Call us today!
504.239.1302
Email Us:info@paintingbyjason.com

        

May 19th, 2017 Low VOC and Zero VOC Paint–Your Green Options.

It is no secret that local, national, and global communities are increasingly becoming more environmentally conscious. As a result, chemists are starting to change paint’s chemical make up to satisfy these new market needs. Even though the paint industry has come a long way since the lead-base paint days, most paints still have many, many not so environmentally friendly ingredients. The good news is that there are paints available now that offer low VOC and Zero VOC options.

But what are VOCs in paint? In a nutshell, VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are solvents that get release as the paint dries.

VOCs off-gassing (fancy word for evaporation) occurs once the paint is applied and starts to dry. What one smells when entering a recently painted room is nothing more than VOCs evaporating/off-gassing into the air.

VOCs off-gassing (fancy word for evaporation) occurs once the paint is applied and starts to dry. What one smells when entering a recently painted room is nothing more than  VOCs evaporating/off-gassing into the air.

Typically VOCs stay airborne for a few days when using latex/water-based paint and several weeks for oil-based paint. In new constructions houses, VOCs can linger around for several months, but not because of paint–because it is common to find VOCs in most construction materials.  In other words, all of the brand new materials are all off-gassing at the same time.  Setting up proper air ventilation will greatly decrease the amount of VOCs in any room, however. So be sure to keep a good fan going while painting is taking place.

Health Related Concerns:

The most common VOCs found in paint are toluene, xylene, ethyl acetate, formaldehyde, methylene chloride, and glycol. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), some of the health concerns linked to VOC off-gassing include headaches, dizziness, eye irritation, nausea, and asthma attacks. Off-gassing, however, does not affect everyone as some people are more sensitive than others.

The EPA also mentions some longer term effects affecting the kidney, liver, and central nervous system.  A lot of the VOCs challenges can be avoided by using Low VOC and Zero VOC paint. One thing to keep in mind with zero VOC paint, or even low VOC for that matter, is that color pigment from the tinting process has its own VOCs. So when your paint is being mixed, some minimal VOCs are put back into the paint.

Available Products:

Benjamin Moore, Natura and Eco Spec are great choices. Harmony by Sherwin Williams is another great option. Consumers are mostly familiar with Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams Low VOC and Zero VOC products because they are well-known and readily available. However, Yolo Colorhouse, Mythic, AFM Safecoat are also reliable products. They typically have to be ordered online, however.

Posted in Blog | Comments (0)

Comments are closed.