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Volatile Organic Compounds and their Importance in Air Emission Compliance

Technical Bulletin

Volatile Organic Compounds and their Importance in Air Emission Compliance

An important aspect in improving and maintaining air quality is to minimize the emissions of volatile organic compounds or VOCs. VOCs are chemicals, either liquids or solids, whose vapors can react with sunlight and nitrogen oxides (NOx) to produce ground level air pollution or smog. The nitrogen oxides (NOx) are produced in auto exhaust, the burning of fossil fuels for power generation, and other industrial processes. The ability of certain chemical vapors to produce smog, when sunlight makes them react with nitrogen oxides, is referred to as photochemical reactivity. It’s the emissions of these photochemically reactive vapors into the air with which the EPA is concerned. Chemicals whose vapors are not photochemically reactive, that is, they do not react with NOx, in the presence of sunlight, to form smog, are considered exempt and are not counted when you add up the amount of VOC ingredients in a product.

To comply with Federal air quality regulations with regard to VOC emissions, many states and municipalities have created regulations that limit the amount of VOC-emitting chemicals in the chemical products that are sold within the state or local area. The state of California, due to its own specific environmental conditions and needs, is leading the way in promulgating such regulations. The Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states of Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia have formed a group called the “Ozone Transport Commission” or OTC. The OTC has created regulations, patterned on those of California, to reduce VOC emissions in their respective states. California and the OTC have published lists of product categories they wish to regulate and the limit of total VOCs permitted in those chemical products sold within the state. In some cases these lists are not “hard-and-fast” and product category definitions are continually being modified or the permissible limits of VOCs are being lowered.

To make VOC compliance easier for its customers Chemtronics has published on its website a list of all Chemtronics chemical products that are currently regulated under the California or OTC VOC regulations. We will also be printing any state sales restrictions on our shipping cartons, product labels, and bills of lading to help our customers more easily comply with these complex regulations.

Chemtronics VOC Regulatory Information is listed here. Chemtronics VOC Regulatory Information

If you do not find what you are looking for, please contact our Technical Hotline at 1-800-TECH-401 (1-800-832-4401) or 770-424-4888 x 137.

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