New EU law makes paint greener

STRASBOURG, France, March 30 (Reuters) - Paint in the European Union will in the future emit fewer noxious fumes under a law passed on Tuesday.

The aim of the bill approved by the European Parliament is to make safer the paints and varnishes used in a wide range of industries such as car manufacturing and decorating.

"Greening our paints is not a question of colour, but of reducing the content of dangerous solvents they contain," said European Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom in a statement.

The law aims to reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds that are widely used in paints. These contribute to the formation of ground level ozone, which can be harmful to the atmosphere.

The bill will come into force in two stages, starting from January 1, 2007, to allow time for industry and consumers to adapt to the new rules.