News Update

3/26/2015 - Saint-Gobain acquires Phoenix Coating Resources

VALLEY FORGE, Pa.–Saint-Gobain has acquired Phoenix Coating Resources Inc., Mulberry, Fla., a manufacturer of ceramic ingots used to produce high-resistance thermal coatings on metal parts for the aeronautics industry. The coatings improve the energy efficiency of aircraft engines by enabling them to operate at higher temperatures.

Phoenix Coating Resources will join Saint-Gobain's Ceramic Materials business, enabling an expansion in the range of coating solutions it provides to the aeronautics industry. Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures, and distributes high-performance building materials, providing innovative solutions to the challenges of growth, energy efficiency, and environmental protection.

3/25/2015 - CCAI announces new Salt Lake City chapter

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—The Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI) is pleased to announce the launch of its Salt Lake City Chapter. An enthusiastic group of members in the finishing industry have planned a kick-off meeting at the Hyatt House in Salt Lake City, Utah, on April 23, 2015. Ron Lum with Coral Chemical and president of the CCAI Southern California chapter recognized the need and assisted in the effort to initiate an organized chapter in the Salt Lake City area. Lum comments, “The new chapter board members have generated a lot of enthusiasm and local support already. I'm looking forward to seeing a great start to this new chapter and the value it will bring to the Utah finishing industry.”

Joe Jeppson with Coral Chemical is taking the reign as the first chapter president along with Ken Nein of IFS Coatings as vice president and Jared Ainsworth of TCI Powder as treasurer. If you or your company services the Salt Lake City region, please spread the word about the chapter and encourage your peers and co-workers to get involved. Information on chapters can be found under the Chapters tab at

The Salt Lake City chapter will offer programming to attract finishers throughout the region. The chapter plans to provide educational meetings with expert speakers and networking activities where you can share information on relevant issues in the industry. The chapter is currently in the process of scheduling programming for 2015-2016. Chapters are the heart of CCAI and they provide significant educational and networking opportunities for those in the finishing industry. To register for the free kick-off meeting, visit and click on the Events tab.

3/24/2015 - Absolute Waste Removal found in violation of OSHA whistleblower provisions

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Absolute Waste Removal has been found in violation of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) by the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for wrongfully terminating a truck driver for raising safety concerns during the reorganization of company routes. Headquartered in Clear Lake, Iowa, Absolute Waste Removal was ordered to reinstate the driver to his former position with all pay, benefits, and rights, in addition to paying back wages plus interest. OSHA also ordered the company to pay $50,000 in compensatory and $50,000 in punitive damages and reasonable attorney's fees.

“An employer does not have the right to retaliate against employees who report work-related injuries or safety concerns,” said Marcia Drumm, acting regional administrator for OSHA. “OSHA is committed to protecting all workers from retaliation for exercising basic worker rights.”

The driver was terminated from employment in February 2013 after raising repeated concerns to the company's owner about new procedures being implemented. The employee rightfully refused to operate a vehicle in an unsafe manner because such operation would violate American National Standards Institute and US Department of Transportation regulations, potentially causing serious injury to the worker, coworkers, or the public.

STAA covers private sector drivers and other employees of commercial motor carriers. Companies covered by STAA may not discharge their employees or retaliate against them for refusing to operate a vehicle that would violate a federal commercial motor vehicle rule related to safety, health, or security, or because they had a reasonable apprehension of serious injury to themselves or to the public related to a vehicle's safety or security condition. Either party in these cases can file an appeal with the department's Office of Administrative Law Judges.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the STAA and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health care reform, nuclear, pipeline, worker safety, public transportation agency, maritime, and securities laws. Detailed information on employee whistleblower rights can be found at

3/20/2015 - Winona Powder Coating receives John Deere certification

ETNA GREEN, Ind.–Winona Powder Coating, a leading supplier of powder coating services to large industrial companies throughout the Midwest, has announced that it has been awarded the JDM F17 certification from John Deere. This paint process qualification enables the company to expand its color range coatings offerings to an expanded base of agricultural parts suppliers.

Brian Bailey, Winona Powder Coating president, states, “By earning this certification, in addition to UL and ISO9000, Winona shows that we are continually striving to meet our customers' rigorous requirements. The John Deere F17 certification allows parts manufacturers to partner with Winona to serve agricultural and major industrial markets. This latest accomplishment helps Winona differentiate itself in the hyper competitive coating market.”

