We are all conscious of air quality. If you were born before the 60’s, you remember people being able to smoke in restaurants, stores and even passenger jets. Gradually, smoking was outlawed in all of these areas because of the dangers of second-hand smoke to others. In the same way, paint as it is drying is releasing compounds into the air. They are commonly referred to as Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs. Like smoking in public, we now understand the dangers of releasing these compounds into the air.
While it may not be as noticeable outdoors, that new paint smell that occurs when paint is drying can cause immediate problems for someone with allergies or respiratory issues. Paint manufacturers now understand the risks of these compounds to people and are phasing them out of production. There is a new generation of paint that is being created. We call this new paint Low VOC or No VOC paint.
Low VOC Paint is required to have less than 200 grams of VOCs per liter. But many manufacturers of low VOC paint strive to meet the Green Seal Standard, which guarantees them to have less than 50 grams of VOCs per liter. No VOC Paint contains less than 5 grams of VOCs per liter of paint, usually in the form of biocides, fungicides, or colorant. No VOC paint has almost no smell when wet, and none at all once it has dried.
With our health at stake, we need to look at the benefits of Low VOC or No VOC paint. When you get a paint estimate from a painting contractor, tell them which kind of paint you want them to use. Not only do lower VOC paints cause much less air pollution, they are much easier on the environment and are creating a safer space for all of us.