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VOC 2010

Posted by Adrian
January 1st, 2010

Volatile Organic Compound 2010

The new VOC legislation

From today (January 1st 2010) there is new legislation regarding the amount of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compound) in paint. Based on the EU directive 2004/42/EC the amount of VOC’s has to be reduced. From the 1st of January 2010 the production of non-compliant paint is banned and from the 1st of January 2011 the sale of non-compliant products will be forbidden.

So what is the need for this new legislation?

VOC’s are solvents within solvent-based paints such as gloss, undercoat and varnishes. These solvents evaporate into the atmosphere as the paint dries. You can tell how high the VOC’s are in a tin of paint normally by the distinctive smell you get off from them, gloss has a high VOC content where as emulsion has a low VOC content.
If you look at the side of the paint tin it will have a symbol and also some writing about the VOC content in the tin.

The solvents or VOC’s contribute to environmental air pollution and in turn damage the ozone layer.

Many VOC 2010 compliant paints have been on the market for a while now, such as emulsions but for paints such as undercoat and gloss that have higher VOCs these will now be clearly marked as being VOC 2010 compliant.

So does having lower VOC’s affect the paint?

For most DIY painters and decorators there will not be any noticeable changes but for the professional painter and decorator who uses paint all the time, some changes will be noticed. These include:

  1. Longer drying times
  2. Yellowing quicker
  3. Higher sheen level
  4. Separation in the paint can

So can I still use non-compliant paint?

If you are an applier rather than a manufacturer or supplier you can still use non-compliant paints.
Manufactures cannot make non-compliant paints from today and suppliers have until next year (01.01.2011) to stop stocking and selling non-compliant paints.

For more information, search for VOC 2010.

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