In addition to the newly acquired certification, the company has added abrasive blasting and laser scale removal to satisfy customer demand. These additional equipment capabilities are the latest value-add to its 167,000-square-foot facility, which houses a state-of-the-art powder coating line with a 5-stage washer, automatic and manual coating booths, and digitally controlled ovens.

3/18/2015 - Polychem launches new collection, receives certificate

GAINESVILLE, Tex.–Polychem Coatings has launched its new collection of powder coatings, Urban Illusion, which combines modern, trend driven colors with a patterned effect to give the illusion of texture when they are actually smooth to the touch.

Created using polyester technology, Urban Illusion consists of 14 new shades that are produced using two coats. The coatings have been created to offer a simple, two-step process to the coater, while providing the designer with the interesting finish they desire.

In addition, Polychem has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence from Materials Connexion and has been accepted into Material Connexion's library of innovative materials. Now part of the largest collection of advanced, innovative, and sustainable materials and processes in the world, the Polychem collections were subjected to strict assessment by a panel of world class materials experts in order to be accepted.

Polychem specializes in color and effect creation, with over 15,000 existing colors and 11 different color collections that contain a variety of colors and special effects, including textures, metallics, hammertones, and silver veins.

3/16/2015 - DECC celebrates 50 years

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.–The DECC Co., a coating applicator, celebrated its 50-year anniversary in 2014. “Knowing that it is an accomplishment for a small business to make it even a decade these days, I couldn't be more proud of reaching this milestone as a company,” says Fred Mellema, DECC's president and second generation owner of the family-run operation.

Helped by Michigan's manufacturing resurgence, DECC is poised to top the $9 million mark for the first time. As a result, DECC has been able to add over 30 jobs during the past 3 years. Mellema credits three things for DECC's success: company culture, an investment in systems, and valuing relationships. When most companies were looking to cut costs in 2008, Mellema invested in a $400,000 software system that has allowed DECC to be first in class.

The most notable relationship for Mellema is the one that began more than 40 years ago between DECC and Hope Network, a local nonprofit that provides employment for adults with developmental disorders, disabilities, or other disadvantages. DECC staffs a large group of Hope participants daily to rack parts prior to coating.

3/13/2015 - Packaging manufacturer relocates global headquarters to Mecklenburg County, N.C.

RALEIGH, N.C.–Governor Pat McCrory and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker have announced that Sealed Air Corp. will establish its new global headquarters in Mecklenburg County in Charlotte, N.C. Sealed Air is a Fortune 500 company that creates packaging and hygiene solutions for name brands.

“While Sealed Air's global corporate headquarters is new to Charlotte, this company is not new to North Carolina,” said Secretary Decker. “The company has two production facilities–one in Richmond County, the other in Caldwell County, as well as sales offices throughout the state.”

The company plans to create 1,262 jobs in Charlotte by the end of 2017. Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage will be $119,482. The average annual wage in Mecklenburg County is $59,046. In addition, the company will invest $58 million through a long-term lease with a third party developer who will construct a new, state-of-the-art facility for the global headquarters.

The project was made possible in part by an award to Sealed Air from the state Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program, as voted by the state Economic Investment Committee. Receipt of the award is based on proof of job creation and other performance requirements. JDIGs are awarded only to new and expanding businesses and industrial projects whose benefits exceed the costs to the state, and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant.

The project was also made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $2.5 million. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches.

3/12/2015 - SWeNT adds distributor

NORMAN, Okla.–SouthWest NanoTechnologies (SWeNT) has announced that it has contracted Matteson-Ridolfi to distribute its SMW Specialty Multiwall carbon nanotube (CNT) products in the US. Matteson-Ridolfi Inc., Riverview, Mich., is a premier distributor of specialty chemicals, polymer additives, pigments, and resins. SWeNT is a leading manufacturer of single-wall, few-wall, and multi-wall carbon nanotube materials for printed electronics, energy storage, and composites applications.

3/11/2015 - New coating signals excessive heat

NEWARK, N.J.–According to research conducted by the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), a new color-changing coating technology can warn when material or equipment is too hot to handle, signaling the possibility of malfunctions, explosions, or burns. Referred to as “thermal-indicating composition,” the material turns different shades of color in response to a range of temperatures, starting at around 95°F.

