Brake Cleaner

Do I Have to Have a Low VOC Brake Cleaner?

Whether an industrial mechanic shop or an individual handyman, it’s important to know the regulations behind VOCs for automotive cleaners.

What is a VOC?

Volatile Organic Compounds are organic chemicals that have low boiling points and high vapor pressures at average room temperatures. Under these conditions, the individual elements within the compound can evaporate into the surrounding air. Any time you’re working with VOC chemicals, it's important to have ample ventilation and the proper safety equipment like gloves, goggles, and respirators if appropriate.

What is the Concern With VOCs?

Unleashing VOCs into the atmosphere can be detrimental to both our health and the environment. As these unstable molecules evaporate into the air, they can pose a serious threat. The primary concern lies in their long-term impact, as the symptoms of their toxic effects gradually manifest over time. This is why the Environmental Protection Agency as well as other state-centered entities have commissioned strict regulations regarding the use and make-up of products with VOC compounds.

Who Has Regulations?

Currently, the state with the strictest VOC regulations is California. As a state known for setting trends regarding environmental policy, it is likely that more states will follow with their guidelines. On top of California, OTC (Ozone Transport Commission) states and MRPO (Midwest Regional Planning Organization) states have VOC limitations on certain products.

OTC States:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Virginia

MRPO states:

  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • Indiana
  • Wisconsin
  • Illinois

How Do These VOC Limits Relate to the Automotive Industry? 

For auto repair shops, mechanics, truckers or anyone else using or selling certain car products (like brake cleaners, degreasers, and more), adherence to VOC regulations is imperative. Failure to comply with VOC regulations can result in penalties up to $75,000 a day. As previously mentioned, not all states have the same VOC regulations for the various car lubricants and absorbents, so it’s important that your shop or lubricant supplier keeps up to date with the latest mandates.

How Do I Know if My Automotive Lubricant Shop is in Compliance?

For certain products affected by VOC regulations, the products should be labeled “VOC compliant.” If the product doesn’t have VOC compliance explicitly advertised, you can determine if the VOC levels are in the appropriate percentages.

Keller-Heartt leads the way in the commercial and industrial lubricants and absorbents industry and does so by offering VOC-compliant brake cleaners at affordable prices. On top of brake cleaners, Keller-Heart supplies oil eaters, anti-freeze, solvents and other oil solutions from trusted brands like Shell, Pennzoil, WD-40 and more. Buy your lubricants and equipment in bulk for wholesale prices at Keller-Heartt, and take advantage of the fact that we don’t charge a fee for most deliveries.


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