VOC – What’s that all about?
VOC, or “volatile organic compounds” refers to organic chemical compounds that may vaporize and enter the atmosphere. This is a term that typically relates to paints, adhesives and coatings of one type or another.
- VOCs are commonly measured in grams per liter of volume.
- The amount of allowed VOCs in a given material is regulated by the state.
- California has one of the strictest VOC regulations in the nation.
If you have been shopping for cabinets, the next two statements may sound familiar:
This is a selling strategy used by many companies that bring products in from out of state, implying that what is made in California is somehow deficient.
These companies are actually boasting that their products are less environmentally friendly than those produced here. That’s an interesting selling point! In fact, finishes formulated for California’s strict air quality standards are tested using the same performance standards as products from any other part of the country.
Most parts of our country are not blessed with the climate we have here in California. When their weather turns cold, heat is introduced into the finishing process to accelerate drying times. This speeds throughput and improves the manufactures’ bottom line, not their product.
CARB and you
No, it’s not the latest diet fad – at least not in this case. CARB refers to the California Air Resources Board, a branch of the California Environmental Protection Agency.
All products and finished goods sold in the state of California must comply with the CARB Phase 2 (usually referred to as simply CARB-2) regulations regarding formaldehyde emissions. These are the most stringent regulations in the nation and among the toughest emissions regulations in the world.