Jan 12, 2016 Off Comments in Powder Coating by

Take a deep breath. Or maybe you shouldn’t. Depending on where you work and live, the air you breathe may not be so healthy. In addition to pollutants emitted from automobiles and power production, many industries use cleaning, coating and painting products with harmful chemicals that evaporate into the air.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are carbon compounds that, upon evaporating, react with nitrous oxides and sunlight to form ground-level ozone, also known as smog. While ozone in the upper atmosphere is beneficial to the Earth and protects it from UV radiation, it is a harmful pollutant in the lower atmosphere. Reducing VOCs is an effective way to reduce ground-level ozone.

Disposal of chemicals such as paint products is also an issue that can pose a risk to water resources. Toxins can persist in the environment for decades, contaminating the soil and threatening a community’s water supply for years after they are discarded.

Five Minnesota companies whose manufacturing processes involve painting have helped clean up the air we breathe and reduce pollutants going into the environment by adhering to the three “Rs” known as “reduce, reuse, recycle.” The first four companies were identified through a search of the Toxic Release Inventory by the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program at the University of Minnesota (MnTAP).

Read more: Cleveland Ohio Powder Coating: These businesses are coloring a triple win for industrial painting