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Waterborne Automotive Coatings & Safer Practices

The paints, paint strippers, cleaning chemicals and other compounds used in the collision repair industry have traditionally contained toxic materials, in some cases at very high levels. Annual releases from auto body repair in the Unites States have totaled as much as 45.500 tons of cancer-causing chemicals per year.

Over the last decade there has been considerable improvement in products designed to do the jobs listed above, yet do them with safer chemicals in a cost-effective manner. This website is designed to provide relevant information on these safer products and processes to help you make an informed decision when considering change.

Waterborne Automotive Paint

While waterborne house paint has been safe and effective for nearly six decades, waterborne automotive paint has a much more dubious history. Paint peeling was a known issue for many car manufacturers in the early 80’s. The truth is that although paint took the brunt of the blame, a major contributor was a process that allowed primer to sit too long before being painted. It is also true that this is around the time when the switch to a base coat/clear system was implemented and the kinks worked out. These factors never received the widespread blame that waterborne paint did.

Regardless of this, paint technology over the past decade or two has evolved at a rapid pace and continues to do so. The vast majority of original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) now use waterborne paint and 70% have been doing so for almost a decade. Check the links below for more.

Waterborne Coatings Fact Sheet – English or Spanish

Gun Washers and Cleaners

Solvents and thinners provide excellent cleaning of spray guns and spray equipment. Unfortunately, employee and community health risks and local air quality are all made worse through the use of these chemicals. New water-based gun cleaners have lower toxicity and are proven to do the job. Read the fact sheet below and talk with your vendor about availability.

Water-based Gun Cleaning Fact Sheet – English or Spanish

Cleaners and Degreasers

Cleaners and especially degreasers can contain everything from mildly toxic to cancer-causing chemicals. The following list provides a look at safer and healthier choices.

Waterborne Paint Disposal

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