March 2011

The changing state of VOC regulations

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Single-ply roofing products are most affected by recent developments

by Dwayne Wacenske
1 person has posted a comment

Although regulations governing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are not new to the commercial roofing industry, the most recent changes affecting single-ply roofing adhesives, sealants and primers are a source of concern for many industry professionals. The regulations set maximum allowable VOC content, extend beyond simple odor control and focus on the environmental impact of these chemicals.

Complicating matters is the fact that the new rules are being enacted at the state—and sometimes local—level. It often is difficult to determine the VOC contents of many commonly used roofing products because jurisdictions determine whether a solvent is considered a VOC.

Typically, regulations limiting VOC content of adhesives and sealants apply to people who use, sell or manufacture such products. As a result, many roofing contractors are faced with regulations that may adversely affect product availability, application methods, productivity and, ultimately, installation costs.


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Comments (1) Login to post a comment or rating

Posted by pourreau on 3/28/2011, User rating 
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Excellent overview of VOC regulations and their upcoming impact on single-ply roofing installation. On the topic of exempt solvents, I'd like to inform the readers that we developed and commercialized tert-butyl acetate (TBAC) in 1997 for the VOC exempt market. Unlike acetone, TBAC is a good replacement for toluene and other medium polarity solvents currently used in roofing adhesives. It is VOC-exempt in 49 states and Canada, and in a number of California counties. If you are looking for a solvent-based solution for a VOC restricted market or application, TBAC may be the answer. Additional regulatory and technical information is available at You can also call me at 610-359-2411. Dan Pourreau, Technical Advisor.