Boeing Uses Environmental Friendly Spray Paint On 737 Aircraft <


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Boeing Uses Environmental Friendly Spray Paint On 737 Aircraft

By Daniel Baxter

March 17, 2010 – Brazilian air carrier GOL Airlines purchased a Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The aircraft paint undercoating will consist of a first-ever application of a chrome free primer. Chrome technically known as hexavalent chrome is considered a carcinogen via inhalation and exposure levels are highly regulated.

As part of Boeing's life cycle approach to reducing environmental impact, and in response to requests from the Brazilian carrier and other customers, Boeing has introduced a chrome-free primer to complement chrome-free exterior decorative paint, which Boeing has used for more than a decade.

In addition to simplified health and safety monitoring requirements, a chrome-free primer reduces the environmental impact of the paint and stripping process. Using a chrome-free primer eliminates the need for designated off-site disposal areas and special handling of paint waste and clean up. Such advantages also are of benefit when the airplane is prepared for repainting.

Boeing will apply the chrome-free paint and primer on its models for in-service evaluation, with the intention of making it a standard option in the future.

Sao Paulo based GOL is the first airline in the Americas and the first 737 operator to take part in the evaluation program. In August 2009, a KLM 777-300 ER received a similar treatment, which also has been used on the AH-64 Apache for several years.

Hexavalent chromium refers to chemical compounds that contain the element chromium in the +6 oxidation state. Virtually all chromium ore is processed via conversion to sodium dichromate. Approximately 136,000,000 kilograms (300,000,000 lb) of hexavalent chromium were produced in 1985.

Other hexavalent chromium compounds are chromium trioxide and various salts of chromate and dichromate. Hexavalent chromium is used for the production of stainless steel, textile dyes, wood preservation, leather tanning, and as anti-corrosion and conversion coatings, as well as a variety of niche uses.

Hexavalent chromium was found in drinking water in the Southern California town of Hinkley and was brought to wide popular attention by the involvement of Erin Brockovich. The 0.58 ppm in the groundwater in Hinkley exceeded the Maximum Contaminant Level of 0.10 ppm currently set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

A similar case occurred in 2007, in Asopos River, near Oinofyta, Greece and Brockovich was again involved. In June 2009, the ground water in Midland, Texas (US) was found to be contaminated with chromium. Erin Brockovich was involved again. The Midland groundwater reached higher levels of contamination than in Hinkley with 5250 ppb or 5.250 ppm.

GOL, which also controls the VARIG brand, is Latin America's largest low-cost, low-fare carrier, offering more than 860 daily flights to 50 destinations connecting all of Brazil's major cities, plus 10 major destinations in South America and the Caribbean. The airline operates a standardized fleet of Boeing Next-Generation 737 airplanes.

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