A new paint job is an excellent way to give your home a fresh and appealing look. When it’s time to paint your home, there are many paint products to choose from, and selecting the safest options for your family is essential. Eco-friendly paint products eliminate many of the health problems that come with traditional paint formulas.
Historically, the most durable, long-lasting interior and exterior paints relied on harsh chemicals to resist peeling and flaking over time. Unfortunately, the chemicals used in many paints were found to create acute and chronic effects on people’s health and the environment. You’ve likely heard or seen the term “VOC” but may not be sure what it means.
Just What is a VOC?
VOC stands for “volatile organic compound.” VOCs are found in many everyday household products and building materials. These compounds contribute to that “new paint smell” everyone is familiar with when applying fresh paint. VOCs are unstable chemicals and emit gasses that have been proven harmful to people and the environment.
Side effects of exposure to VOCs include:
- Shortness of breath
- Nose, eye, and throat irritation
Prolonged VOC exposure has been linked to chronic respiratory illness and lung cancer.
Three Benefits of Using Eco-Friendly Paint
As manufacturing techniques have evolved, eco-friendly paint products are more durable and “greener” than just a few years ago. They are now widely available, less expensive, and more beautiful than ever. Eco-friendly paint offers several benefits, including:
- Low-VOC Content: VOCs leave an unpleasant odor and wafting pollutants affecting your home’s indoor air quality. They are also non-biodegradable and non-recyclable. Eco-friendly options have little or no VOCs, producing far less waste.
- Minimal Environmental Impact: Eco-friendly paint products use water or alternative environmentally friendly materials as a base which significantly reduces your carbon footprint and are biodegradable.
- A Healthier Alternative: The VOCs found in traditional paint products are active up to five years after the initial application. Individuals continuously exposed to VOCs are at a higher risk of developing respiratory illness and lung cancer. Eco-friendly paints are safer for everyone, including pregnant women, infants, children, elderly individuals, and those that suffer from asthma and allergies.
Limiting Exposure to VOCs in Your Home
VOCs lead to ground-level ozone formation and are one of the top six common air pollutants the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is most concerned with reducing. Ground-level ozone has adverse health effects, such as reduced lung function, respiratory symptoms, and the aggravation of lung diseases. Ozone is a greenhouse gas shown to contribute to the warming of the atmosphere. The EPA now regulates VOCs, and some states have even stricter regulations. Make sure you choose the right coating for your state’s VOC emissions regulations and abide by all environmental regulations.
Advantages of Low-VOC Paints
A considerable advantage to using low-VOC paint is that there is little odor. Low and VOC-free paints have improved over the last few years and tend to dry more quickly, provide good coverage, and offer a durable finish. Low-VOC paints can be applied to many different surfaces and are easy to find in a wide variety of colors. There are also non-toxic and natural paint products with zero VOCs on the market.
Good Ventilation is Essential When Painting
Proper ventilation is highly recommended when painting interior areas, even when using low or no-VOC paint products. Proper ventilation allows for safer breathing and helps the new paint dry. Open all doors and windows possible to the outside of your home. Run exhaust fans that are vented outdoors. Continue to provide fresh air after completing your painting project for 2 or 3 days to lower the risks of poor indoor air quality and give you added peace of mind.
More susceptible people, such as young children and people with breathing issues, should avoid paint fumes. Pregnant women should avoid painting projects and limit their time in freshly painted rooms, especially when oil-based paints are used, to avoid possible health risks for themselves and their unborn babies.
Trust The Painting Pros to Deliver High-Quality Results
The Painting Pros, Inc. is a high-quality, award-winning painting contractor. Since 1978, we’ve served homeowners, business owners, and property managers across the San Jose area. When it’s time to update your property, call The Painting Pros at 408-418-9912 to discuss your needs. Our team of painting professionals handles jobs of all sizes, and we’re ready to help you transform your property with a new paint job.
The Painting Pros is known for its environmentally-conscious products and methods. We were the first painting company in Silicon Valley to be “certified green” by Green America. We use only low-VOC paints and recycle all eligible materials. The Painting Pros is a “Lead-Safe Certified Firm” with the EPA, meaning we have the training to safely take the necessary precautions to work with lead-based paint surfaces.