With homeowners around the country becoming more environmentally conscious, the term “green initiatives” is becoming standard in more and more industries across the country, including the painting industry. Since the late 1990s, paint companies have been working to develop better formulas that are safer for humans as well as the environment. The result: eco-friendly, low-VOC paints.
The Problem with VOCs
VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, include both naturally occurring and man-made chemical compounds. The more VOCs a substance contains, the more harmful it can be to humans, animals and the environment. Traditional paints, stains and finishes, especially oil-based ones, contain a high number of VOCs, which can cause a variety of health problems, such as dizziness, nausea, breathing difficulties, eye irritation and even cancer. This is why it has always been recommended that painting only be done in rooms with plenty of ventilation. And that’s just indoors; outdoors, VOCs lower air quality and contribute to air pollution.
Though it didn’t happen overnight, in time paint manufacturers were able to lower the VOCs in their formulas while still preserving quality. Currently, there are two types of eco-friendly paint on the market: low-VOC and no-VOC. Paints labeled as low- or no-VOC have gone through EPA Test 24, which measures the concentration of VOCs contained within the paint. To qualify as low-VOC, the paint must have less than 50 VOC grams per liter. No-VOC paints have 5 VOC grams per liter or less (5 VOC grams being the lowest that can be measured).
Highlights & Benefits of Eco-Friendly Paints
Despite many myths about low-VOC paints being lower in quality and effectiveness, they actually have many positive points, and are extremely beneficial for these reasons:
- Low VOC paints are available in a variety of colors.
- Application, coverage and durability is comparable to traditional paints.
- The water-based properties of low-VOC paints make cleanup quick and easy.
- Disposal is simpler as well, since eco-friendly paints aren’t hazardous.
- Painted surfaces clean up easily with a little scrubbing.
- Low VOCs mean fewer toxins are released into the atmosphere.
- While a little more expensive, eco-friendly paints are still very affordable.
Need a Professional Painter?
The next time you’re in need of a handyman painter and are asking yourself, “How do I find a handyman near me?”, don’t hesitate to contact Handyman Connection at 1-800-88-HANDY. We’ll send out one of our experienced craftsman who’ll get the job done right!