The starting point

Phthalocyanine blue is a very popular pigment since it offers high performance at a relatively low cost (less than $20 per kilogram). It is based on the phthalocyanine chromophore, which is synthesized from phthalonitrile or from phthalic anhydride and urea in the 1930´s.

Nanoscale copper phthalocyanine (n-CuPc) is used to enhance properties of many materials and products. It can improve the mechanical properties and add transparency, lightfastness, heat stability, chemical and bleed resistance, improved processing capabilities and durability. The automobile industry is the largest user of n-CuPc due to the increasing customer demand for enhanced colors.
The use of n-CuPc in automobile industry can potentially lead to a release of n-CuPc from paint which may pose environmental and occupational risks, especially to automechanics performing car maintenance and repairs. This project presents the first combined study addressing both the release of n-CuPc-containing fragments from commercial coatings in realistic occupational situations and the hazard of the released fragments using a macrophage model. The risk associated n-CuPc in different life-cycle stages is also analyzed first time based on the produced exposure and hazard data obtained in the project and related studies.