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In today’s world, it’s really important that we’re aware of what kinds of chemicals and byproducts we’re putting into the environment. All house paints have chemicals added to them, but some are worse than others. The good news is that there is a growing range of paints that are considered more environmentally friendly.
The Problem with Paint Chemicals
Traditionally, paints contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These VOCs have always been part of paint and give it that “new paint” smell when you walk into a freshly painted room. The problem is that these chemical compounds release gasses that can cause health problems in some people and will even damage the local environment. Because of this out-gassing, many paints are regulated.
The Problem with VOCs
Apart from the damage that these gases can cause to the environment, they can also build up in a home or office environment and cause the following kinds of health problems in some people:
- Respiratory problems, such as an exacerbation of asthma, due to an irritation of the delicate lining of the lungs and airways
- Headaches and migraines
- Damage to some organs, such as the kidneys
- Damage to the central nervous system.
The good news is that low VOC or zero VOC paints are now readily available from many hardware stores.
Why Are Low VOC And Zero VOC Paints Better?
Zero VOC paints exist and contain no volatile organic compounds. There are also a range of low VOC paints that have very few volatile organic compounds in them. The problem is that there is no unifying VOFC standard, so even low VOC paints may still contain significant organic compounds compared to some other paints.
So, does this mean that you should always invest in zero VOC paints? While zero VOC paints don’t contain the volatile compounds that many other paints do, they still contain harmful chemicals. Additionally, when this kind of paint is tinted, the tinting procedure might actually add some volatile compounds. Having said that, you are always going to be safer buying zero VOC paints regardless of these factors.
In fact, you are likely better buying low VOC paints compared to many other brands because they are likely to contain fewer of the volatile organic compounds.
So, why are these kinds of paints better? Quite apart from the fact that they are better for the environment and don’t cause the same kinds of health problems for many people, they don’t have the same smell as regular paints. In fact, they don’t smell much at all if they contain low or zero volatile organic compounds. For a lot of people, this alone is a good enough reason to invest in them.
How to Choose Zero and Low VOC Paints
The best way to choose low and zero VOC paints is to scan the labels on the paint tins. They will often state whether they have low or zero organic compounds in them. If you’re not sure, just ask a salesperson if they can help you.
Jeff Sommers is a vibrant and experienced professional, having been at the helm of ESP Painting, Inc. for 27 remarkable years. As President, he has become an esteemed leader in the Commercial & Residential Construction industry in Oregon, United States. His experience has seen him gain valuable insight and knowledge, making him an invaluable asset to ESP Painting and its customers. With a bubbly personality and upbeat attitude, Jeff always looks ahead to the future as he continues his leadership journey toward success.