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by Ron Joseph

May, 2006

Paint Coating for Laboratory Bench Top

Q. We are renovating a lab to study mosquitoes. The question of what type of paint is best for our purposes is being debated. The criteria are:

It must be non-porous, easily cleanable and must withstand periodically being wiped down with commonly used bleach type agents.

It must be very durable.

It's VOC's must be non-toxic to mosquitoes. The mosquitoes will reside in cages and the ventilation rate in the space is fairly high with no recirculation of the air.

Is there a rule of thumb for how long VOC's are given off after painting.

I'm leaning toward latex epoxy. Others are leaning toward acrylic latex.

A. Either of the two coatings you suggested might work. I would probably lean toward a waterborne polyurethane that might be more durable. My hesitation in giving you a recommendation is that I have absolutely no idea how sensitive mosquitoes are to any organic vapors. Frankly, before you commence the project you might expose some mosquitoes to the vapors of each of the three coatings and determine if any mosquitoes are affected. If none of the coatings harm the inspects then in my opinion the polyurethane will be the best choice.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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