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VOCs and Paint: Affecting the Earth and Your Health

paint cans There are both environmental, and health benefits to paints with zero to low Volatile Organic Compounds, known as VOCs. The EPA has set standards on VOCs, but some levels can still be rather high. While they are emitted at the highest levels during the painting process, the VOCs can continue to expel toxins for years after the paint has dried. Pollution: On average, indoor air quality is 3 to 5 times more toxic than outdoor air the EPA states. One of the biggest benefits to low VOC paint is the higher air quality in your space both during and after the painting process. Paints made with high levels of VOC can cause air pollution that leads to a host of respiratory issues. Odor: Since low VOC paints don’t release strong odors, your space will be ready to use much faster than if it were painted with conventional paints. Allergies: Many people with allergies are not as affected by low VOC paints. Since the odor is minimal and there is a reduction in the indoor allergens, allergy suffers are not as bothered by the painting process. Cost: Low VOC paints are similar in price to their more hazardous counterparts. In some cases low VOC paint can even be a little less costly than conventional paints. Health Concerns: Even after the paint has dried, VOCs continue to be omitted into the air. These VOCs have been linked to a variety of health concerns such as watery eyes, headaches, breathing problems, respiratory disease, and nausea. In some cases the chemicals have also been linked to liver and kidney damage as well as cancer. Cleaning: Cleanup is easy with low VOC paints. Made with water based solvents, low VOC paint is easy to clean with soap and water. Scuffs and smudges can be easily removed without damaging the finish of the paint. Durability: Low VOC paints are even more durable and longer lasting than the alternative paints. Green Choice: Low VOC paints reduce the toxins in the air and are considered the “green choice” among painters. These new paints are more durable and cost effective while being less harmful to your health and the environment.

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