Paint the Town Reg: Shops prep for enviro paint rule

TORONTO — The folks in your body-repair shop could be fully aware of the Canadian government’s new environmental paint regulations that restrict what kind of finishes you can use when you repair damaged trucks. Or, maybe they don’t.

Come January 2010, they will have to use new environmentally friendly paint, and because of it, vehicle-paint manufacturers have been gearing up the same way engine makers have been wrestling with their emissions demons.

The watchword in paint? Volatile Organic Compounds or VOC. Expect to hear a lot more about them soon.

Gillian Clarke is the truck-industry point person with the Canadian arm of the manufacturing giant PPG Industries Inc., a.k.a Pittsburgh Paint.

While she acknowledges that the paint-making industry’s going to love the new rules because it means more sales, she also thinks that people in the trucking industry should educate themselves now, so that when the time comes to re-stock their shelves, they don’t get caught with their, err, paints down.

A federal rule limiting toxins in paints
would affect small and medium shops the most

"Everybody’s kind of positioning themselves for this rule," she told Today’s Trucking. "We’re all biting our nails."

In the interest of spreading the paint news, Clarke will be on hand at ExpoCam in Montreal next month explaining how the new regs affect shops and your bottom line.

The purpose of the proposed VOC Concentration Limits for Automotive Refinishing Products regs, says Environment Canada, is to protect the environment and health of Canadians by setting concentration limits for VOCs in 14 categories of automotive refinishing products.

The VOC concentration limits would apply to automotive refinishing products comprised of chemically formulated products like pre-treatment wash primers, primers, primer sealers, color coatings, clear coatings, truck bed liner coatings, and surface cleaners used to refinish, repair or restore mobile equipment and parts.

Except for some minor differences, the rule is aligned with the provisions of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) suggested control measure.

Exempt from the rule are products sold in a container with a volume of 14.8 ml or less, such as touch-up coatings.

"Since touch-up coatings are considered an insignificant emission source representing no risk to environment or human health, these products are exempted in the regulations," states EnviroCan.

The government acknowledges that small and medium manufacturers as well as independent shops would incur additional costs in purchasing new paints and dispending equipment.

A government report assumes the financial hit could be as high as 5 percent.


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