The technology, which was awarded a US patent last May, was developed in response to dangerous conditions in the desert during the war in Iraq, where soldiers reported temperatures near munitions that exceeded 190°F–far exceeding the shells' design limits. The US Army Armament Research Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal commissioned and funded the research.

Zafar Iqbal, a research professor in the Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science, led the joint NJIT/ARDEC research team. “We essentially modified commercial paints and introduced nanotechnology-based concepts to tailor the trigger temperatures,” Iqbal explained. Iqbal's current research came out of earlier work at Honeywell and Allied Corp. that led to a smart coating embedded with color-sensitive materials to indicate how long something had been exposed to high temperatures. According to NJIT, this technology has been widely used by the World Health Organization on vaccine packaging labels. Iqbal plans to use this time coding element in his thermal-indicating paints for the final product for the Army.

The technology has potential for other applications, including a temperature indicator for factory machines, household appliances, and tools to signal that they have become too hot to use. The paint could also serve as a warning to firefighters as to the intensity of a fire on the other side of a door coated with the material.

The patent is jointly owned by NJIT and the US Army. NJIT plans to commercialize the technology. Iqbal is also working on a related technology that would indicate whether a product has been damaged by force, shock, or exposure to dangerous chemicals. “A smart coded coating is like a smart skin–it will provide a visual or sensing signal to tell you if there is a problem,” he said.

Coatings research has been inspired by color changing technology in various ways in recent years. In early 2014, the University of California, Riverside, announced that new nanoparticle research produced a polymer that can reveal pressure points by changing color. The sensor film can be painted on contact surfaces to show stress distribution. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, announced progress in 2013 in their attempts to develop camouflage coatings that could shift color properties when triggered by the user's surroundings. Also in 2013, the University of Aveiro in Portugal developed a corrosion-sensing coating that incorporates nanocapsules that can indicate corrosion under coatings by changing color.

3/10/2015 - SPI joins recycling partnership

WASHINGTON, D.C.–SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association has announced that it is an inaugural member of The Recycling Partnership, a grant fund established by the Curbside Value Partnership (CVP) as a vehicle to support and transform public recycling performance. CVP is a nonprofit organization designed to grow participation in curbside recycling programs nationwide.

“SPI is deeply committed to zero-waste strategies that promote reducing, reusing, and recycling plastic materials,” says William R. Carteaux, SPI president and CEO. “Because our members represent the entirety of the plastics supply chain, SPI has emerged as a valuable stakeholder in the recycling discussion with an important, unique perspective.”

The Recycling Partnership will develop projects that ensure overall recycling program health in targeted communities. Project work will begin in July following an announcement of the finalized list of partners and the identification of initial cities selected for partnership. By seeding granted dollars, providing technical assistance, and coordinating education efforts, the Partnership is designed to use one-time investments for long-term returns of material.

SPI represents all facets of the US plastics industry and delivers legislative and regulatory advocacy, market research, industry promotion, and the fostering of business relationships and zero-waste strategies.

3/6/2015 - New OSHA reporting requirements now in effect

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Beginning January 1, 2015, changes were implemented regarding what covered employers are required to report to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employers are now required to report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours and all inpatient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding out about the incident.

Previously, employers were required to report all workplace fatalities and when three or more workers were hospitalized in the same incident. The updated reporting requirements have a life-saving purpose–they will enable employers and workers to prevent future injuries by identifying and eliminating the most serious workplace hazards.

Employers will have three options for reporting these severe incidents to OSHA. They can call the nearest area office during normal business hours, call the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 800/321-OSHA (800/321-6742), or they will be able to report online beginning in mid-January.

For more information and resources, visit OSHA's dedicated web page on the updated reporting requirements at The web page also has a link to OSHA's new YouTube video, where Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, explains the new reporting requirements.

3/5/2015 - Axalta Coating Systems breaks ground on new facilities

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.–Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, has expanded its customer support by breaking ground on an 18,000-square-foot facility in Houston, Tex., to train coating professionals. The facility is scheduled to open in summer 2015.

