Between legislative testing and adherence to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), our business and those belonging to our industry are subject to any number of safety obligations. One of the foremost obligations is that of spray booth filter disposal.
Spray booth regulations in the UK maintain that your exhaust filters need to be disposed of safely and responsibly because of the potential hazards to the environment. Utmost spray booth safety needs to be upheld, which is why we have written this guide for you.
Why do spray booth exhaust filters need to be removed ‘responsibly’, and what does that mean for you?
Because most paint products contain hazardous compounds with the potential to be flammable, you need to take extra precautions when disposing of them. They cannot be recycled, and so if they are discarded they pose a danger to the environment as well as anyone in the proximity.
The potential environmental impact of exhaust filters is significant in that if vendors across the country did not adhere to spray booth regulations in the UK, it could pose a huge threat by the majority.
To ensure that you’re disposing of filters in a safe way, follow these steps.
How to dispose of filters according to spray booth safety guidelines
1. Test your filters
The first thing you need to do is ensure whether or not the filters you’re disposing of actually contain hazardous compounds. To do this, carry out a Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) laboratory test. The test will determine whether your filters have been exposed to harmful compounds or contaminants.
These harmful compounds or contaminants include the following:
If your TCLP test shows no trace of the above and they have not been exposed to the above, then you are free to dispose of your filters as part of your general waste. Note that you should make it known that the filters are non-hazardous by either contacting your waste management company or as is more often the case affixing a ‘non-hazardous’ sign to the filters. One last thing: keep hold of the test results just in case your safe rubbish is challenged by your council.
2. Responsibly dispose of hazardous filters
If your test shows a definite trace of those hazardous compounds, you must not include them with your general waste. Instead, you need to store them safely until you can send them to a qualified waste disposal company. You will need to store them in a non-leaking container marked ‘hazardous waste’ along with a brief description of the contents.
An important thing to note is that you should always leave the filters to fully dry before sending them away. Once they’re properly dried, the chance that they will ignite is drastically reduced.
3. Take steps to prevent your filters being ‘F-listed hazardous waste’
This step relates to your spray gun cleaning. If your filters are exposed to the solvents in your spray gun (which when cleaning may find its way onto your filters) then you run the risk of your filters being further contaminated. Depending on the solvents you use in your spray guns, your filters can become contaminated by compounds like methyl ethyl ketone which, like the others in our list, are hazardous to the environment.
Get in touch for more information
A vital part of an AGM service contract is the guidance around these kinds of matters. We not only help with legislative testing, but we also provide quick emergency breakdown cover so that your business can be up and running in no time.