Aerosol coatings and volatile organic compounds

Aerosol coatings are spray paints and are applied from disposable hand-held pressurized cans. They are user-friendly and convenient because they:

  • can cover hard-to-reach or irregular surfaces
  • are portable
  • have a long shelf life

People use aerosol coatings for a number of applications including small domestic coating jobs and touching up of marks and scratches on the surface of automobiles. Using these products results in volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, which come from the propellants and solvents in the pressurized cans.

Information on VOC emissions from similar coatings not in pressurized containers is found in other regulations:


In June 2010, we published the Renewal of the federal agenda on the reduction of VOC from consumer and commercial products- a discussion paper for the 2010 to 2020 period. This paper outlined possible initiatives for the Government of Canada to take to reduce VOC emissions from consumer and commercial products. Aerosol coatings were identified as a potential area for the development of control measures.

On March 7, 2012, we held a consultation meeting on the proposed approaches for reducing VOC emissions in aerosol coatings. The report from the consultation provides background information, actions that other jurisdictions are taking and the path forward.

We are currently monitoring actions taken by other jurisdictions and continue to assess opportunities for VOC emission reductions from this product category.

Related links

Contact information

Products Division
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 St. Joseph Blvd
Gatineau QC K1A 0H3

1-888-391-3426 (toll free) or 819-938-4483

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