Pursuant to the California VOC regulations, a number of new requirements affecting various product categories will become effective December 31, 2013, including revised VOC limits and Global Warming Potential (GWP) standards, as well as prohibitions for the use of alkylphenol ethoxylate (APE) surfactants and other specific toxic compounds.

According to ISSA's Bill Balek, the table sets forth the new VOC limits (based on percent by weight) and GWP standards that become effective on December 31 of this year. Click here to download the table.

APE Surfactants. Also, effective December 31, 2013, the use of APE surfactants in nonaerosol “Heavy-Duty Hand Cleaners or Soaps” is prohibited.

Sell-Through Period. To facilitate the transition period when regulatory requirements become effective, the California VOC regulations contain a "sell-through" provision. This provision allows the sale or supply of noncomplying products for up to three years if they were manufactured prior to the effective date of the applicable VOC limit. In order to qualify for this sell-through provision:

• The products must be marked with the date of manufacture or an appropriate code-date that has been filed with the Air Resources Board's Enforcement Division; and
• The date or code-date must be displayed on containers beginning at least 12 months prior to the effective date of the standard.

As specified in the California VOC regulations, the effective date of the limits for products requiring Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) registration have one additional year of sell-through to allow adequate time for the registration process.

Automotive Windshield Wiper Fluid. On July 1, 2013, a revised definition for Automotive Windshield Washer Fluid (AWWF) products became legally effective. The definition was modified to expand the areas where ready-to-use AWWF products with a VOC content of up to 25 percent by weight may be sold (Type "A" areas). The added areas are mountainous regions that routinely experience freezing temperatures in the winter. In all other areas of the State, ready-to-use products must contain no more than 1 percent by weight VOC.

However, concentrated (dilutable) AWWF products may be sold in all areas of the State as long as the dilution instructions clearly specify the recommended dilutions to apply in Type "A" areas and in other areas of the State. Other amendments that became effective on July 1, 2013, allow concentrated products to indicate on the product label that the consumer should follow the dilution instructions for Type "A" areas when traveling to areas where freezing temperatures are expected.

For more detailed information on the revisions that take effect on December 31, 2013, click here.