Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

July, 2005

Odor Abatement

Q. Can water-borne lacquers cause odor problems? Are most of these products typically pretty much odor-free, or do they have potential for residual odors that may aggravate neighbors? If there typically are residual odors, could these be easily abated by a small operation, say by using carbon-containing filters or other control method?

A. Paints do have odors that can be offensive to neighbors. Carbon absorbers for odor abatement is feasible, but a small shop will need to know when breakthrough of VOCs has been achieved. The abatement device must be designed for the spray booth air flow and this can be costly. In principle, carbon or similar abatement media will reduce or even eliminate odors, but the cost might be more than the shop can afford. An alternative might be to increase the airflow through the booth and raise the exhaust stack.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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