This center will be adjacent to Axalta's Houston powder coating manufacturing plant and will serve both refinish body shop customers and customers who apply powder coatings for a variety of markets ranging from oil and gas pipelines to general industrial custom coaters. The center is expected to draw thousands of customers to attend instructor-led courses and gain hands-on experience.

In addition, Axalta has opened a new product development center at its facility in Lionville, Pa., in order to strengthen its performance testing capability. The center is equipped with a state-of-the-art professional spray booth and advanced HVAC infrastructure that enables specialists to simulate a variety of North American climate conditions. The simulation will help to assess refinish automotive paint application.

Axalta's refinish coatings range from surface preparation to undercoats, basecoats, and high gloss clear coats across a portfolio of brands. Each product is formulated to be effective in different climates and when coating various substrates such as metals, plastics, and composite materials. The facility is engineered to enable a quick turnaround from product development to launch.

The new center is part of Axalta's dedicated network of research and development facilities that focus on new products to meet evolving customer needs and evaluates ways to improve existing products.

3/3/2015 - IHEA schedules 2015 safety seminar

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.–The Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA) has scheduled its highly popular Safety Standards and Codes Seminar for April 21-22 at the Hilton Garden Inn O'Hare, Des Plaines, Ill.

The 2-day seminar will provide a comprehensive overview featuring the new NFPA 86—2015 edition, including updated requirements for many areas of safety. Sessions will cover the required uses of the American National Standards governing the compliant design and operation of ovens and furnaces.

The content includes an introduction to the NFPA 86 Standard and will review areas such as the general requirements and compliant location and construction requirements for ovens and furnaces; safety equipment such as programmable logic controller systems; class A, B, and C furnaces; commissioning, operations, maintenance, inspection, and testing; gas line evacuation (purging) and charging; safety controls and devices; and loss prevention and product liability. Attendees will also have the opportunity to speak with the instructors who are members of the NFPA 86 Technical Committee and are directly involved with the maintenance and revisions of the Standard.

For more information, call 859/356-1575 or visit and click on the “Safety Seminar” button on the right side of the home page.

3/2/2015 - Courses: April 2015

April 14: Paint & Coatings Basics. PRA Coatings Technology Centre, Hampton, Middlesex, UK. Sponsored by PRA. Contact Elisabeth Brown at +011-44-20-8487-0800; fax +011-44-20-8487-0801;

April 14: Practical Course on Viscosity Measurements.

Dallas, Tex. Also offered April 15

in Middleboro, Mass., and April 16

in Minneapolis, Minn. Offered by Brookfield Engineering Laboratories. Contact Brookfield at 800/628-8139; fax 508/946-6262;

April 28-30: Radiation Curing Technology. PRA Coatings Technology Centre, Hampton, Middlesex, UK. Sponsored by PRA. Contact Elisabeth Brown at +011-44-20-8487-0800; fax +011-44-20-8487-0801;

2/26/2015 - AkzoNobel introduces two new products

NASHVILLE, Tenn.–AkzoNobel Performance Coatings has launched an innovative, bright metallic powder coating that provides a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to chrome plating. Interpon Cr, part of AkzoNobel's Interpon powder coatings range, combines a chrome-like finish with the proven performance of a two-coat powder coating for applications such as furniture, lighting, and other interior fixtures. The unique combination of a highly reflective base coat layer with a clear top coat also offers outstanding resistance to finger marking.

In addition, AkzoNobel's Powder Coatings business has launched a dry-on-dry primer and top coat application process with only one heating stage. Interpon Align is a two-coat, one-bake powder coating system that eliminates one full cure cycle. It eliminates the primer curing process, curing both coating layers simultaneously.

The system is suitable for thick, heavy mass metal parts for OEM specifications. It provides good edge retention and corrosion protection. The system can increase efficiency and output by up to 30 percent during commercial use, and can be tailored for color, pretreatment, line conditions, and performance requirements.

AkzoNobel is a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals.

2/25/2015 - Axalta Coating Systems celebrates 50 years of commercial powder coatings

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.–Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, is celebrating 50 years of commercially produced, latest-generation powder coatings, making it one of the oldest powder coating manufacturers in the world.

