Automotive refinishing products and volatile organic compounds
Automotive refinishing products are coatings and surface cleaners that are applied to motor vehicles and mobile equipment. They are used to prepare the surface and/or apply a coating.
Information on volatile organic compound emissions (VOC) from automotive refinishing coatings in aerosol containers is found on the Aerosol coatings page.
The Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Automotive Refinishing Products Regulations was published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on July 8, 2009. The regulations apply to manufacturers, importers and sellers of automotive refinishing products.
The objective of the regulations is to protect the environment and health of Canadians from the effects of air pollution by reducing VOC emissions. The regulations are based on similar requirements in other jurisdictions, such as California and Europe.
Key elements of the regulations
The regulations establish concentration limits for VOCs in 14 categories of automotive refinishing products in the Schedule to the regulations. The VOC concentration limits apply to automotive refinishing products like:
- pre-treatment wash primers
- primer surfacers
- primer sealers
- colour coatings
- clear coatings
- truck bed liner coatings
- surface cleaners
The regulations include provisions that set out the:
- determination of VOC concentrations
- requirement of an accredited laboratory to perform an analysis for the purpose of the regulations
- requirements for product labelling and record keeping
- procedure to apply for a permit and the conditions of a permit issuance
The guidance document, Analytical methods for determining VOC and other parameters for the VOC regulations, describes the analytical methods that we use to verify regulatory compliance.
- Volatile organic compounds in products overview
- Information sheet - VOC concentration limits for automotive refinishing products
- VOC concentration limits for automotive refinishing products regulations: questions and answers (PDF; 281 kB)
- About environmental and wildlife enforcement
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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