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Oil-Based Paints

October 26, 1986

Your Sept. 14 article about the threat to outlaw oil-based paints was a good account of an important, but heretofore largely unreported story.

One point needs clarification: The story cited industry sources as saying that oil-based paints represent less than 10% of the enamel market and EPA as saying that 72% of glossy enamels on the market are water-based. It concluded on that basis, that a ban "would not be economically catastrophic."

A ban might help large national manufacturers who have their own retail outlets. Most stopped making and selling oil-based paints years ago. But outlawing these products will be "economically catastrophic" to hundreds of small manufacturers and independent dealers throughout the state.

Under state and federal law, local smog boards, not the EPA, write the rules. Local air pollution control agencies generally oppose an immediate ban. Why EPA staffers in San Francisco have taken up this discredited cause at this time is a mystery.

I am director of operations of a small paint manufacturing concern. We are a member of the AdHoc Committee of Small Paint Manufacturers, which has opposed this rule since 1977.

ROBERT ZERBEL

Rosemead

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