March 31, 2006

JAMA to Pursue Voluntary Approach in Reducing Cabin VOC Concentration Levels
- Targeting Trucks, Buses, and Other Commercial Vehicles -

Following its February 2005 announcement of VOC-related guidelines for passenger cars, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA; Itaru Koeda, Chairman) will also pursue a voluntary approach in reducing the levels of concentration of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the cabins of trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles.

JAMA is targeting organic compounds, such as formaldehyde and toluene, that are prone to volatility at normal room temperatures.  Their rapid drying capacity, oil- and dirt-cleansing properties and other advantages have led to the extensive use of these compounds in the manufacture of paint solvents, adhesives, insecticides, detergents and other industrial products.  These same substances, however, have been cited as one of the causes of “sick house syndrome,” or air contamination inside homes, characterized by nose and throat irritation and other afflictions.

Taking this situation to heart, JAMA has, since February 2005, promoted a voluntary approach to reducing VOC levels in vehicle cabins, focusing first on passenger cars.  The scope of this initiative, involving research into both VOC test methods and the optimal responses to be adopted, was then extended to trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles, resulting not only in the formulation of VOC test methods for truck and bus cabins, but also the launch of a voluntary program aimed at meeting the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s target values for indoor concentration levels of 13 different substances, to be applied to new-model commercial vehicles, including trucks and buses, beginning in fiscal year 2008.

JAMA furthermore intends to secure the cooperation of parts and materials suppliers in this overall effort, because the targeted VOCs are in fact made up of combinations of volatile substances originating in the numerous components used in vehicle cabin structure and equipment.

To learn more about vehicle cabin VOCs and the 2005 voluntary guidelines for passenger cars, visit JAMA on the Web at:
(in Japanese only)

Outline of the Voluntary Approach for Trucks/Buses/Other Commercial Vehicles

1. Timing and Target Vehicles
To be applied from fiscal year (beginning April 1st) 2008 to new-model commercial vehicles, including trucks and buses, that are manufactured and sold in Japan.

2. Target Values
JAMA has set target values for vehicle cabin VOC concentration levels based on the target values established by the Sick-House Syndrome Research Council, of Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, for indoor concentration levels of the 13 substances listed below.  Automakers will work to lower vehicle cabin VOC concentration levels even further in future.

Target Values for Indoor Concentration Levels of VOCs
as established by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare
Substance Target Value for
Indoor Concentration Level
Principal Sources
Formaldehyde 100μg/m3 (0.08ppm) Adhesives for plywood, wallpaper, etc.
Toluene 260μg/m3 (0.07ppm) Paint solvents and adhesives for interior finishing materials, furniture, etc.
Xylene 870μg/m3 (0.20ppm)
Paradichlorobenzene 240μg/m3 (0.04ppm) Moth repellents, bathroom air fresheners
Ethylbenzene 3800μg/m3 (0.88ppm) Paint solvents, adhesives for plywood, furniture, etc.
Styrene 220μg/m3 (0.05ppm) Insulation materials, bathroom units, tatami mat core materials
Chlorpyrifos 1μg/m3 (0.07ppb)
For children: 0.1μg/m3 (0.007ppb)
Multi-purpose insecticides
Di-n-butyl phthalate 220μg/m3 (0.02ppm) Paints, pigments, adhesives
Tetradecan 330μg/m3 (0.04ppm) Kerosene, paints
Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate 120μg/m3 (7.6ppb) Wallpaper, flooring materials, electric wire covers
Diazinon 0.29μg/m3 (0.02ppb) Pesticides
Acetaldehyde 48μg/m3 (0.03ppm) Adhesives for construction materials, wallpaper, etc.
Fenobucarb 33μg/m3 (3.8ppb) Insecticides (esp. for termites)

3. Test Methods
The following test conditions for measuring levels of concentration of VOCs in vehicle cabins are based on those stipulated in the “Vehicle Cabin VOC Test Methods (Passenger Cars)” adopted by JAMA.

Test Conditions (summary)
(1) Pre-test conditions
  (ventilated cabin)
Cabin doors and windows are open for 30 minutes for ventilation.
(2) Test conditions, Step 1   (airtight heated cabin)
All cabin doors and windows are closed and radiation lamps and other heating devices are used to heat cabin in an airtight state, maintaining cabin temperature at 40゚C for trucks and 35゚C for buses, for a period of 4.5 hours.  Cabin air is then sample-tested over a period of 30 minutes.
(3) Test conditions, Step 2
   (engine & AC running)
   [Except formaldehyde]
After completing Step1, engine is started and AC turned on.  Cabin air is then sample-tested in that state over a period of 30 minutes for trucks and 120 minutes for buses.