On 13 Aug 2019, the EPA announced the Volatile Organic Compound Content Limits for Architectural Coatings and Industrial Maintenance Coatings. These regulations seek to reduce the usage of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as part of the EPA’s mission to ensure the public’s health.
Architectural and industrial maintenance coating products contain high concentrations of VOCs. It is often not possible to collect and treat these VOCs during coating processes. For a short period of time after the coating is applied, VOCs continue to be released, impacting air quality, working personnel and people in general. Furthermore, according to the recently amended Air Pollution Control Act, chemical products that are manufactured, imported or sold containing the VOCs announced by the central competent authorities must meet the content limits for such VOCs. Thus, there is a need to enhance related controls on such products.
After considering other countries’ experiences in controlling VOCs, the current state of manufacturing technology development, and the VOC content testing data of the coating products on the market, the EPA announced the Volatile Organic Compound Content Limits for Architectural Coatings and Industrial Maintenance Coatings. The restrictions put in place will be for coatings used in buildings and in maintaining industrial equipment, as these are stationary sources of pollution. The concentration limits are for the VOC content in the products sold on the domestic market; coatings to be exported will not be affected.
The EPA emphasized that the targets of this draft include enterprises involved in the manufacturing, importation and sale of architectural and industrial maintenance coatings containing VOCs. The regulated coatings include three broad categories and five specific types. The categories are: coatings for interior walls and ceilings (category A/B) and exterior walls (category C). Labels for the diluting solvents and the solution ratios will be required to prevent the use of solvents from unknown sources and to determine the largest amounts of VOCs used in coating products.
Excerpt from Environmental Policy Monthly, 22 (9)
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)