Axalta got its start in commercial powder coatings in 1964 with the acquisition of the Teodur brand that had been manufactured by Wagemakers Lekbrieken, a Dutch family-owned paint company. Axalta's powder coatings deliver superior coverage and transfer efficiency with both thermosetting and thermoplastic coatings manufactured under the names of Alesta, NapGard, and Abcite. These products have earned a reputation for corrosion resistance, durability due to superior edge coverage, thick film build, and efficiency because no primer is required.

2/23/2015 - IHEA announces ThermProcess sponsorships

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.–The Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA) has partnered with Industrial Heating magazine to once again provide a Resource Center at ThermProcess 2015, to be held June 16-20 in Dusseldorf, Germany. ThermProcess is held every 4 years in conjunction with three other trade fairs: GIFA–International Foundry Trade Fair with WFO Technical Forum, METEC–International Metallurgical Technology Trade Fair with Congress, and NEWCAST–International Trade Fair for Precision Castings. The event showcases the foundry technology, metallurgy, thermo process technology, and castings industries.

In 2011, ThermProcess had record-setting numbers for exhibitors and visitors. Nearly 2,000 exhibitors from all over the world met with 79,000 visitors from 83 countries. The Resource Center was developed to support IHEA members and US-based companies who either exhibited at the show or wanted to take advantage of promotion through the show. As in 2011, sponsorships of the Resource Center are once again available to provide benefits and services that might otherwise be prohibited.

The Resource Center is designed to give promotional support to the sponsoring company, before and during the show; assist with the finer details of participating in a trade show in Europe; provide access to translation services throughout the show; give sponsors the opportunity to offer educational presentations; provide use of the private conference rooms; provide hospitality throughout the show; assist with hotel reservations and restaurant recommendations; and help gain exposure for your company's products and services globally.

To become a sponsor, call IHEA at 859/356-1575 or visit and click on the “Participate in the ThermProcess Resource Center” button.

2/20/2015 - RadTech announces board of directors

BETHESDA, Md.—RadTech, the nonprofit trade association for UV+EB technologies, has announced its board of directors for 2015: Peter Weissman, Quaker Chemical Corp., president; Lisa Fine, Joules Angstrom UV Printing Inks, president-elect; Don Duncan, Wikoff Color, immediate past president; Eileen Weber, RedSpot, secretary; and Paul Elias, Miwon North America, treasurer.

In addition, newly elected RadTech board members include: JoAnn Arceneaux, Allnex USA Inc.; Mark Gordon, INX International Ink Co.; Nikola Juhasz, Sartomer Div., Arkema Group; George McGill, Zeller+Gmelin Corp.; Alexander Polykarpov, AkzoNobel; Jeremy Teachman, Sun Chemical Corp.; and Xiasong Wu, DSM Functional Materials. Returning board members include: Jennifer Heathcote, Phoseon; Beth Rundlett, Katcheco Inc.; Rick Baird, The Boeing Co.; Joshua Lensbouer, Mannington Mills; and Aaron Smith, Kimball.

“With the continued strong growth of UV and EB, we welcome new board members to help lead and guide our efforts to support the advancement of the technology,” said Weissman. “UV+EB are enabling technologies that additionally offer manufacturers higher productivity, energy savings and favorable sustainability profiles when compared to conventional coatings technologies. These advantages are driving use in areas as varied as industrial pipe and tube, 3D printing, consumer packaging, automotive, and aerospace.”

2/19/2015 - Skipp accepts position at Brenntag

MIDDLEBURY, Conn.—Andrew K. Skipp has accepted an appointment as executive vice president of Brenntag's Mid-South Region. Brenntag, with US headquarters in Reading, Pa., is the second largest chemical distributor in the US and the largest chemical distributor in the world.

Skipp recently announced his retirement as president and CEO from Hubbard-Hall Inc., Waterbury, Conn. Skipp was succeeded in the position by Molly C. Kellogg. Skipp spent his entire business career at Hubbard-Hall, starting as a salesman in 1977 and rising to president and CEO in 1999. Prominent in the chemical distribution industry, Skipp was chairman of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) from 2010 to 2012 and was named Distributor of the Year in 2012.

Hubbard-Hall distributes chemicals to the metal finishing and electronics industries and is a leading manufacturer of specialty chemicals for surface finishing, metal coloring, and wastewater treatment.

