Dow Chemical Is Hit With Demand for Bhopal Payouts
MUMBAI—India's attorney general asked the country's supreme court Friday to force Dow Chemical Co. to pay an additional $1.1 billion in victims' compensation and environmental-cleanup costs related to an industrial accident that killed and injured thousands of people in Bhopal in 1984.
In the "curative petition," Attorney General Goolam E. Vahanvati asked the court to intervene "to cure gross miscarriage of justice and perpetration of irremediable injustice being suffered by the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy," which was caused by a toxic-gas leak at a pesticide plant in central India. <more>
DuPont to pay $3.3M to settle EPA case for failure to report toxic chemical studies
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on December 21 announced that DuPont has agreed to pay a penalty of $3.3 million to resolve 57 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) violations. DuPont failed to immediately notify EPA of research indicating substantial risk found during testing chemicals for possible use as surface protection, masonry protection, water repellants, sealants and paints. The Toxic Substances Control Act requires companies to inform EPA when they have research demonstrating that a chemical could pose a substantial risk to human health and the environment.
“DuPont failed to comply with the law and notify EPA that it had information on chemicals that could pose a risk to human health and the environment,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “EPA is serious about making companies follow our nation’s laws and protecting public health.<more>
US water has large amounts of likely carcinogen: study
WASHINGTON (AFP) – A US environmental group has found that drinking water in 35 American cities contains hexavalent chromium, a probable carcinogen, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
The study by the Environmental Working Group -- the first nationwide analysis measuring the presence of the chemical in US water systems -- is to be made public on Monday, the daily reported.
The group found hexavalent chromium in the tap water of 31 out of 35 cities sampled. Of those, 25 had levels that exceeded the goal proposed in California, which has been trying aggressively to reduce the chemical in its water supply.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency is considering whether to set a limit for hexavalent chromium in tap water. The agency is reviewing the chemical after the National Institutes of Health, deemed it a "probable carcinogen" in 2008.
Hexavalent chromium has long been known to cause lung cancer when inhaled, and scientists recently found evidence that it causes cancer in laboratory animals when ingested. It has been linked in animals to liver and kidney damage as well as leukemia, stomach cancer and other cancers.
A widely used industrial chemical until the early 1990s, hexavalent chromium still used in some industries, such as in chrome plating and the manufacturing of plastics and dyes. The chemical can also leach into groundwater from natural ores.
The chemical compound was first made famous in the hit 2000 Hollywood movie "Erin Brockovich" about the eponymous environmental crusader who also commented on the EWG's alarming finding.
"This chemical has been so widely used by so many industries across the US that this doesn't surprise me," said Brockovich, known for her fight on behalf of the residents of Hinkley, California against Pacific Gas & Electric.<more>
Green Fuels May Speed Tank, Pipeline Corrosion
Ethanol fuels may be good for the environment, but not for the pipelines that transport and store them, new research indicates.
Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC), already a significant problem for pipelines, tanks and other fuel transportation infrastructure, could prove even more challenging in ethanol and ethanol blend environments, according to research by a team at the Colorado School of Mines.
MIC is believed responsible for up to 20% of all corrosion costs and costs the United States billions of dollars each year, the team says. <more>
NY Subway Painters Demand More Lead Protection
New York City subway painters are calling on the city transit authority to adopt tougher lead abatement standards on capital projects.
Union leaders and city council members say they want all contractors removing lead paint in the subway to be certified by SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority now requires for bridges.<more>
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"Ask Joe Powder"
"Ask Joe Powder" is a question and answer column authored by Kevin Biller of the Powder Coating Research Group. Mr. Biller has over 30 years experience formulating and manufacturing powder coatings. He welcomes your questions regarding powder coating technology. Please write to: email@example.com
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Ask Joe Powder – December 2010
Been a reader for quite some time but never asked this question. We are a multi-substrate powder coater with both batch and conveyorized paint lines. A typical day of powder coating might show we change colors 10~15 times, spraying everything from TGIC, Polyester, Super Durable & 70% Fluoropolymer, spray to waste. We have about 25-30 stock colors but we might have somewhere in the neighborhood of over 400 different colors total. We might get an order for a special match color, buy 55 lbs of the color and only spray 30 lbs of it. Then, the left over powder will sit on a shelf for months/years until the possibility of using it again comes around.
