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Pollution Prevention (P2) is a strategy of material use, processing, and management that reduces or eliminates the creation of pollutants and waste at the source--prior to recycling, treatment or disposal. P2 is also referred to as source reduction. Toxics Use Reduction (TUR) is similar in concept to P2, but more highly focused on toxic chemicals.
P2 and TUR can be achieved through chemical substitution, process redesign, product reformulation, improved operations and maintenance, and/or in-process recycling. Facility planning is a systematic approach to P2 implementation that consists of quantifying chemical use and waste generation, P2 options identification and evaluation, goal setting, and progress assessment.
Downloads & Links:
Pollution prevention tools for
homeowners and renters
Federal guide to resources and recycling companies.
Oil Spill prevention
Risk Management Planning
Hazardous Solvent Substitution Data System (HSSDS)
was created to help end users find alternatives to using
hazardous chemicals for cleaning purposes. The system
contains vendor supplied information about each product,
as well as Material Safety Data Sheets that relate to each
product. All product information and MSDS's are in Adobe
Portable Document Format (PDF).
Solvent Handbook Database System (SHDS)
was developed as an efficient, easily accessible,
electronic solvent utilization handbook. A solvent
evaluation methodology was developed for the SHDS
program and is outlined below:
Finally, if you don't see it here, click on the
P2Gems link for a searchable database of additional web pages.
Avoid chlorinated organic solvents, cyanide compounds, and petroleum-based compounds when water-based substitutes exist.
Buy drainboards and drip pans to enhance drip reuse in process baths.
Choose closed-loop (i.e., fully enclosed) recycling designs to reduce wastes and worker exposures.
Decrease the frequency of painting and paint removal to minimal levels.
Ensure a neat work environment to prevent spills of toxic chemicals.
Foster a regular program of pollution prevention planning and auditing.
Give employees incentives to find new pollution prevention ideas.
Have and use covers for all containers holding fluids that evaporate.
Instruct employees in pollution prevention.
Just use storage tanks with secondary containment (i.e., double-walled tanks and a barrier around loading/unloading areas).
Keep track of toxic chemical inventories to ensure fewer containers on-site, thus minimizing spills, spoilage, and evaporation.
Label containers to prevent mistakes that could result in wastes requiring disposal.
Monitor and maintain the appropriate temperature for heated materials.
Never allow leaks to persist.
Only use sprays when absolutely necessary, since they waste chemicals through dispersion (e.g., paint overspray).
Preclean parts with physical methods (e.g., squeegees, rags) before using solvents.
Quit disposing of baths without checking bath quality, and restore quality through the use of non-toxic additives.
Reformulate or redesign products so fewer toxic chemicals are used in production processes.
Select continuous rather than batch processes whenever possible, to avoid start-up wastes.
Try redesigning processes so they require fewer toxic chemicals.
Use machines instead of manual methods where toxicity concerns exist and process precision would reduce wastes significantly (e.g., paint spraying).
Varnish and other coatings that are not essential should be avoided.
Wash parts only when absolutely necessary.
Xerox double-sided as often as possible.
Yield maximization is one goal, and...
Zero waste is the other.
By Lois Epstein, P.E.,
Environmental Defense Fund (Washington, D.C.)
May 1997, Version 1.4
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This page was updated on 23-Mar-2009