EUROPE COULD adopt its first emission standards for paint shops next year. Until now, the car industry has followed varied national guidelines.
The guideline most widely applied is the German TA Luft legislation. When first passed in 1986, it restricted solvent emissions to 60 grams per square meter of body surface for solid colors, and 120 grams for metallic colors. In 1995, the TA Luft legislation was changed. The limit is now 45 grams at existing plants and 35 grams for new plants.
A European law restricting solvent emissions to 45 grams per square meter has been proposed for several years. Some southern European countries oppose it, but it is likely to be accepted next year. The average painted surface of a European car is 80 square meters, which includes the inner structure as well as exterior.