We have sprayed 3, 4 & 5 year old powders with no problems but we have also run into a few issues recently. Just within the past year, we have started 100% MEK checking our products to ensure full cure. Since then, we have had 6 jobs where our MEK check showed insufficient cure. We re-bake the parts but it typically doesn't improve the MEK cure check. The powder softens quickly and often wipes down to the base metal in 10-15 rubs. These 6 jobs have all been lighter colors like whites, beige, light tan, pink, etc and have all come from boxes of powder over 3 years old, from multiple vendors. It seems the darker colors, even over 5 years old, still can be used and will cure out. Do you have any idea what might be causing this?
We have multiple powder suppliers and we have seen similar results with all vendors. Our powder storage area is not temperature controller. The powder storage area will see hot southern days of 100+ degrees and cold winter months below 30 easily. What exactly is causing the powder to not cure? Is there some specific constituent in the powder that doesn't age well to temperature fluctuations and moisture? I realize that all powder has a life expectancy and that we are going way over this usage date but what other factors should we be paying attention to?
Thanks so much.
These are fascinating issues that you have been observing. First of all let me commend you for the versatility and breadth of your operation. It takes a high level of discipline and planning to handle so many colors and chemistries in one shop. Kudos to you and your team.
Now to the questions - as you note powders as old as 5 years can be successfully used. Some points that are critical to powder coating longevity:
1. Keep your powder dry. You needn't have to keep the storage area at a certain humidity range, however it is imperative to keep the bag (liner) which contains the powder sealed when storing the powder. Powders are supplied in boxes or barrels that have 3 to 4 mil plastic liners. These liners essentially isolate the powder from environmental humidity. Opened bags allow the powder to absorb humidity and can cause serious clumping.
2. Keep the powder cool. You mention that your storage area can see southern temperatures of 100°F+. Most powders can endure this exposure however any low temperature cure materials will undoubtedly clump and quite possibly pre-react at these elevated temperatures. This pre-reaction will cause an increase in texture that may be unacceptable. Pre-reacted powder can also impair adhesion due to inferior flow and leveling of the powder in the oven.
It is wise for you to check the MEK resistance of your jobs. It is important to note that every powder coating will not provide the same MEK resistance. Polyesters typically soften after 25 double rubs, whereas epoxies and polyurethanes are virtually unaffected with this test. Hybrids fall somewhere in between polyesters and epoxies depending how they are formulated.
Your observation that when applying aged powder light colors are more likely to fail MEK resistance than dark colors is perplexing. There may be a couple reasons for this. One - the original fresh powder may not be very resistant to MEK. If you just recently started to check MEK resistance you may not have the data regarding the fresh powder. The other reason may be a general lack of cure due to a) a higher bake requirement or b) denser parts or a higher load in the oven. Have you checked the actual time and temperature of parts of the various jobs that you run through your ovens? Higher oven loads either due to heavier parts or more parts tax your burners and can keep parts from reaching temperature. It is essential to verify part temperature and time at temperature to ensure full cure.
Regarding the failure after 10 to 15 MEK double rubs, this is a serious issue. All powders will surpass this test if fully cured. I am somewhat surprised that rebaking parts doesn't improve this performance. I would spray a part and cure it for a very long time at temperature to verify the poor performance. One long bake may provide better cure than two shorter bakes.
Regarding color differences equating to different levels of cure - this only makes sense when using infrared as a source of heating. Light colors reflect a high percentage of IR and therefore heat more slowly than darker counterparts. Alternately dark colors readily absorb infrared and heat up much more quickly than lighter colors and metallics. I can't think of a reason why light colors would age more quickly than dark colors.
In summary I think you are on the right track by checking the MEK resistance of all your powder coating jobs. Poor curing may be due to inadequate time at temperature rather than the age of the powder. Carefully check the suppliers recommended bake parameters and verify them with actual part temperature measurements. Keep your powder dry by sealing unused containers and keep your powder relatively cool especially if it is a low temperature cure product.
Thank you for your question and please let me know if you have any further questions.
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