Is Canada Banning WD-40?

Beginning January 1, 2024, Canada will implement concentration limits for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in certain products including those used for personal care, automotive and household maintenance, adhesives, adhesive removers, sealants and caulks, and other miscellaneous products.

VOCs, which cause ground-level ozone and particulate matter, the two main components of smog, are toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act of 1999. The limits were published in 2022 by the  Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).

As 2024 closes in, some Canadians are worried about losing a ubiquitous product because of a perceived ban. Some have taken to X to express their frustrations.

But it appears that this frustration may be for naught.

In a statement released on Thursday, WD-40 said that this information was false and noted that they “have been aware of these regulatory changes and have been preparing for them for some time.” Adding that “all WD-40 Company products including WD-40® Multi-Use Product, WD-40 Specialist®, and 3-IN-ONE® brands will be compliant with the new regulations as of January 1, 2024. Our products will remain on Canadian store shelves and continue to solve problems in workshops, factories, and homes.”

It’s unclear how the products will be compliant with the new regulation as the ones mentioned all still have VOCs. WD-40 Multi-Use Product Classic’s material safety data sheet (MSDS) says that it has a VOC content of 65% while the Smart Straw variant has 24.1%. A majority of the products in the WD-40 Specialist and 3-in-one lines come in aerosol cans. 

The company will likely focus on developing other means of applying their products, much like the larger non-aerosol containers. They previously introduced a non-aerosol Multi-Use Product (which still had 65% VOC) and a trigger-style spray applicator but these have since been discontinued.

The new regulations also have “Alternative compliance options” which lays out three options for when a company cannot meet the concentration and emission potential requirements. 

The first two are temporary permits for 1) manufacturers and importers that can provide evidence that they cannot technically or economically meet the requirements for their product, and 2) for “innovative products to exceed the VOC concentration limits if, because of product design, formulation, delivery or other factors, they emit less total VOCs than a comparable compliant product when used according to the manufacturer’s written instructions.”

The third is a unit trading system that “allows companies to exceed the concentration limit for a product by balancing their emissions with their other products that have VOC amounts below the limits (averaging) or by purchasing compliance units from other companies (trading).”

Information for this story was found via the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

One thought on “Is Canada Banning WD-40?

  • September 9, 2023 6:23 PM at 6:23 pm

    Why doesn’t Canada protest China’s coal burning power plants? China and India and other countries produce more pollution in 1 day than Canada will produce in my lifetime

    Canadians need to speak out and question the real purpose behind the environmental crazies that are pushing this crap.

    I know stop sellout my BC coal to China close down Roberts Bank coal terminal / close down the coal mines/scrap all the coal cars in Canada – I could go on but I won’t,

    At 71 years of age I’m going to use up every resource I can – screw the next generation- let them eat dirt and live in their make believe dave the planet – the next Ice age is upon us


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