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    July 22, 2022

    Learn More About VOCs and How ZRC Products Meet Environmental Regulations

    ZRC is the industry leader in all things related to corrosion protection, and has been blazing that trail for forty years. As you can imagine, our products have needed to adjust as rules and regulations have changed over the course of these decades. Throughout the times, we have continually added to and upgraded our products to maintain and exceed VOC regulations.

    Think about the emission standards for vehicles today. Higher standards are being upheld for environmentally-friendly regulations compared only a few decades ago when these didn’t even really exist. New appliances, as well, are proud to show off their energy star ratings. In a world where your effect on the environment is taken incredibly seriously, ZRC has the products you’re looking for.

    Understanding VOCs

    Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are compounds that have a high vapor pressure and low water solubility. This may not sound like any worth getting worked up about, but they are dangerous because they cause smog and may act as greenhouse gasses. Hence, there may be climate change consequences resulting from unencumbered use of VOCs. Beyond this, VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which have been linked to short- and long-term adverse health effects. In sufficient quantities, VOCs can cause:

    • Irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat
    • Headaches 
    • Loss of coordination
    • Nausea
    • Damage to the liver, kidneys, or central nervous system

    Some VOCs are suspected or proven carcinogens. Clearly, these chemicals and compounds are nothing to ignore.

    The Clean Air Act (CAA)

    Because of their possible side effects on both our planet and the people living on it, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates VOCs in some household products under the Clean Air Act (CAA). Many VOCs photochemically react in the atmosphere to produce ozone, a component of smog. That much is clear. However, the definition of VOCs and their regulation under the CAA sometimes causes confusion. The reason is that some chemicals that are toxic are exempt from the VOC regulations because they are not considered to be photochemically reactive. 

    For this reason, some products that are labeled as "no VOC" or "low VOC" under the CAA can actually contain volatile organic chemicals that are toxic, sometimes at high levels. Not us, though! ZRC Zero VOC has exactly that — zero VOC content. We’re not here to try to fool you into thinking the product is anything other than precisely what it is. Most projects that call for Zero VOC are LEED projects that use as many environmentally friendly building materials as possible. Our product was designed especially for these use cases.

    The Best ZRC Products For Those Concerned with VOCs

    In fact, we have two ZRC products made for organizations or specific projects that need to be low VOC. These products are:

    ZRC - 221 

    The newest innovation in zinc-rich technology, ZRC® 221 Cold Galvanizing Compound offers the same superior performance with 40% lower levels of VOCs . This makes it a more environmentally friendly protection option. With its unique formulation, ​​ZRC 221 Cold Galvanizing Compound is excellent for use in VOC-restricted areas.  

    Some areas in the country, including certain districts, municipalities, and states, have restrictions on VOC content associated with the related product. This could be anything from asphalt products, paints, primers, and sealants to essentially anything else that is dissolved in a solvent and requires curing when applied. 

    An example of a VOC restricted area is the SCAQMD (South Coast Air Quality Management District) in Southern California, predominantly in Los Angeles County. Any type of corrosion protection products done in SCAQMD would benefit from the use of ZRC® 221 Cold Galvanizing Compound.

    ZRC -  Zero VOC

    Perhaps ZRC® 221 Cold Galvanizing Compound having 40% less VOCs still isn’t low enough. No problem! ZRC® Zero-VOC Galvanizing Compound is water-based and environmentally friendly. It is truly different from other products of its kind, with the same quality protection guarantee.

    ZRC ZERO VOC offers the same true cathodic protection as our original ZRC, without volatile organic content, solvents, or solvent fumes. This product solves the problems inherent in traditional inorganic zinc coatings, like near-white sandblasting, difficult spraying, and short pot life. We’ve resolved these issues by creating a unique hybrid featuring the best features of organic and traditional inorganic zinc coatings. 

    Choosing Between Two Great Options

    With both options being so fantastic, it can feel like there’s no right or wrong choice. Why would someone choose ZRC® 221 Cold Galvanizing Compound rather than Zero VOC? There are a few differences that make one product a better suit for certain projects than the other.

    For one, ZRC-221 is a single component product. Our Zero VOC product on the other hand is two parts that must be mixed together before applying. The ease of application with a single component product like ZRC-221 is more appealing to some contractors, as it’s less complicated to apply. If the project is VOC restricted, but the ZRC® 221 Cold Galvanizing Compound falls within acceptable VOC content, it would most likely be the one selected.

    Additionally, ZRC Zero VOC has a higher temperature rating than ZRC-221. If the temperature requirements are within appropriate use of both products, a contractor would most likely choose ZRC-221 due to the ease of application. ZRC® 221 Cold Galvanizing Compound has a maximum temperature rating of 750 degrees F intermittent, 350 degrees constant. ZRC Zero VOC, on the other hand, has a maximum temperature rating of 1700 degrees F intermittent, and 1200 degrees constant. 

    As you can see above, our zero VOC can stand up to higher temperatures. If a project calls for absolutely no VOCs at all, the ZRC® Zero-VOC Galvanizing Compound is the best and only option.

    If you’re still a little unsure as to which is right for your application needs, we encourage you to research and contact your local legislation to confirm which product fits best. We’re always here to help too! Contact our team with any questions, comments or concerns you may have and we'll help to the best of our ability.

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