This assessment resulted from a comprehensive evaluation of the health and environmental hazards and the performance of pavement-marking materials that would meet health and environmental standards including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 's volatile organic compound (VOC) standards expected in 1996. Materials that pose little or no threat to either the environment or workers were enumerated so agencies could concentrate on converting to these materials.
Air quality and pollution have been concerns in the United States for many years, especially in metropolitan areas. In recent years, air quality concerns have included the release of VOCs into the atmosphere from traffic paint solvents. Federal standards were being promulgated by the EPA to reduce the VOC release from pavement-marking materials that were expected to limit the VOC to less than or equal to 150 g/L in 1996. A second concern was worker exposure to hazardous materials such as the solvents toluene and MEK and the lead chromate pigments in yellow traffic paint. If not used carefully, these materials could result in potential adverse health effects and contaminate the environment. Disposal of hazardous waste material from pavement-marking operations was also an environmentally sensitive and costly problem.
Research Triangle Institute provided a pavement-marking materials-selection methodology for users to apply when considering available EPA-compliant options for differing line striping requirements. Specifically, the assessment (1) identified generic products and materials that would meet the EPA's anticipated 1996 VOC standards for pavement-marking materials and compared VOC emissions from these materials with VOC emissions from a representative, currently used solvent-borne material; (2) identified the material, application, economic, and performance characteristics of 1996 VOC-compliant pavement-marking materials; (3) identified the products and components of 1996-compliant pavement-marking materials and associated operations (e.g., application, clean-up, disposal) that posed potential risks to workers and the environment; and (4) developed a methodology to compile, evaluate, and quantify the benefits and liabilities of VOC-compliant materials, the hazards to workers and the environment, and performance factors. This assessment was published as NCHRP Report 392,
"Pavement Marking Materials: Assessing Environment-Friendly Performance." In addition to the final research report, a software package was developed to assist users in applying the technology. The software package, PAMAS, is described in NCHRP Research Results Digest 222
: These ZIP files include the program files and documentation (in Microsoft Word format) for PAMAS in Windows 95 and Windows 3.1. An evaluation copy of PKZIP is available at https://www.pkware.com/
which can be used to extract the files.