2/16/2015 - AkzoNobel solicited as potential buyer of Axalta Coating Systems

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—AkzoNobel, a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals, is reported to be the potential buyer of automotive coatings firm Axalta Coating Systems for more than $7 billion. Although AkzoNobel has not revealed its plans for Axalta, investment banks are in negotiations with the Dutch chemical firm to offer a bid, reported Bloomberg, which citied sources familiar with the matter. AkzoNobel and US-based Sherwin-Williams were both identified as possible buyers of Axalta.

Formerly named DuPont Performance Coatings, Axalta Coating Systems was acquired by alternative asset manager Carlyle in February 2013 for $4.9 billion. The company produces and markets powder and liquid coatings and application tools. In August, Axalta filed for an initial public offering (IPO) to raise as much as $1 billion, and Carlyle appointed Citigroup and Goldman Sachs to manage the IPO. Axalta CEO Charlie Shaver said that the company is seeking to generate revenues of $7 billion by 2018, a 63 percent increase from $4.3 billion in 2012.

2/11/2015 - Axalta adds zinc-free anticorrosion primer

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, has announced the expansion of its global product portfolio to include Alesta ZeroZinc, the next generation of zinc-free anticorrosion primers. These powder primers are formulated to provide an optimum solution for a variety of substrates and offer the potential to reduce costs, enhance operating reliability, and save resources.

Alesta's ZeroZinc is available in three formats suited for application on different substrates — steel primer for ferrous substrates, edge primer for steel and aluminum substrates with sharp edges, and antigassing primer for a tailored solution for degassing substrates.

Aside from quality protection, the primers are environmentally responsible, due to a formulation without zinc or heavy metals. They meet the standards regarding corrosion protection and durability according to DIN ISO 12944-6. In combination with an adequate pretreatment, the primers provide durable, best-in-class corrosion protection even under the most severe conditions, such as aggressive atmosphere, high humidity and extreme climate.

2/9/2015 - Courses: March 2015

March 17-18: ASTM Corrosion Testing: Application and Use of Salt Fog, Humidity, Cyclic, and Gas Tests. ASTM headquarters, West Conshohocken, Pa. Sponsored by ASTM International. Contact Jeff Adkins at 610/832-9738; fax 610/832-9599;;

March 17-18: Making Properties and Profits<\#208>Twin Screw Extrusion Seminar. Akron Polymer Training Center, Akron, Ohio. Sponsored by the University of Akron. Contact the training center at 330/972-8303; fax 330/374-8789;;

March 25: Understanding and Managing Color Quality. PRA Coatings Technology Centre, Hampton, Middlesex, UK. Sponsored by PRA. Contact Elisabeth Brown at +011-44-20-8487-0800; fax +011-44-20-8487-0801;

2/6/2015 - Hubbard-Hall announces leadership change

WATERBURY, Conn.—Hubbard-Hall Inc. has announced a leadership change to become effective the first of the year. Molly C. Kellogg, currently executive vice president, will become president and CEO upon the retirement of the current president and CEO, Andrew K. Skipp, on December 31, 2014. Kellogg and Skipp are sixth-generation family members of the company, whose roots date to 1849.

In announcing the organizational change, Charles T. Kellogg, Hubbard-Hall chairman and CFO, stated, “With 20 years of experience in the company and having worked in virtually every department, Molly has a deep understanding of the company's internal strengths and external opportunities. She's committed to growing the business and brings a unique, long term perspective to our future success.”

Skipp, who announced his retirement in September, has had a 37-year career at Hubbard-Hall, with the last 15 as president and CEO. Under his leadership, the company has enjoyed consistent success and implemented key quality initiatives such as responsible distribution, ISO, and lean.

Hubbard-Hall distributes chemicals to the metal finishing and electronics industries and is a leading manufacturer of specialty chemicals for surface finishing, metal coloring, and wastewater treatment.

2/5/2015 - EPA awards research grants to help predict the impacts of chemicals, nanomaterials

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded research grants to Arizona State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, to better understand the impacts of chemicals and nanomaterials throughout their life cycle—design, manufacture, use, and disposal. According to the EPA, this research will advance the science of chemical life cycle assessments and provide tools to design safer chemicals, while enabling a healthy economy and safer society.

