Expert Paint Booth Air Quality Tips

Having code-compliant paint booth air quality is crucial for worker’s health and quality finishing jobs. With many factors to consider during a spray application, following expert tips can help create safe working environments and better paint booth performance. VOCs, overspray, and contaminants must be accounted for.

Here are expert indoor air quality tips for paint booths.

How VOCs Affect Air Quality

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are carbon-based compounds that, when evaporated, create flammable vapors. Both solvent and waterborne paints release VOCs, which is why it’s crucial for all paint booths to have a proper exhaust system. Exhaust fans and ventilation rates should exceed the minimum requirements set by the IFC and NFPA 33 to limit VOC exposure to the operator.

Pro-tip: VOC levels can be monitored various ways:

  1. In booths that have carbon filtration, by testing the absorption rate of the granular carbon. The less saturated the granular carbon is, the more effective it is.
  2. In standard booths, monitoring devices can be used.

Other Factors that Affect Air Quality

Overspray, dirt, dust, insects, and other contaminants can affect the air quality within a paint booth. There are two types of filters that a paint booth should have to keep outside contaminants out and inside compounds in. One filter should remove the outside contaminants before they enter the paint booth. Likewise, the other filter should properly exhaust the fumes, overspray, and other compounds released during the painting process, as they cannot exist in a higher concentration than they’re meant to be.

How to Monitor the Air Quality of Paint Booths

The air quality of paint booths can be tested using several methods. The methods listed below are the most common for traditional paint booths. While they can be performed independently, it’s best for both to be completed a minimum of once a year.

  • Airflow Testing: Airflow testing uses a monitor attached to the paint booth’s equipment to confirm whether there is adequate airflow to keep paint emissions contained.
  • Worker Exposure to Spray Emissions Testing: Worker exposure to spray emissions testing uses a lapel monitor to test VOC and hazardous chemical exposure.

The VOC and hazardous chemical base levels are determined by what is being sprayed and the particular configuration of the system. Facilities can also work with an industrial hygienist to define acceptable VOC and hazardous chemical levels for their operations.

How to Create Efficient Air Quality within a Paint Booth

Creating efficient air quality within a paint booth should be designed around the paint company’s material safety data sheet (SDS) and technical data sheet (TDS). Information such as the type of painting that is being done, how much paint is being applied, and how much painting is happening per hour/day should be taken into consideration. With all this data, a paint booth’s fans and filters can be properly configured to provide clean, healthy, and safe air.

If your facility is struggling to maintain proper air quality, Accudraft can help. We’re a leading paint booth manufacture that can design a system to keep VOCs and other hazardous chemicals within code-compliant limits. Contact us online today to talk to a team member.

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