technicians get informed about common chemicals found in a repair shop. The resources developed were designed to help both Do-It-Yourselfers (DIYers) as well as industry professionals. Resources include:

  • A series of fact sheets that provide concise information about Solvent Safety Heirarchy, Best Management Practices for Parts Cleaners, Parts Washers Comparison, Floor Cleanup, and Antifreeze Choices.
  • A webinar that focuses on Best Management Practices of a Shop, Safer Alternatives, Compliance, and How to Green Your Shop.
  • An Online Training Curriculum that focuses on helping automotive owners and technicians learn about Safer Alternatives, Best Management Practices in a Repair Shop, and How to Green Your Operations.

To see the full list of resources, visit our full page on Safer Alternatives for the Automotive Industry.

Pollution Prevention for Cadmium and Other Heavy Metals

soil-in-handLike many heavy metals, cadmium is detrimental to human health. Cadmium can cause serious effects to renal function, bones, and the pulmonary system. It is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a Group 1 known human carcinogen. Many people consume far more cadmium than than they are aware of; almost all humans carry a significant body burden of the metal.

Where does cadmium come from? How are we exposed? And how can we prevent harmful exposures? These are the questions PPRC and lead scientist, Marjorie MartzEmerson, are seeking to answer. For more information, visit our full page on Pollution Prevention for Cadmium and Other Heavy Metals.

Stormwater Pollution Prevention

photo_street storm drain_cropped_squarishWe are a new face in the stormwater field. But our expertise in pollution prevention and source control lends itself to effectively preventing stormwater pollution. Our current stormwater work involves the following:

  • Assessment and measurement of stormwater sources.
  • Testing the effectiveness of emerging stormwater management technologies, systems, and processes.
  • Assessing potential for safer chemicals in manufacturing processes and product design.
  • Implementing positive best management practices with an emphasis on source reduction strategies.
  • Feedback and re-assessment to work towards continuous improvement.

For more information about our Stormwater Pollution Prevention work, visit our full page on Stormwater Pollution Prevention.

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) Prevention for Rural Communities

165665477-used-cooking-oil-is-sucked-out-of-a-drum-gettyimagesIn 2014, PPRC is providing technical assistance training workshops for rural communities throughout the Northwest to reduce the harmful impacts of FOG (or fats, oils, and grease) in sewer lines. These one-day workshops will help communities, which may lack technical resources, to:

  • Develop a FOG abatement program
  • Learn more about Best Management Practices in dealing with FOG
  • Access useful FOG-prevention resources and receive ongoing technical support

For more information, go to the full page on FOG Prevention Training. There you’ll find full details about the program and an updated schedule of training dates.

Resources for the Craft Brewery Industry

brew-tank-worthyAs prominent community businesses and gathering places, breweries can function as model stewards for environmental health. Those committed to sustainability can build trust among customers, the community, and the local and regional government. PPRC is here to help – to connect breweries with resources, with technical assistance, and with each other to improve both environmental and economic performance. Resources include:

  • A ListServ for craft breweries – A forum to share solutions to sustainability issues
  • Topic Hub’ for Craft Breweries – A report detailing pollution prevention opportunities and best practices for the craft brewing industry.
  • A series of Workshops for Craft Breweries – See below for upcoming events
  • Additional Resources – Resources for craft breweries looking to manage energy, water, and waste.

For these resources and more, see the full page on Resources for the Craft Brewery Industry.

Safer Chemical Alternatives Assessment 

H-flasks-&-powder---lowThe Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2) has developed a framework and guide to assist businesses in transitioning to safer chemicals. The guide provides recommendations on comparing hazards, lifecycle impacts, costs and functionality of proposed chemical alternatives for products or processes. As part of a range of solutions, PPRC can help you:

  • Coordinate resources and tools for a full alternatives assessment.
  • Conduct a streamlined evaluation of chemical alternatives for small businesses.

For more information on Alternatives Assessment, see our full page on Safer Chemicals.

Green Labs Assessment

Final Logo Draft Feb 26th 2013Does your organization rely on a laboratory? We can provide a detailed assessment of the ways your lab can have a more positive impact on both environmental and worker health. Our Green Labs Assessment includes:

  • Review of applicable best practices for achieving sustainability in laboratories.
  • Assessment of opportunities for selection of safer chemicals.
  • A redesign of processes to reduce, recycle, and mitigate chemical waste.
  • Training in identification, selection, and use of green purchasing tools.
  • Training in supporting behavior change at all levels in an organization to promote long-term sustainability

For more information about Green Lab Assessments, contact our Technical Project Manager, Jill Tepe.

Spray-Paint Efficiency Training

PPRC is currently providing Spray Technique Analysis and Research (STAR®) and NESHAP training to painters and paint instructors. The program is dedicated to improving the overall efficiency of manual spray coating operations by enhancing the techniques of spray technicians.

The benefits of the program include:

  • Improved Worker Health: Reducing short and long-term exposures to toxics, solvents, and isocyanates can improve employee health and safety.
  • Material Savings: Increased transfer efficiency will reduce material usage. An industrial facility can save as much as $40,000 or more annually. Even the most experienced painters have been shown to improve their efficiency by as much as 25% .
  • Environmental Impacts: Reduced emissions can result in cleaner air and better community standing. Also, improved spray efficiency generally reduces the amount of hazardous waste generated.
  • Reduced Environmental Liabilities: By reducing the pollutants emitted you can reduce your liability, regulatory burden, and/or permit costs.

For more details about the training program (NESHAP requirements, techniques trained, and case studies), visit our full page on Spray Painting Efficiency or contact Ken Grimm.

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