Metal Finishing

Chapter 4.4: Metal Finishing: Cleaner Production Fact Sheet and Resource Guide

ther Internet and Print Resources

NOTE: Listing of a resource does not constitute USAID endorsement or certificationReferences and Resources

References consulted in preparing this fact sheet:

  • The International Cleaner Production Information Clearinghouse (ICPIC) at


The ICPIC was developed by the UN Environment Programme’s Division of Technology, Industry, and Economics (DTIE) for the effective promotion of CP worldwide. The ICPIC contains a compilation of CP case studies, CP contacts, profiles of CP-related national policies and CP publications. Case studies used in preparing this fact sheet include:

  • EP3: Pollution Prevention Assessment for a Metal Finishing Facility
  • Toxic Waste Reduction in Chrome Plating
  • Cleaner Production for Reducing Water Consumption at a Metal Plating Industry
  • Eco-efficiency at a Metal Finishing Factory in the Czech Republic


  • Management Options for Old Paint and Paint-Related Materials (1995). Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) Fact Sheet.


This fact sheet provides information on how to effectively reduce and manage wastes from painting operations. These include (1) ignitable wastes, such as solvents and other cleaners; paints and paint thinners; and adhesives and glues, and (2) toxic wastes with heavy metals.


  • National Metal Finishing Resource Center.


The National Metal Finishing Resource Center (NMFRC) is an Internet-based organization established in 1995 under a program jointly funded by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Their site is a comprehensive collection of environmental and technical resources for pollution prevention in metal finishing, including a searchable technical database containing over 5,000 articles, papers and reports; specifications (with index) used in metal finishing; shop, supplier and people directories containing over 6,000 entries; and online calculators designed for finishing needs.

Their “Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archives” on wastewater treatment were used in creating this fact sheet.


  • North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance.


This Web site offers an extensive collection of resources on CP and pollution prevention for a variety of industry sectors. The page on waste reduction in electroplating ( houses an excellent online collection of technical resources for the metal plating industry. Several “Fact Sheets” linked to this Web site that were used in preparing this CP fact sheet include:

  • Water Efficiency, Industry-Specific Processes: Metal Finishing.
  • Water Conservation for Electroplaters: Counter-Current Rinsing
  • Pollution Prevention Tips: Drag-out Management for Electroplaters
  • Ben Graves. Never Dump Cleaner.
  • Virginia Waste Minimization Program (1995). Fact Sheet: Waste Reduction for Metal Finishers, 1 (4).


  • Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (1998). Pollution Prevention in Metal Painting and Coating Operations: A Manual for Pollution Prevention Technical Assistance Providers.


The Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA) designed this manual to provide environmental assistance staffers with a basic reference on metal finishing-a single publication to jump-start their research on pollution prevention for companies with which they are working. The manual is explicitly designed to be useful both to assistance professionals with experience working with metal platers and to those who have never encountered metal finishing before. The USEPA Pollution Prevention Division funded this manual as a model of a comprehensive packet of information on a single industry.


  • Pallen, Dean (1997). Environmental Sourcebook for Micro-Finance Institutions. Asia Branch, Canadian International Development Agency.


This sourcebook describes the environmental impacts of a variety of important MSE sectors. It is designed to help micro-finance institutions improve the environmental performance of their lending activities, and offers guidance for improving MSEs’ economic performance as well.


  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (1997). Pollution Prevention Opportunities for Painting and Coatings Operations.


This fact sheet describes alternatives for reducing releases of volatile organic compound (VOCs) from solvents, as well as good operating practices for painting operations.


  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1994). Guide to Cleaner Technologies: Alternative Metal Finishes. EP/625/R-94/007.


This guide presents information on process alternatives that can reduce or eliminate generation of some wastes and emissions from metal finishing operations. It is particularly applicable to firms that apply cadmium and chromium finishes, as well as to finishers that use cyanide-based baths or copper/formaldehyde solutions.

Additional Useful Web sites


  • Business Assistance. Metal Finishing Industry Resources;=7&nav;=7


This site catalogs a variety of metal finishing resource sites. It maintains links to several metal finishing trade associations as well as a database of current research projects. A joint project of the Business Assistance Programs in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, the site is funded by a grant from USEPA.


  • is an annotated guide to resources available on the Internet for metal finishers.