Enforcement Advisory: #156: Abrasive Blasting Program - Certified Abrasives

This page last reviewed March 3, 2009


Abrasive Blasting

Number 156

November 13, 1997


The Health and Safety Code authorizes the Air Resources Board (ARB) to adopt air pollution standards for sandblasting operations. The current regulations require that all abrasive blasting be conducted within a permanent building with some specific exceptions. Exceptions allowing outdoor blasting exist when 1) steel or iron shot/grit is used exclusively, or 2) the blasting is conducted with ARB certified abrasive, wet, hydroblasting, or vacuum blasting techniques and the item blasted exceeds 8 feet in any dimension or is situated at its permanent location. The current regulations apply a 40 percent opacity visible emission standard to all permissible outdoor blasting and a 20 percent opacity standard to all permissible indoor blasting regardless of the abrasive or the blasting technique used.

Under Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations, the ARB is required to certify abrasives used for permissible dry outdoor blasting as complying with specific performance standards. The performance standards require that the abrasives shall not contain more than 1% by weight material passing a #70 U.S. standard sieve before blasting, and that after blasting the abrasives shall not contain more than 1.8% by weight material 5 microns or smaller. As an alternative to the before-blasting requirements, the abrasive shall not produce visible emissions more than 20% opacity when blasted in accordance with a specified test method. Compliance with these certification requirements helps to reduce fine particulate matter emitted to the atmosphere during permissible dry outdoor blasting.

Executive Order G-97-071 lists abrasives currently certified by the ARB in accordance with Section 92530 of Subchapter 6, Title 17, California Code of Regulations. The certification of the abasives on this Executive Order will expire in either 1998 or 1999 depending on when the abrasive was certified. New Executive Orders will be issued as appropriate. The next advisory mailing of the certified abrasives list will not be until fall of 1998, individual mailings will be available upon request.

If you have any questions regarding Executive Order G-97-071 or the certification process, please call Ms. Kathryn Gugeler at (916) 327-1521.

James R. Ryden, Chief
Enforcement Division
California Air Resources Board
Post Office Box 2815, Sacramento, CA 95812