Arizona State University's research will evaluate the trade-offs between using nanomaterials to improve the functionality of consumer products and the potential risks to humans and the environment. The University of California, Santa Barbara's research will develop an online tool to evaluate life cycle impacts of chemicals which industry, academia and other decision makers can use to make more informed decisions about chemical and product design.

As more is understood about the impacts of chemicals throughout their life cycle, this research will influence future scientists and decision makers to consider the associated benefits and consequences of chemicals, which will help create a healthier economy and a safer society.

In September 2012, the EPA partnered with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to encourage collaboration in applying principles of sustainability to chemical management issues. These grant awards further the EPA's and NSF's commitment to increase knowledge of chemical life cycles and sustainable chemistry.

2/4/2015 - Concrete drill jig reduces silica exposure

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A University of California ergonomics team has designed an innovative concrete drill jig that is proving to be highly effective in limiting worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica as well reducing fatigue and risk of musculoskeletal injuries. It also increases productivity, which is a bonus for McCarthy Building Company Inc., the company that's using the jig in renovating a historic building in downtown San Francisco, Calif.

The jig can drive multiple large hammer drills at different angles and heights, and is mounted on a base that allows it to move easily around a construction site. A vacuum collects dust generated by the drill bit. When a laborer drilled into concrete using a pneumatic rock drill by hand, the team measured silica dust levels that were 14 times higher than the recommended exposure limit set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. But with the jig and the dust-capturing device, the exposure level is below the recommended exposure limit. The jig is one of many ways employers can limit worker exposures to silica. For more information on the project, visit

2/3/2015 - ASTM publishes solvent rub standard

WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.—A new ASTM International standard describes a solvent rub technique that can be used in the laboratory, field, or fabrication shop for assessing the solvent resistance of an organic coating that chemically and/or physically changes during the curing process. ASTM D7835, Test Method for Determining the Solvent Resistance of an Organic Coating Using a Mechanical Rubbing Machine, was developed by Subcommittee D01.53 on Coil Coated Metal, part of ASTM International Committee D01 on Paint and Related Coatings, Materials and Applications.

The coil coated metals that are covered in the new standard are used in many markets, such as metal buildings, siding, roofing, trim, appliances and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The standard will also be used to measure the precision of this method compared to the manual method, which is described in ASTM D5402, Practice for Assessing the Solvent Resistance of Organic Coatings Using Solvent Rubs. Interested parties are encouraged to participate in the standards developing activities of D01.53. Now that ASTM D7835 has been approved, the subcommittee will be developing a precision statement for the standard. Laboratories, particularly those that work with coil coated metals, are invited to participate in the upcoming interlaboratory study. For more info, visit

2/2/2015 - Comex sues Sherwin-Williams over failed deal

MEXICO CITY, Mexico—Mexico's largest coatings producer has filed suit against The Sherwin-Williams Co., blaming the US paint maker for the implosion of its plan to buy the Latin American supplier. The suit follows Sherwin-Williams' announcement earlier this year that it would terminate its $2.34 billion offer to acquire Comex, the fourth-largest paint and coatings maker in North America.

Sherwin-Williams announced in November 2012 that it planned to buy Comex, extending the Cleveland-based company's reach throughout Latin America, where PPG Industries has been aggressively expanding. Consorcio Comex, S.A. de C.V. (Comex Group), headquartered in Mexico City, manufactures and sells industrial, protective, specialty, and architectural coatings throughout Latin America, the US, and Canada. Both companies voiced enthusiasm for the acquisition when it was announced.

Mexican regulators approved the $90 million acquisition of Comex's North American business, and that deal concluded in 2013. However, Mexico twice rejected Sherwin-Williams' bid for Comex's much larger Latin America portfolio, finally prompting the US company to end its pursuit. Now, Comex says Sherwin-Williams' efforts to get approval after the second rejection was below the standards set in the purchase agreement. In April, Sherwin-Williams terminated its offer to acquire Comex and filed a complaint with the Supreme Court of New York, requesting a declaration that the company had used “commercially reasonable efforts as required under the stock purchase agreement and has not breached the agreement.”

The court request came just days after Comex notified Sherwin-Williams that it had breached its obligations. Because the deal hadn't closed by March 31, 2014, Sherwin-Williams states that under the terms of the agreement, either party could cancel without being in material breach. Comex is seeking unspecified damages and reportedly has requested that the International Chamber of Commerce arbitrate the conflict.

