Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Award Focuses on Safe Graffiti Removers

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Comment | More

Federal environmental authorities are investing nearly $75,000 in the development of less-toxic paints and graffiti removal products.

The EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region 9 recently awarded a $74,500 grant to Los Angeles, CA-based Institute for Research and Technical Assistance to develop and identify less-toxic graffiti removal products, graffiti-resistant paints, graffiti-covering paints, and abrasive removal methods using alternative blasting media, such as dry ice and recycled glass.

Graffiti removal grant

During EPA's event to demonstrate safer alternatives in graffiti cleanup, a Port of San Francisco painter tested graffiti-resistant paints on a concrete wall.

IRTA is a non-profit that focuses on identifying, developing, testing and demonstrating safer alternatives in a variety of applications. The organization has found low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound), low-toxicity alternatives for solvent-based products in dry cleaning, paint stripping, coatings, adhesives and lubricants.

In announcing the Source Reduction Assistance grant, the agency hosted an event Nov. 13 in San Francisco to demonstrate safer alternatives in graffiti cleanup, including alternative blast media.

Tagging Removal: $12 Billion a Year

“Removing graffiti is nationwide problem, costing $12 billion each year,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.

Public and private organizations spend millions of dollars each year in graffiti cleanup. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency alone spends more than $12 million each year to remove graffiti, the agency said.

“Aside from eliminating graffiti eyesores, investing in research for safer graffiti removal methods has the potential to protect the environment and health of thousands of public cleanup workers,” Blumenfeld said.

© Pam Simmons / TPC

Officials estimate removing graffiti costs $12 billion per year. The safe graffiti reduction methods developed by IRTA will be used nationally, according to EPA.

Many of the materials used in the cleanup process contain toxins that contribute to smog and pose a threat to cleanup workers and community members, he said.

Finding Safer Alternatives

Using the grant, IRTA will focus on finding low-toxicity graffiti removers and will work with paint formulators to develop graffiti-resistant paints, EPA said.

Grant work will be conducted with project partners from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, San Francisco Department of the Environment, San Francisco Department of Environmental Health, San Francisco City Hall and Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and the City of Simi Valley.

The IRTA will test the newly developed products at sites in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas along with city, county and utility groups.

However, the project outcomes are intended for use by cities and counties around the country.

EPA said the safer graffiti reduction methods developed during this project will minimize damage to the environment through a reduction in VOC emissions and will reduce the toxic threat to workers and community members.


Tagged categories: Abrasive blasting; Coatings Technology; Coatings technology; Environmental Protection; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Environmentally friendly; Graffiti; Graffiti-resistant coatings

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office

Sauereisen, Inc.

Tarps manufacturing, Inc.

Axxiom Manufacturing

Abrasives Inc.

HoldTight Solutions Inc.

Seal for Life/STOPAQ



Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL

The Technology Publishing Network

PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us