New California air regulatory requirements affecting adhesives, degreasers and coatings took effect on January 1st, 2017. The new requirements, promulgated by the California Air Resources Board (ARB), are contained in Sections 94507-94517 and Sections 94520-94528 of Title 17, California Code of Regulations. These changes consist of volatile organic compound (VOC) standards, the prohibition of chemical compounds with a Global Warming Potential Value (GWP) of 150 or greater, the prohibition of specific toxic compounds, and reactivity limits for certain aerosol coating products. These regulations apply to any person who sells, supplies, or manufactures the affected products for use within the state of California.
ARB regulates chemically formulated consumer products and other products as part of its program to reduce the amount of VOCs, toxic air contaminants (TACs), and greenhouse gases (GHGs) that are emitted from the use of those products. In particular, VOCs interact with other pollutants to form the smog components ground-level ozone and particulate matter (PM2.5). According to ARB, “Reducing VOC emissions from consumer products therefore plays an integral part in ARB’s effort to reduce smog in California.”
Under the new requirements:
• Products affected by the new VOC standards and the prohibition of chemical compounds with a GWP of 150 or greater include aerosol adhesives such as mist spray adhesives, web spray adhesives, and screen printing adhesives. This regulation includes an exemption for both fragrances in an amount of up to 2 percent by weight and low pressure VOCs.
• The prohibited toxic compounds are methyl chloride, perchloroethylene, and trichloroethylene, and the affected products are single purpose cleaner, single purpose degreaser, and screen printing adhesive, which all fall under the category of aerosol adhesives.
• Products with new aerosol coating reactivity limits include certain general coatings and specialty coatings, a comprehensive list of which can be found here.
All of the affected products have a “sell-through” provision allowing the sale or supply of products manufactured prior to January 1st, 2017 for up to three years. These products must have been marked with a date of manufacture or a code-date that has been filed through the ARB’s enforcement division. The date of manufacture or code date must have been displayed at least 12 months prior to the effective date of standard (January 1st, 2017).
Responsible parties who go through an application process may obtain an Alternative Control Plan (ACP) for products that fall within the VOC standards specified in sections 95409 and 94522, Title 17, California Code of Regulations. Through an ACP, the responsible party may implement an alternative to the regulatory VOC standards. The application process is set forth in the regulations beginning at Section 94540.
This blog article was researched and written by Brown University Class of 2018 student Aisha Keown-Lang. Ms. Lang is studying biology and political science at Brown University with the goal of going into bioethics and public health. Her special interest in genetics stems from her research in the Li Lab at UCSF and the Gerbi Lab at Brown. After having worked with children in the Providence school system for nearly three years, her commitment to improving scientific literacy and expanding health services in underserved communities remains strong. Ms. Lang is currently a writer for Brown’s Science Cartoon Program (SciToons), which aims to communicate scientific research and ideas to a diverse audience.
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