1/30/2015 - Exposure to solvents may cause brain problems

BOSTON, Mass.—A new study has uncovered brain problems caused by longtime on-the-job exposure to industrial coatings and other solvent-based products. Sustained, high-level exposure to vapors from industrial paints and coatings, adhesives, and other solvent-based products may compromise brain function in workers decades after they have left the job, according to research conducted by a team at the Harvard School of Public Health.

“This study adds to the mounting evidence not only of the harmful effects of solvent exposure on cognitive function in the short term, but also of the health effects that may last long past the time of exposure,” says Dr. Erika L. Sabbath, the study leader. In a study of retired French utility workers, Sabbath found significant association between memory and thinking impairment and long-time occupational exposure to chlorinated solvents, benzene, or petroleum solvents. Some of the retirees showed problems 30 to 50 years after their exposure.

The findings have major implications for exposure limit policies for industrial painters, construction workers, and others who have high, ongoing exposure to solvent-based products. The potential for damage is particularly high for today's workers, who stay on the job longer. Sabbath's study, “Time may not fully attenuate solvent-associated cognitive deficits in highly exposed workers,” has been published in “Neurology,” the journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The research examined memory, attention, and processing speed in 2,143 retirees who had been potentially exposed to three types of solvents in their careers—chlorinated solvents, benzene, and petroleum solvents. All three solvents are widely used in various products throughout the paint and coatings industry. People with high, recent exposure (within the last 12 to 30 years) to solvents were found to be at greatest risk for memory and thinking deficits. The study does not make recommendations for reducing exposures.

1/28/2015 - US government consolidates projects in 19 states

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US government will slash a half-million square feet of office space, and relocate an unknown number of employees, in a $70 million consolidation plan that will trigger projects in 19 states. The US General Services Administration (GSA), the nation's largest landlord, has identified 19 federally owned sites that will be retooled to allow a variety of federal agencies to consolidate their workspace. The project will eventually cut millions of dollars from rent and leasing costs and from expensive operation of underused or inefficient space, GSA says.

The federal government has been working to shrink its brick-and-mortar footprint for some time, through programs such as Total Workplace and through ongoing property disposal. To that end, GSA has been seeking to sell, swap, lease, or otherwise dispose of millions of square feet nationwide that it can no longer use. The effort has produced some novel initiatives. Recently, the agency offered to give buildings in need of redevelopment in exchange for construction services on several Washington, D.C., buildings.

The new consolidation effort is aimed at reducing costs by eliminating multiple leases as well as scaling back the federal government's energy and water consumption. The GSA currently provides workspace for more than a million federal workers in both federally owned and leased space across more than 9,000 properties. The agency is not yet saying when, where, or how many federal employees will eventually be relocated because of the consolidation.

1/26/2015 - EPA publishes 19th annual US greenhouse gas inventory

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its 19th annual report of overall US greenhouse gas emissions, showing a 3.4 percent decrease in 2012 from 2011. The “Inventory of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks,” which is submitted annually to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, presents a national-level overview of annual greenhouse gas emissions since 1990.

The major contributors to the decrease in emissions from 2011 to 2012 were the decrease in energy consumption across all sectors in the US economy, and the decrease in carbon intensity for electricity generation due to fuel switching from coal to natural gas. Other factors included a decrease in transportation sector emissions attributed to an increase in fuel efficiency across different transportation modes and limited new demand for passenger transportation.

Greenhouse gases are the primary driver of climate change, leading to increased heat-related illnesses and deaths; worsening the air pollution that can cause asthma attacks and other respiratory problems; and expanding the ranges of disease-spreading insects. Climate change is also affecting the frequency and intensity of heat waves, droughts, and other extreme weather events. Under President Obama's Climate Action Plan, the EPA is taking steps to address carbon pollution from the power and transportation sectors, and to improve energy efficiency in homes, businesses, and factories.

The EPA prepares the annual report in collaboration with other federal agencies and after gathering comments from stakeholders across the country. In addition to tracking US greenhouse gas emissions, the inventory also calculates carbon dioxide emissions that are removed from the atmosphere through the uptake of carbon in forests, vegetation, soils, and other natural processes (called carbon “sinks”). For more info, visit

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