First Regulation on VOCs in Colorants OK’d in California

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) recently passed the nation’s first regulation on VOC levels in painting and coating colorants. SCAQMD passes regulations relating to air quality in the greater Los Angeles area. While the new rules won’t go into effect until January 1, 2014 this is big news for the coating world and potentially expensive news for many paint manufacturers who use VOC-containing tints to produce different colors.

In beginning to regulate VOC levels in tints, SCAQMD is recognizing a problem that has plagued “VOC-free” paints since their inception. Namely, that most of these so called VOC-free paints are only VOC-free in their base form. Add any color or tint to the base paint/coating and you no longer have a VOC-free product. Painting manufacturers have traditionally been very slow to let their customers know about this distinction. For example, Sherman William’s no-VOC claim for their Harmony line of paints has been questioned by their competitors and the Better Business Bureau. Thankfully EonCoat doesn’t suffer from VOCs in its tints. VOC-free means VOC-free regardless of the color you choose!

The new regulation comes from amendments to their Rule 113 which will now allow up to 50 grams per liter of VOCs for architectural coatings, 50 g/L for water-based industrial coatings and up to 600 g/L for solvent-based industrial coatings. The rules change also places limits on several product types.

To view a full list of the new regulation for the greater Los Angeles area, view SCAQMD’s Rule 113 page.

Will this affect your business? Let us know in the comments and happy coating!