Auto Body Shops Are Going “Green”…What Does That Mean?

Companies worldwide are doing whatever it takes to make their products and services more environmentally friendly, cost-effective and safe for consumers. The hybrid vehicle, for example uses less gasoline due to its ability to be re-charged after every trip, saving money for the consumer and minimizing the amount of pollutants emitted into the air. The overall concept of the hybrid vehicle is brilliant, but during production, the environmentally friendly form of transportation is receiving numerous coats of toxic automotive paint. Did you know there is an environmental impact each time a vehicle gets a coat of paint?

Many vehicles’ glossy, shiny paint colors consist of a solvent-based and toxic Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) paint. If this sounds pretty serious to you, it is. VOC paint includes a variety of chemicals, some of which could potentially cause short and long-term negative health issues, especially to those who work in an auto body shop. As the paint hardens, the vapors become admitted throughout the body shop, only to be covered up by the additional toxins in paint strippers and cleaning solvents. However, it is important to know that there are alternatives to VOC paint, which can help minimize the effect of toxins from us as individuals and throughout the world.

The safer alternative to the VOC paint is a Water Borne paint. Water Borne paint is environmentally friendly because it is not solvent based. In addition to reducing VOC emissions during application, water-borne coatings reduce the risk of fire, are easier to clean up (creating less hazardous debris) and minimize worker exposure to organic vapors.

If and when you need to contact an auto body shop and you prefer the environmentally friendly method of paint repair, make sure that the shop you choose has the proper equipment, materials and technological brains to be a “green” service and repair center. Green means the solvents are not getting put into the atmosphere and affecting the ozone layer.

Many “Mom and Pop” shops might not be equipped to handle the water-borne paints, so you may need to look at the larger garages and/or dealerships while exploring options. For garage owners to obtain the appropriate tools and materials can be quite costly as well as a major investment.

Ask the auto body shops and/or dealerships that you are considering if they are a green facility and why they chose to go that route.

If you are a “green” auto body shop in Massachusetts or any other New England state, give us a call today to speak with an agent and receive a free commercial garage insurance quote!

Published in: on June 23, 2011 at 11:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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