Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

August, 2005

Calculating Spray Booth Emissions

How to you calculate the amount of emissions from a paint booth? We are building a new shop in South Carolina and the Department of Health and Environmental Control is asking us type of pollutant/air toxins emitted as well as Emission Rate (LB/hr).

A. You can calculate paint spray booth VOC emissions by totally all of the solvents in the paints that you use plus all the cleanup thinners that are evaporated into the air. If you use 10 gallons of paint @ 3.5 lbs/gal then the emissions from he paint are 35 lbs. If you use 1 gallon of cleanup thinner @ 6.8 lbs/gal, but you recover 0.8 gallons of the thinner for disposal as hazardous waste, then your emissions of the cleanup thinners is 0.2 gals * 6.8 lbs/gals = 1.36 lbs.

If you are using waterborne paints and/or if you want to calculate HAP emissions, then this is more complicated. In either case, I will be happy to help you on a consulting basis if you send me ther MSDS for each product.

For your interest, please visit to see the next class I'm giving on paint spray booths and painting operations. Also please visit to see the next environmental class I'm giving for painting operations. you might be interested in one or both classes.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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