What are low VOC Paints?
Low VOC paints are paints that contain volatile organic compounds at the minimum amount. Volatile organic compounds of below 50 grams per liter, is considered safe. On the other hand, organic compounds of 50 grams per liter are considered unsafe to the environment. They are compounds that are unstable and easily vaporize. These compounds, when released into the air, mix with other compounds, that will pollute the air. This air when inhaled could lead to having dangerous side effects and complications on the body. Some of the complications include vertigo, headache, asthma, and in severe cases cancer. Volatile organic compounds are released more into the air during painting and when it dries. In addition, the volatile organic compounds can still be released into the air, many months and years after the painting has been completed.
What are the Sources of Volatile Organic Compounds?
Volatile organic compounds can be gotten from many substances. These substances are predominantly household materials, and they include house paints, air fresheners, insecticides, lacquers, and other house fittings.
What are the Ways to Reduce the Effect of Volatile Organic Compounds in the Home?
- The first step is to carefully read the warnings that come with these materials. Most of these volatile organic compound often come with instructions that must be followed to be safe when using them.
- Endeavor to have a cross-ventilation of air when using and applying these materials. For example, when painting a house with a high volatile organic compound paint, the windows must be open, to prevent suffocation. In addition, the painter might consider wearing a face mask, to reduce the intensity of the smell of the paint.
- It’s important to properly store household products containing volatile organic compounds.
- Lastly, its crucial to keep volatile containing organic compound paints and other materials away from children. They might accidentally ingest these materials since they don’t know how toxic it could be.
Side Effects of VOC Paints
- The smell of volatile organic compounds is not the most pleasant thing you can breathe in. These compounds smell bad. In fact, the smell easily gives it away, that they are not good for our health. Paints that contain volatile organic compounds are bad for the health. The most common paint available in the market has a high amount of the volatile organic compound. These compounds are released during painting and after painting. They also keep releasing toxins years after the painting has been completed.
- Paints containing volatile organic compound are carcinogenic. This implies that this paint contains some ingredients that could lead to the development of cancer. Some of the ingredients of these paints that are carcinogenic are benzene, methylene chloride and so on
- Paints containing volatile organic compounds also cause some people to develop a headache, especially during and after painting. This is due to the toxins released by the chemical compounds.
- These volatile organic compound paints also cause allergies. Some of these allergies include asthma and hypersensitivity.
- The volatile organic compounds can also lead to the inhibition of the central nervous system.
- Inhaling the toxins for a long time could lead to the damage to the liver. This can be attributed to the chemicals in the paint, such as methylene, benzene and so on.
- Lastly, the volatile organic compounds can also lead to the development of general symptoms such as nausea, fatigue to severe conditions such as kidney problems.
The above side effects of Volatile organic compounds have led many manufacturers of paint to develop new ways of making paints without using volatile organic compounds or just using a little amount of it. However, they paint companies have made the safe paints more expensive than the unsafe ones. According to statistics, the safe paints usually cost from twenty to eighty percent more than the unhealthy paints. If you’re looking to paint your house, perhaps after a plumbing flood, and you want a paint that would be healthy for you and your family or friends, as the case may be, it is important to purchase low volatile organic compound paints or the paints that do not contain volatile organic compounds. Low volatile organic compounds eliminate the challenges and health risks posed by the high volatile organic compounds.
25 Reasons to Use Low Volatile Organic Compound Paints in your Home Improvement Projects
- Doesn’t have a strong smell: The low volatile organic compound paints don’t have strong odors, especially when compared to the high volatile organic compound paints. So whenever you’re considering painting your home or office, it’s always best to settle for the low volatile organic compound paints. They have less risk of exposing our families and friends to toxins compared to the high volatile containing organic compounds.
- They don’t contain as much toxin as the high volatile organic compounds: The high VOC paints contains a huge amount of toxins. In fact, they have over 50grams per liter of VOC.
- Reduced cases of allergies: The strong smell of VOCs can increase the risk of having allergies.
- Lesser risk of having asthma: High VOC paints, could be a trigger for asthma episodes.
- Safer for kids: Although paints should not be consumed, low VOCs are less toxic when compared to high VOCs.
- Fewer cases of headaches: High VOCs paint causes a headache in people who live in the house where they are used.
- It’s relatively cheap: It’s relatively cheap considering how much health cost it’d save people.
- They are easily available: Low VOCs paints can be easily bought from local stores
- They’re cost-effective: Since these paints are relatively cheap, and saves us health cost, people can use their money for something else
- They are durable
- They’re aesthetically better than high VOCs paints
- They also last longer.
- They are easy to use.
- They can be easily cleaned
- It protects the environment
- They’re approved as safe for use by health authorities.
- It’s the favorite for interior home decorators, because of the strong pigments and safety of the low VOCs.
- Low VOCs leads to less air pollution
- They also lead to lead to safer groundwater
- They reduce the ozone depletion.
- The higher price, although little is worth it, considering the durability.
- Houses, where they are used, can quickly be moved into, considering they’ve less odor and dry up faster.
- They have fewer chances of causing cancer, because of the low amount of VOC
- They have no effect on the central nervous system, especially when inhaled.
- They have no effect on the eyes and do not cause a headache when inhaled.
Caneba, G. and Wang, B. (2001). Low VOC latex paints from a precipitation polymerization process. Clean Products and Processes, 3(1), pp.0055-0059.
Chang, J., Fortmann, R., Roache, N., and Lao, H. (1999). Evaluation of Low-VOC Latex Paints. Indoor Air, 9(4), pp.253-258.
Schieweck, A. and Bock, M. (2015). Emissions from low-VOC and zero-VOC paints – Valuable alternatives to conventional formulations also for use in sensitive environments?. Building and Environment, 85, pp.243-252.