According to the EPA, indoor air is considered one of the top 5 hazards to human health. Paints and finishes are among the leading causes.
Paints and finishes release low level toxic emissions into the air for years after application. The source of these toxins is a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). New environmental regulations have led to the development of low-VOC and zero-VOC paints and finishes. Most paint manufacturers now produce one or more non-VOC variety of paint. These new paints are durable, cost-effective and less harmful to human and environmental health.
Why use low or no VOC paints?
- Reduced toxins benefit everyone, including those with allergies and chemical sensitivities. There is low odor during application and no odor once cured. There is no off-gassing and painted areas can be occupied sooner.
- It reduces landfill, groundwater and ozone depleting contaminants. It is not deemed hazardous waste so disposal is greatly simplified.
- Low-VOC products perform well in terms of coverage, scrubability and hideability (covering flaws on previous coats). It is water-based so cleanup is easy. Just use soap and warm water.
What are VOCs?
VOCs are unstable, carbon-containing compounds that readily vaporize into the air. When they enter the air, they react with other elements to produce ozone, which causes air pollution and a host of health issues including breathing problems, headache, burning, watery eyes and nausea.