Towards the identification of the volatile organic compounds emitted by the coatings used in a car factory painting line

Pedro Catalão Moura, Fausto Santos, Carlos Fujão, Valentina Vassilenko

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One of the main reasons for the degradation of working conditions is the lack of air quality. It is known that indoor air contaminants pose a risk to both the human organism and the environment, which constitutes a challenge for employers and major industries. A car factory painting line is an evident example of a work location in which the employers must be especially aware and concerned with the employees' health. Since the coatings are the main VOCs-emitting source, this work studied the analytes emitted by four primers, 17 basecoats and one varnish used in a car factory of a world-renowned automotive brand, with gas chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry (GC-IMS), as a way of identifying all the coating-borne VOCs that can be emitted to the indoor air. The variability of the collected data was assessed, and the repeatability of the results proved the suitability of GC-IMS for this type of study. Among primers, inks and varnish, 45 VOCs were accurately identified using an exclusively developed database of compounds. The presence of the identified analytes in the composition of the coatings represents the potentiality of being emitted to the indoor air of the factory and, consequently, denotes their eventual toxicity for the employees of the painting line. These results represent a step forward in the assessment of the panting line work conditions, so eventual consequences to the employees’ health are theoretically discussed; nonetheless, further studies aim to examine air samples of the factory and evaluate the work conditions and actual consequences to the employees that must be developed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Coatings Technology and Research
Early online date28 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Basecoat
  • Car factory painting line
  • Clearcoat
  • Coating
  • Gas chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry
  • Primer
  • Volatile organic compounds


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