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Reducing formaldehyde emissions from water-based coatings



Whether in our personal lives or in business, environmental sustainability is an increasingly high priority. We all must do our utmost to comply with new, more stringent and/or revised regulations in order to leave a healthier plant for the next generation.

Now is therefore the right time to apply products that can reduce the environmental impact of foundry operations.

This article will discuss water-based foundry coatings that are designed to reduce formaldehyde (FH) emissions. In doing so, they support foundries in achieving compliance with the latest EU regulations of FH release emissions in coating drying processes.


All water-based systems are susceptible to the growth of microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, which can influence the performance of those systems and lead to significant changes during application. Microorganisms can also impact the health of the operators who use contaminated products.

In order to avoid such effects and protect water-based systems, biocides are included in their composition. In the foundry environment, water-based coatings are the main products that require this type of protection.

The biocides commonly contain FH, which is a powerful antibacterial and antifungal agent. This FH is released under specific conditions, such as those found in coating drying processes, and therefore contributes to the overall FH emissions of the foundry.

This presents a challenge, however, as FH is considered a harmful substance and regulated as such by the EU. The EU regulation on the emission of harmful substances (2008/50/EG) has recently been revised to further reduce allowable FH emission levels from 20mg/m³ to just 5mg/m³. Even foundries with exhaust gas treatment facilities are required to adopt the new limits.