Should You be Using VOC Compliant Paint?
Understand the regulations before you start to paint
Anyone operating in a manufacturing, industrial, or construction setting is subject to strict regulations regarding workplace safety and environmental impact. If your project includes paint, you need to understand one of the primary regulations affecting the kind of paint you use – VOC compliance. Use this quick overview to be sure you’re within the letter of the law.
What is a VOC?
The acronym VOC stands for volatile organic compound. These compounds are found in a number of substances with industrial applications. When they are present, they make substances like paint viscous and workable. When they evaporate they leave behind a hard, durable surface. Unfortunately, in high enough concentrations VOCs can cause potentially severe health conditions like acute respiratory problems and even cancer. They also contribute to smog and degrade air quality.
What is VOC Compliance?
Since VOCs have a detrimental impact on both human and environmental health, they are strictly regulated by a number of bodies. Depending on the location and type of job, local, state, and environmental laws may all dictate the levels of VOCs allowable in the paint that will be used.
How do I Ensure VOC Compliance?
The easiest and most reliable way to ensure you are VOC compliant is only to work with paint that has a VOC compliant label. You will also sometimes see labels reading “Low VOCs” but these paints can contain levels above the threshold allowable for compliance. Always choose paint labeled specifically as compliant.
What is the Penalty for Non-Compliance?
The penalty for non-compliance will again depend on the location and type of job. But in any instance, contractors caught using non-compliant paint can face stiff fines – potentially up to $50,000 for every day the paint was used. Regulators have shown a willingness to enforce the laws, too. In just one day a regulatory body in California handed out $154,000 in fines for air quality violations.
Am I Required to Use VOC Compliant Paint?
As you would expect, the regulations regarding VOC compliance are vast, complex, and include a fair amount of gray area. But considering how steep the potential penalty is for non-compliance, it is a smarter move to insist on using VOC compliant paint every time. The paint is comparable in terms of price and performance and helps to bolster the environmental credentials of your business/project.
Find Your VOC Compliant Paint at Watson Coatings
At Watson Coatings, all of our products are strictly VOC compliant. And since we offer custom formulations, you can get the exact product you need and not worry about incurring a fine. If you have questions about compliance or any of our paint products, please contact us at your convenience.