SAN FRANCISCO - The Bay Area Air Quality Management District in California has approved new, lower VOC limits on architectural coatings. The action, which reflects the recommendations of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), will require a VOC limit of 100 grams per liter (g/L) for flat paints used in the San Francisco Bay Area, effective Jan. 1, 2003. The limit is currently 250 g/L.

Also on Jan. 1, 2003, the VOC limit for non-flat, high-gloss paints will drop from 250 g/L to 150 g/L. VOC limits will be reduced for several other types of coatings, including clear lacquers, floor coatings, quick-dry enamels, waterproofing wood sealers, stains, and others.

More information is available from the NPCA website at and from the Bay Area AQMD website at