VOC Emissions & Air Quality


Volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from consumer and commercial products like paint and coatings  were a significant contributing factor in the creation of air pollution in urban areas. The use of consumer and commercial products results in low-level emissions of VOCs from solvent-based products, and to a lesser extent, water-based coatings products. These emissions contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter, which form smog. Smog is known to have adverse effects on human health and the environment. Canada has been working to reduce emissions of air pollutants in order to protect the environment and health of Canadians. The paint and coatings industry has taken this seriously and reduced VOC emissions by more than 75 percent in the past ten years with close to 100 percent of coatings now water-based, including the majority of automotive coatings. The result has been huge, with 41 kilotonnes of VOC emissions reduced by Canada’s coatings industry over the past 10 years. This is equivalent to emissions from 3.3 million cars taken of the road annually.

The industry has seen a 75% reduction in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) over the last 10 years

VOC Emissions & Air Quality

Issues Tracking, Regulatory Updates & Canada Coatings HUB Resources

Issue Overview

VOC regulations were enacted for Architectural & Industrial Maintenance (AIM) as well as Automotive Refinishing coatings in 2009. There were new VOC limits for 54 categories for coatings that aligned closely with CARB limits. Since that time there have been great gains made in VOC emissions reduction by the industry in Canada. During that time CPCA was instrumental in securing exemptions for 16 key compounds such as TBAc and DMC, which help reduce VOCs in certain products. However, there is growing pressure to further reduce VOC emissions by lowering the existing limits and that may cause concern for companies with respect to the actual performance of certain products. Since the last round of VOC regulations federal government created a Federal Agenda 2020 to revisit existing regulations and consider other products that could be considered for new VOC limits such as industrial products, traffic markings, etc. CPCA has been monitoring the ongoing process of government actions for the Third VOC for Certain Products Regulation and actions in other jurisdictions. These may, and likely will, impact future decisions on further VOC emissions reductions in Canada.

To address get ahead of regulations in terms of policies and any regulatory development in future, CPCA has provided key resources on the Hub for members such as:

  1. Government Actions;
  2. Emerging Issues;
  3. Reports and Publications; and
  4. Resource Type;
  5. Keyword Search.

In addition, there is a Featured Resources section where you can access relevant data in related to legislation, policies, and programs related to the VOC & Air Quality issue in Canada, which includes:

  1. Canada CoatingsHUB;
  2. CoatingsHUB Resources;
  3. Canada’s Regulatory Development Process;
  4. CPCA Compliance Oversight;
  5. CPCA Submissions; and
  6. CPCA Issue Tracking.

Canada CoatingsHUB Resources

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The table below outlines all activities conducted by CPCA related to the issues within the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP). Anything that is marked as "Member Action Required" within the table will display in your dashboard if you are subscribing and following this issue. Look for important compliance dates and deadlines within the Compliance Calendar.