Navigate Canada’s New VOC Regulations: Guardian Chemicals’ Comprehensive Guide to Manage Your Transition

Do you know how Canada’s new VOC regulations impact the composition of chemical products you use? 

And, are you aware of Guardians’ plan to help you make the transition to reduced VOC products? 

The Department of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has brought forth legislation on chemical products containing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s). This legislation is in effect starting January 1, 2024. 

These regulations are meant to protect the environment and health of Canadians by reducing ground level ozone and particulate matter which contribute to the formation of smog. 

Our guide helps you understand Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), the specifics of Canada’s new VOC regulations, and Guardian Chemicals’ plan to help you make a smooth transition. 

What are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)?

VOCs are organic chemicals that can evaporate into the air at room temperature. As they are volatile, they can contribute to air pollution and may pose health risks. 

What Products Contain VOCs?

VOCs are present in a wide range of products including many you commonly use at home and work. They boost cleaning efficiency, act as emulsifiers, solvents, and fragrances. 

In consumer products, VOCs are found in paints, varnishes, cleaning agents, degreasers, air fresheners, and even personal care products such as perfumes and hair sprays. 

In industrial products, they are found in cleaners and degreasers, solvents, automotive brake cleaners, and a variety of specialized cleaning products. VOCs are also used in adhesives, coatings, and chemical processing agents. 

The broad utilization of VOCs underscores their functionality but also brings to light the importance of regulatory measures to mitigate their environmental and health impacts. 

Introduction to Canada’s New VOC Regulations

Under the Government of Canada’s new VOC regulations, VOC emissions will be reduced by setting maximum limits on products produced and imported in over 130 product categories. These regulations are intended to protect the environment and human health and are in effect starting January 1, 2024. 

Examples of product categories included in the regulations include: personal care items; automotive and household maintenance products; adhesives, adhesive removers, cleaners and degreasers; sealants and caulks; and a variety of other miscellaneous products.  

You can find the regulations and the full list of impacted product categories on the Government of Canada “Volatile Organic Compound Concentration Limits for Certain Products Regulations: SOR/2021-268” page. 

What is Guardian Chemicals Doing to Meet Canada’s VOC Regulations?

Guardian Chemicals has identified impacted products and is proactively addressing these regulatory changes. We’re planning a smooth transition for our customers by understanding their needs, offering compliant alternatives, developing custom transition plans, and providing support throughout. 

Our goal is to uphold the performance standards you’ve come to expect while aligning with the new regulatory requirements to ensure a seamless transition and continued customer satisfaction. 

Upon review, we’ve identified the following product categories where Guardian products may be affected by the new VOC legislation. The number in parentheses is the category number identified in the government regulations. 

  • Automotive brake cleaner (14) 
  • Automotive wax (16) 
  • Automotive wash (18) 
  • Products to remove road grime including tar and asphalt (19) 
  • Engine degreaser (25)
  • Electrical equipment cleaner (33) 
  • General purpose hard surface cleaner (42)
  • Disinfectants (42) 
  • General purpose degreaser (43) 
  • Multipurpose solvent to remove organics (48) 

We have already identified low VOC and VOC free products in our current line that meet Canada’s VOC regulations. We will work with you to evaluate these products to ensure performance meets expectations and costs are reasonable. Where necessary, new products may also be developed for your application. 

Guardian Chemicals Process to Help You Transition to Reduced VOC Products

If you are a Guardian Chemicals customer who may be affected by the new VOC regulations, we’ll be reaching out to learn more about your product application to determine whether these regulations apply to your business. 

We’ll work with key contacts in your organization to develop custom VOC transition plans to ensure a smooth transition. Here’s what the 5-step transition process looks like: 

  1. VOC Regulations Customer Survey: Complete survey providing key contact details and information about how you use Guardian Chemicals products.
  2. Customer Consultation: Based on survey responses, customers who may be affected by the legislation will be contacted for additional information. 
  3. Exempt or Applicable Determination: Based on survey and consultation, together we will determine if VOC legislation applies to your business. If not applicable, the process is complete unless you choose to explore alternative Guardian Chemicals products. 
  4. Transition Plan Development: Work with you to develop transition plan including substitute products, timelines for ordering, inventory management, and user training. 
  5. Complete Transition: Review all aspects of transition plan to ensure customer satisfaction. Complete transition to “new to you” products. 

At Guardian Chemicals, we’re committed to not only adhering to these new regulatory frameworks but also ensuring our customers are well-informed and ready for the transition. This comprehensive guide aims to provide an in-depth understanding of VOCs, the new regulations, their impact on industrial cleaning products, and how Guardian Chemicals is gearing up to ensure seamless compliance. 

What if I Don’t Use Guardian Chemicals as My Supplier? How Will I Know if the Products I Use Comply with VOC Regulations?

