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On January 9, 2008, the EPA accepted a new standard known as the HAPs 6H rule to reduce the public’s health exposure to Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs).  The agency’s main objective is to significantly lessen the amount of HAPs released into the environment during paint stripping or surface coating operations.  During such work practices, the most dangerous chemicals, namely, methylene chloride (MeCl), cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese and nickel compounds, represent significant risk to employee health if proper engineering and administrative controls are not in place.

Because the requirements are extensive, the EPA is allowing existing facilities until January 9, 2011 to reach compliance.  Body shops should review KPA's 6H Checklist to ensure that their paint spray operations are compliant with the EPA 6H rule.