Paint it green
Do graffiti artists express themselves at the expense of our air quality?
Graffiti artists and taggers already have to worry about local law enforcement catching them with a backpack full of spray paint. Someday, they may also have to dodge environmentalists and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Research by a local air quality specialist suggests graffiti -- and the efforts to cover it up -- might damage the air more than some industries that are monitored by the federal government. The turf war between graffiti artists and local officials in Clark County produced an estimated 31 tons of emissions in 2008, according to Algirdas Leskys, a senior air quality specialist with Clark County, who did the research on his own time. Paint produces volatile organic compounds, which are the precursors of the ozone that turns the air yellow and thick. The majority of the fumes came not from the graffiti itself but from the paint used to cover it up, he said.