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Disney Painting Its World With Environment In Mind

22 March 2011 by WKMG Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Disney World, the home of the Magic Kingdom, Blizzard Beach and the Tower of Terror, is quietly using paint that sends less carbon compounds into the atmosphere.

Don Weschler, director of Engineering Services with Disney's Hollywood Studios, said the environmental decision was voluntary.

Local 6 News investigative reporter Mike Holfeld joined Weschler 199 feet in the air at the top of the Tower of Terror as crews were painting the attraction.

"Our parks in California actually started before us because of regulations they have out there," Weschler said. "Even though it wasn't regulated, we thought it was the right thing to do at our parks here."

The Orlando attraction uses 110,000 gallons of paint every year.

Disney World said that is enough to paint 1,200 747 aircraft or 7,000 standard-size homes.

Disney World started using low or zero Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) paints in 2009.

Volatile organic compounds are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids including paint and paint thinners.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, "VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects."

Researchers suggest VOCs are "consistently higher indoors" (up to 10 times higher) than outdoors.

As paint dries, carbon compounds are released into the atmosphere.

According to the EPA, those compounds can damage the ozone layer.

Weschler said since switching over to the low VOC paints Disney "cut the emissions by two-thirds."

Unlike California, Florida lawmakers have not introduced mandates for use of low VOC paints.

The EPA is expected to issue a sweeping policy this year.


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