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FAQs: What You Need to Know About Formulating to Meet the New Canadian VOC Regulations for Case & Construction

Meet New CDN VOC Reg for CASE & Construction 1401x942px

How to navigate the new standards and transition to low and VOC-free products.

What are VOCs and why are they being regulated?

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are compounds that participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions. They are organic chemicals that can easily evaporate into the air and contribute to air pollution.

The Canadian government’s new VOC regulations are meant to protect human health and reduce environmental impact by limiting VOC content in various products.

What are the key implementation dates?

  • January 1, 2024: manufactured or imported products, except disinfectants, must comply with all regulatory requirements.
  • January 1, 2025: disinfectant products must meet all regulatory requirements.

What products are being regulated?

This regulation establishes VOC concentration limits for approximately 130 product categories and subcategories including: personal care products, automotive, household maintenance and cleaning products, adhesives, adhesive removers, sealants and caulks, and other miscellaneous products.

To comply with the regulations, the manufacturer or importer must ensure that products meet concentration limits of applicable product categories, that products are labelled with the date of manufacture and that records are kept and maintained for at least five years.

What are alternative compliance options if you are unable to meet the regulations by the deadline?

Here are three alternative compliance options:


  1. Permit – technical or economic non-feasibility. Application must include evidence, and a plan and timeline to reach compliance.
  2. Permit – product whose use results in lower VOC emissions. Allows innovative products to exceed the VOC concentration limit if, as a result of product design, formulation, delivery or other factors, it results in lower total VOC emissions than a comparable compliant product when used according to manufacturer’s written instructions.
  3. VOC compliance unit trading system that allows companies to balance emissions from products that exceed the concentration limits with compliance units earned from products that were reformulated to have VOC concentration lower than the regulatory limits. The program also allows companies to trade compliance units with other companies.


What products are available that are VOC compliant for the CASE market?

Quadra collaborates with partners like ADDAPT to offer alternative solutions to Canadian chemists, including:

  • Codis: A label-free, water-based, and bio-based pH neutralizing agent with precise pH control, made from over 75% renewable resources and with no VOC/SVOC.
  • Addisp: A solvent-free pigment dispersant and wetting agent suitable for water-based systems, including carbon black biodegradable. ADDAPT Chemicals also provides a variety of label-free and VOC-free dispersants.
  • Anticor: Series of water-soluble, multi-metal corrosion inhibitors compliant with FDA regulations for incidental contact with food and readily biodegradable according to OECD 301D.
  • Biowet: A range of biodegradable, mostly non-ionic chemicals for wetting/leveling and open-time improvement in water-based applications.
  • Foamstop: VOC-free foam control agents for low VOC-emulsion systems, based on a proprietary blend of components from renewable resources in powder and emulsion forms.
  • Silstab: Label-free products consisting of highly stabilized, ready-to-use, VOC-free potassium silicate solutions. They can be seamlessly incorporated into render and coating formulations without coagulation issues, compatible with various emulsion binder types such as pure acrylic and styrene/acrylic.

Where can I get further guidance on the VOC regulation and concentration limits?

The VOC landscape is large and dependent on each formula. To get more guidance, visit Schedule 2 on the Volatile Organic Compound Concentration Limits for Certain Products Regulations: SOR/2021-268 on the Canadian Government website. To contact them directly, email or call 819-938-4483 / 1-888-391-3426.

Get in touch with us today for guidance in the low or VOC-free product landscape and our team can provide compliant solutions. To learn more about ADDAPT’s solutions, explore our product portfolio.

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