TURI » Our Work » Business » Small Businesses » Auto Repair and Body Shops  

Auto Repair and Body Shops

Auto shop workers
TURI grants helped the Safe Shops Project demonstrate the use of safer brake cleaners

Auto shops are an important part of a community, providing needed services and jobs. However, they also use many substances that pose a hazard to their workers and can potentially pollute the environment. TURI helps auto shops to reduce their use of toxic chemicals and to implement pollution prevention measures.


TURI received an $82K grant from EPA Region 1 to work with auto body and repair shops in the Lowell, Springfield/Holyoke, and Fall River/New Bedford areas. The grant is to assist the shops in finding alternative brake cleaners, parts washers, and paint gun washers. Alternatives are provided at no cost to the shops for trial and shops will share their experiences with others through the TURI program.

TURI recently provided a $4K demonstration grant to 912 Auto in Dorchester to demonstrate to other body shops the use of an EPA DfE (Design for Environment) approved paint gun wash solution. The shop is saving over $3,000 annually by moving away from harmful solvents with excellent results. A case study describes the changes made by the shop including the financial savings. View the video of the demonstration on the right.

TURI has also provided grants to the Boston Public Health Commission's Safe Shops program to help Boston shops reduce their use of solvents. The program has many excellent resources for shops looking to create a safer and healthier work environment.

The town of Watertown also received a TURI grant to help shops move away from lead wheel weights to safer alternatives. Read more.

Fact Sheet on Cleaning Alternatives
By switching to safer products, it's better for the health of both my clients and workers. Our air quality has improved and I'm also saving money by using less solvent to wash the paint guns.
- Juan Chavez, owner of Moreno Auto Body
I am happy with the water-based technology and am eager to show other businesses that it is possible and profitable to move toward more environmentally friendly chemicals and technologies.
- Larry Dossantos, Owner 912 Auto Center, Dorchester