October 27, Ottawa, Ontario
The paint and coatings industry is pleased with the positive performance evaluation of government regulations for a substance used in certain paint products. The performance evaluation conducted by Environment and Climate Change Canada found industry in full compliance with government’s regulations for 2-butoxyethanol (2-BE). 2-BE is a substance used as a solvent in certain paints, thinners, strippers, and cleaning products. In 2006, 2-BE was declared toxic to human health and regulations limited the amount in consumer products designed for indoor use.
The federal Government’s evaluation sought to measure the effectiveness of the regulations by comparing the current levels of 2-BE in commercial products to those reported in 2003-2004 when the last inventory was performed. In 2004, there were over 300 products on the Canadian market containing 2-BE at levels higher than the proposed limits. In contrast, the latest survey carried out in 2019-2020 did not find any products above that threshold. Furthermore, there was an 81% decrease in the number of products containing any 2-BE whatsoever. No new product categories or limits will be targeted at this time as a result.
The results of the study are further proof of industry’s strong and continuing efforts to reduce volatile organic compounds (VOC) content in a wide range of Architectural products
Since 2009 41 kilotons of VOC emissions were removed from commerce and 94% of architectural paint now sold in Canada is water-based rather than solvent-based. The paint and coatings sector remains one of Canada’s most heavily regulated, but these results show industry’s willingness to move away from targeted substances when provided sufficient time to comply and evaluate viable alternatives.