The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to regulate emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from aerosol cans, such as spray paints, primers and clear coatings. The EPA's proposal is similar to standards already established by California and subsequently adopted by Washington and Oregon. The rule would apply to manufacturers and distributors of aerosol products, which are used for both industrial applications and by "do-it-yourselfers."
The rule focuses on encouraging manufacturers to use less reactive VOC ingredients in their product formulas since certain chemicals are less likely to react with nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere to produce ground-level ozone. Toluene and xylene would be specific targets of the rule since they are highly reactive.
According to the EPA, nearly 85% of the spray paints used in the United States are produced by three companies, and their aerosol coatings already comply with the California regulations. The EPA rule would take effect in January 2009.
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