If you are planning on a painting job in your house or office, then it is time to consider eco-friendly paints as an option.
In this context eco-friendly paint means those with low volatile organic compounds (VOC). All paints are chemical based and many of these chemicals have large concentrations of organic compounds which release harmful gases in small installments as long as they are on your walls. This is the reason for the typical smell of paints which is strongest when freshly applied.
Apart from the unpleasant smell, these gases can also cause various types of health injuries from conjunctivitis to severe allergic reactions. Thankfully, today we have low VOC or non-VOC paints available to us. Here is what to look for when choosing eco-friendly paint.
Low VOC Paints
Paint is classified as low VOC when it contains very minimal amounts of the volatile compounds. As per EPA guidelines, the limit has been set at 50g/l. Paints meeting this specification are latex based as against the conventional oil based paint. Benjamin Moore, Dunn Edwards and Sherwin Williams are some of the top manufacturers of low VOC paints.
Zero VOC Paints
These are paints that contain a negligible amount of VOC in them. Usually they contain no more than 1g/l of VOC. The maximum limit of VOC that a zero VOC paint can have has been set to 5g/l. Some of the most popular zero VOC paints include: Mythic Paint, The Freshaire Choice and AFM Safecoat.
If you read eco-friendly as synthetic chemical-free then paints made from natural sources are for you. These are made by mixing natural materials such as plant dyes, essential oils, clay and bees’ wax. Though the smell may not be very pleasant, it is minimal and also short lived. Manufacturers of natural paints include Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company, Anna Sova and Bio Shield Paints
All the eco-friendly paints available in the market are labeled with a Green Seal certificate. It is similar to the energy star label available on home appliances.
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