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The Boston Safe Shops Project

Project Details

Year: 2011
Location: Boston
Project Manager: Paul Shoemaker, Boston Public Health Commission
Partners: Forest Hills Auto Service, Jendriel Collision Center, Mattapan Auto Collision, Avenue Auto Body, Inc, J.P. Auto Body, Keegan's Service Station, E&J Auto Tech, M.C. Auto Repair, L&S Auto Services, Talbot Collision Center


Building on its existing Safe Shops Project the BPHC worked with auto body and repair shops to replace products that contain toxics such as toluene and perchloroethylene with a trial of non-toxic, water-based alternatives. Five auto body shops agreed to try samples of an aqueous paint-gun cleaner and five auto repair shops implemented a water-based brake cleaning system. The results of evaluation surveys and participants’ success stories were shared to encourage other shops to switch to the safer products.


Of these participating shops, as of June 2, 2011, 2 repair shops and 2 body shops have continued to use the water-based alternative with a third body shop still interested in the water-based cleaner but having suspended its use temporarily.  Each of these shops was featured in the Safe Shops Newsletter which was produced in May 2011 and mailed to all auto shops in the city of Boston in June 2011.  

Following the project period, the Safe Shops Program will continue to conduct outreach and education to auto shops across Boston to encourage the adoption of best work practices and alternative products to prevent use of, and pollution from, toxic products and protect worker health.  The success stories shared through the newsletter produced and protect worker health. The success stories shared through the newsletter produced during this project will help demonstrate to other shops that these product replacements can make business sense and that the alternatives work just as well while providing a host of environmental and health benefits.

They have also begun to expand the Safe Shops Program to address environmental issues in Boston's nail salons as well.  The program has become a sustainable permanent component of the BPHC and will continue its pollution prevention activities.  They are currently working on a program component to verify/recognize/promote environmentally responsible "Green & Clean" businesses to encourage a raising of standards across both industries.  


This page updated Tuesday October 09 2018
Project Materials