Auto painting goes green at Rosemount shopThe automobile business doesn’t have the best environmental record. From large automotive manufacturers to small auto body shops, where cars are worked on, hazardous chemicals usually follow.
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
The automobile business doesn’t have the best environmental record. From large automotive manufacturers to small auto body shops, where cars are worked on, hazardous chemicals usually follow.
Phil’s Auto Body in Rosemount is aiming to fix that and has made some changes that will have old Mother Earth smiling.
Over the last month the longtime Rosemount business has switch from solvent basecoats that contain a lot of nasty chemicals to waterborne basecoat paints.
Owner John Anderson said his business made the change to stay on top of innovation and technology in his industry. He said he anticipates federal regulations will mandate the switch sooner than later anyhow.
“It’s important to stay ahead of what’s to come and it’s only a matter of time before it’s national,” said Anderson.
Anderson said in California and Canada air quality regulations have led to laws requiring waterborne basecoats. Similar laws have been proposed at a federal level, but none have gone through yet.
“It’s good to stay ahead of the game,” said Anderson.
While it hasn’t been an easy switch — over the last month the company has added new equipment and had to train its painters on it — Anderson said it’s worth the investment.
The switch to waterborne paints has reduced atmospheric emissions as well as hazardous waste from the shop, which is located off of County Road 46.
The waterborne basecoats are provided by PPG Industries, a chemical company. PPG territory manager Shawn Ryan said the paints are similar to latex based house paints that have been modified for automotive use. He added that the paints are just as durable as solvent-based paints.
Solvent basecoats contain a number of hazardous chemicals including lead and volatile organic compounds which can harm the environment if not handled properly. Ryan said the waterborne coats don’t have such chemicals so are safer to use and to dispose of.
“There’s very little hazardous waste at the end of it,” said Anderson. “There’s just a water.”
Application of the paints is similar to the solvent-based, said Ryan. There is some training required, which PPG supplied.
To help with the conversion Anderson said his staff went through training offered by PPG. In addition PPG employees were on hand at the shop to answer any questions and offer advice.
“It’s been going smooth,” said Anderson. “It sprays wonderful.”
Besides being better for the environment, Ryan said the waterborne basecoats will increase color match capabilities.
“We can mix any color from any year,” said Anderson.
While other body shops in the state have partially converted to waterborne basecoats, Phil’s is the first to convert 100 percent of its operation.
Phil’s Auto Body has been in Rosemount since the 1950s. The company specializes in collision repair. For more information on Phil’s new “green” system call John Anderson at 651-423-2433. Additional information can be found at www.ppg.com.