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VOC's Cure Time on Paint

07/11/2014 3:15 PM

I have a problem with a cure room. The VOC's are very strong but the room is designed to filter the air before it is released into the ambient air. Employees are leaving the doors open to ventalate before entering the room. They also leave the doors open because they are in and out consistently. I am told they get nauseous and a headache if they close the doors. How should I identify the max and min the door can be open and should it be closed immediately. This is an Epoxy paint on parts that are meant to be outside once installed. The painted parts are placed into the room with as much frequency as the material handlers are removing parts that have cured from the day before. I want to make sure we are not infrenging on the limits we are allowed per our Air permit. I also do not want employees to become sick from breathing the fumes. Any suggestions?

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#1

Re: VOC's cure time on paint

07/11/2014 3:43 PM

Your air scrubber doesn't seem to be working correctly.....the activated carbon needs to be maintained properly....It may need to be upgraded, but you will have to calculate the correct size for the application....Epoxy fumes are not very hazardous, but any sanding that may produce dust needs to be managed carefully, the dust can be harmful....If you have done everything to assure the system is working properly, and are still getting complaints, you might have the VOC's measured to make sure you are within limits....

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: VOC's cure time on paint

07/14/2014 6:12 AM

Thank you for your responce, I am having the activated carbon checked first.

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#2

Re: VOC's cure time on paint

07/11/2014 4:03 PM

Yes. Get your employees masks. NOT particle masks, but masks with carbon filters that can be changed regularly.

If you know what VOC stands for you will know that ANY human exposure is a no-no.

You MUS have MSDS for all products your workers are exposed to and they must be available for the workers to read.

Sounds like you are breaking all kinds of health and safety laws and your facility should be shut down immediately.

If you are in the USA the OSHA would be very interested in visiting your facility, I'm sure.

Volatile Organic Compounds - Environmental Protection ...

Volatile organic compound - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Measuring VOCs in the Workplace - EnviroMed Detection

Controlling VOC exposure in the workplace - Safety+Health

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: VOC's cure time on paint

07/14/2014 6:20 AM

Yes, we have the MSDS/SDS and the workers have read and understand the process. I am reaching out for possible problems to check for considering the difference in putting parts into the room verses the material handlers entering and removing parts from the room. You have brought up some good points. I will have the carbon filters checked first and find out the over turn of the air first. I only say this because I do not want to put the workers into a mask if it is unnecessary to do so. This could lead to even more problems. Our heating and air person is suppose to report back to me today and we will go from there. Thank you for your reply.

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#3

Re: VOC's Cure Time on Paint

07/12/2014 1:37 PM

I have designed such systems in the past. You have a few issues here that you need to address. EPA issue with the air permit and more importantly the workers health and well fare. What are your levels of VOC in the room? Have you tested? Are you above the explosive levels for flammable materials? Can the employees even work in the room safely with fire exits and sprinkler's properly installed. I would suggest that you gather someone up to work with you and preform some testing to find out what your working with. Before you do anything else in this room. By all means keep you workers out of the room until you have those answers or your going to hurt someone.

My 2 cents.

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#7
In reply to #3

Re: VOC's Cure Time on Paint

07/14/2014 6:30 AM

Thank you for your reply. We are with-in our permit but some times the strong smell seams to be too strong some for the material handlers to take. This occurs first thing in the morning after the room has been closed off all night for the curing process. That is why they are opening the doors to air out before entering the room. This is where my question holds the most water. Is this allowed? Will it affect others in the nearby departments? I am having the charcoal checked and will be testing levels at different times. One big problem is we do not have the same number of parts curing at the same time. This makes it hard to determine the Max and Min in relation to time to cure and air turn over. I have had several replies and this gives me several things to consider. We all want safety to be first and all of our workers to work in a safe environment. Once again thank you for your reply.

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#6

Re: VOC's Cure Time on Paint

07/14/2014 6:26 AM

You need to keep people and the fumes separate from each other. How you do it doesn't matter. If you have equipment that is supposed to do that then it probably needs fixing so that it works. If you don't then you need to install it. Whichever, you need to keep people out of the area until it has been put right. If that means ceasing operations, then so be it.

Is there another material that could be substituted that doesn't release VOCs?

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#8

Re: VOC's Cure Time on Paint

07/15/2014 6:56 AM

One needs to assess why it is being done in a room at all. If security is an issue, and exposure is an issue, then a secure cage with a roof over it would seem to offer advantages over carrying out the operation in a room.

One also needs to consider the proximity of the operation to those nearby that may be affected by though not involved in it:

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: VOC's Cure Time on Paint

07/16/2014 6:06 AM

I cant' help myself but when did Abraham Lincon get Internet. (;

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: VOC's Cure Time on Paint

07/18/2014 12:29 PM

I hate to chime in and mess up a joke, but Honest Abe was quite the Telegraph Junkie while in office. He spent a lot of time composing and reading 'T-mails,' although he never did figure out how to do smileys on the 'information pony express.'

Hope this helps, or is at least more amusing than irritating. ;)

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