Navigating the new VOC regulations requires a supplier with a deep understanding of the legislation and a commitment to compliance. If you are purchasing chemical products from a supplier other than Guardian Chemicals, be sure to ask if they are compliant. 

Engaging your supplier in a conversation about VOC compliance isn’t just about making sure they adhere to the law; it’s about ensuring the safety and sustainability of your operations—and the health of your people. 

If you’re not sure if your current supplier or products you use are complaint, it might be time to evaluate your options. Unfortunately, some suppliers prioritize sales over safety and transparency—in fact, it’s not uncommon for some other suppliers to provide SDSs that are incorrect and are sometimes intentionally misleading. 

If you’re struggling to determine if the products you use are compliant, or just need help understanding the new VOC regulations, reach out to one of our experts today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about VOC Compliance

Your satisfaction is our top priority. This section outlines common questions about the impact of VOC regulations on product availability, cost, and performance. 

Guardian Chemicals prides itself on a transparent and proactive approach to regulatory compliance. As the new VOC regulations come into effect, our process is designed to ensure a smooth transition for our customers. 

What is the new Government of Canada VOC Legislation about?

To reduce air pollution, protect the environment and human health, the VOC legislation from the Department of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) sets limits on the amount of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) allowed in certain chemical products. 

How do these VOC regulations impact my business or product application?

Impact to your operation depends on the products you use and their applications. In many cases, no changes will be required. There are however, certain products and applications where product or process substitutes may be required. 

How do I know if this legislation applies to the products I use, or my application?

If you are a Guardian Chemicals customer who may be affected, we will contact you to complete a short survey. This survey is designed to help us understand your application, and make sure we have contact information for all key stakeholders in your organization to assist in the transition process. If you are not contacted, the products you use are compliant with the legislation. 

What if I’m not a Guardian Chemicals customer, how do I learn more?

If you are not a Guardian Chemicals customer and would like more information on how these regulations impact your business, contact us at

Which categories apply to products supplied by Guardian Chemicals?

Guardian Chemicals supplies products in the following categories affected by the new VOC legislation: Automotive brake cleaner, Automotive wax, Automotive wash, Products to remove road grime including tar and asphalt, Engine degreaser, General purpose hard surface cleaner, Disinfectants, General purpose degreaser, Multipurpose solvent to remove grease. 

Are VOC compliant products available now?

Yes, we have low VOC and VOC free products in our current line that meet all VOC regulations. We will work with you to evaluate these products to ensure performance meets expectations and costs are reasonable. Where necessary, new products may also be developed for your application. 

What is the timeline for transitioning to VOC compliant products?

Guardian Chemicals will work with you to develop a custom timeline for your business. As a supplier, we cannot manufacture products that are non-compliant effective January 1, 2024. We can however, provide you with any remaining non-compliant inventory after this date. Inventory will be individually allocated based on your agreed transition plan. Based on your application and preferences, together we will develop the best transition plan for your business. 

Will there be a transition period where old and new formulations are available?

Yes, we have already identified alternatives for all Guardian Chemicals products affected by this legislation. After January 1, 2024, availability of old formulations will be based on inventory and allocation based on transition plans developed with each customer. 

Will the cost of products change due to VOC Regulations Canada?

We are dedicated to maintaining cost-effectiveness and will work closely with customers to manage costs and ensure product performance. 

How will the performance of the new low and voc free formulations compare to existing products?

We expect new low VOC formulations to perform as good or better than the existing products.  

Who can I contact for support or further information regarding VOC Compliance?

Our dedicated customer support team is available to address any inquiries or concerns you have about the regulations, our products, and the transition process. You can reach us via email ( or by phone at 1-800-661-6544. 


You can also download our guide to the New Canada VOC Regulations: Guardian Chemicals Transition Process and Customer FAQ.

You can also download our guide to the New Canada VOC Regulations: Guardian Chemicals Transition Process and Customer FAQ.

Putting it All Together: Your Path to VOC Compliance

At Guardian Chemicals, we care about the impact our products have on the environment, and your health and safety. All our solutions are designed with you, the user in mind. This means our products are easier to use, safer, and more environmentally responsible than the alternatives.  

We will not compromise when it comes to VOC compliance. As we navigate this transition together, Guardian Chemicals is committed to support you with clear and transparent communication, superior low and VOC free products, and detailed transition plans to help you make the switch. 

We invite you to understand the implications of the VOC legislation on your operations and to collaboratively develop a transition plan tailored to your needs. With Guardian Chemicals, rest assured, you’re in capable hands to seamlessly transition into the new regulatory landscape while continuing to achieve operational excellence. 

If you have questions regarding the new Canadian VOC regulations, or our products, email us at or call us toll free at 1 (800) 661-6544.  

And, if you can’t get the help you need from your current supplier, contact us to learn how you Create a Better Future with low VOC and VOC free chemical products made with Chemistry Done Better. A future where your chemical supplier is a partner who understands your application and helps you smoothly navigate the transition. 

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