Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

November, 2000

VOC Limits for Shipping Containers

Q. Is there a current summary of the VOC limits for coatings for the interior and exterior of steel shipping containers and what limits are expected to placed on VOC levels in the future for the United States?

A. The current VOC limits for the coating of the interior and exterior of steel shipping containers will vary from state to state. In California, the limit is 2.8 lbs/gal, less water and exempt compounds, whereas in other states the limit is 3.5 lbs/gal, less water and exempt compounds. In most states, the coating of steel shipping containers falls under the Miscellaneous Metal Parts rules, but you will need to check what it is in your state.

In the future the EPA will propose a NESHAP for this general industry, and the limits might be different. From what I have seen so far, it is possible that the limits will be expressed in lbs VOC/gal solids. This requires a different approach to calculating VOC levels.

If the topic is of interest to you, please note that I will be hosting a 4-day training program in California in January that covers this material in detail.

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