Toxins and chemicals in conventional paints
A Professional Painter knows that conventional paints often contain a variety of toxins and environmentally harmful chemicals. Be aware that toxins and chemicals are set free into the air as soon as you open a can of paint. That paint continues to release toxins while it is applied and dries. Some studies even show that small levels of toxins emit even after the paint has dried. Sadly, the wrong paint could be poisoning and polluting the air in your home even a year after application.
Be aware of Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) help hold the ingredients of liquid paint in a blended state. Unfortunately, they also cause some of the paint’s toxicity. Outdoors, VOCs combined with various other airborne pollutants, creates smog and becomes an environmental hazard. When released indoors, VOCs is often the cause of headaches and dizziness. Though, we know little about the long-term effects of prolonged VOC exposure, the EPA suspects they are carcinogenic.
Other Toxic Materials in Conventional Paint
Aside from VOCs, conventional paints often contain a variety of toxic materials. For example, toxic biocides are commonly added to conventional paint to prevent bacterial, fungal, or algae growth. Added surfactants and driers are also rather harmful to nature.
Advantages of Environmentally Friendly Paints
In contrast, environmentally friendly paints emit little to no toxic material. They are not only beneficial to nature, but also present advantages to our health. Keep in mind that, you do not have to sacrifice quality or options if you choose an environmentally friendly paint. A great many varieties of high-end environmentally friendly paints are available in a vast array of colours.
How to choose an Environmentally Friendly Paint
Always choose paint with a low level of VOCs or preferably VOC free. To be labeled VOC free in the US, paint must have under 5 VOC grams per litre. In contrast, a low VOC paint typically has less than 50 VOC grams per litre. Low VOC paint is therefore not necessarily the same things as an environmentally friendly paint. Choose paints free of VOC colorants, toxic biocides, and vinyl and other plasticizers.
Independent organizations such as Green Seal, Greenguard and Ecolabel test paints to ensure that they meet the required standards for eco-friendly performance. You can recognize these paints by the environmental certification seal on their label. The most environmentally friendly paint options are made from an entirly natural substances, such as milk casein or clay.
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