National Volatile Organic Compound Emission Standards For Consumer Products

Section 183(e) of the Clean Air Act requires EPA to regulate volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from consumer and commercial products. VOC emissions contribute significantly to the formation of ground-level ozone (smog) which is associated with a wide variety of human health effects, agricultural crop loss, and damage to forests and ecosystems.

Regulations developed under section 183(e) must be based on "best available controls" (BAC). In the statute, BAC is defined as "The degree of emission reduction that the Administrator determines, on the basis of technological and economic feasibility, health, environmental, and energy impacts, is achievable through the application of the most effective equipment, measures, processes, methods, systems, or techniques, including chemical reformulation, product or feedstock substitution, repackaging, and directions for use, consumption, storage and disposal."

On September 11, 1998, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued final regulations to control volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from household consumer products, such as cleaning products, personal care products, and a variety of insecticides. EPA worked in close partnership with major stakeholders, including industry representatives and state and local agencies, in developing the final regulation. The requirements outlined in the final rule are based on product reformulation, a pollution prevention approach. The final rule affects approximately 220 consumer product manufacturers and importers nationwide. Technical amendments to the rule were published in 2010, 2011 and 2013.

Fact Sheet.