VOC reduction in paints

The involvement of the Australian Paint Approval Scheme (APAS) in health and safety matters aligned to the environment is an important part of its Public Information role. One important issue for APAS is its involvement in moves to reduce the levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in paint.

The move to limit VOC in paint is consistent with Commonwealth Government policy of environmental responsibility. This in turn is consistent with world-wide initiatives to reduce emission of organic solvents which contribute to urban smog. To this point the measures have largely focused on conventional decorative paints. This is because these paints represent the largest sector of the market on a volume basis.

Moreover, public exposure to the decorative paint market is much greater than for any other sector of the industry. APAS is currently working to set the next the next round of reductions in VOC content. Together with the peak industry body (The Australian Paint Manufacturers' Federation Inc - APMF) agreement has nearly been reached in what the next set of limits on VOCs are and how they are determined. In 2003 APAS and APMF agreed that for high volume architectural products a unique averaging and maximum system would be set in place. A world-first, this system allows the manufacturers formulating flexibility whilst still delivering reductions in overall VOC escaping to the atmosphere - see APAS document D181).

For further information contact Tel +61 3 9545 2528
Email: Kenneth.lofhelm@csiro.au

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