Health Tips - Paint

 
Paint

My husband, green builder Marty Livingston, is just now finishing the painting of my new office and I am so impressed with the low toxicity of the paint! Except for needing to air the office out for a day, the paint has had almost no odor and no bad reaction for anyone.

The brand of paint he used is Behr and it is available in most Home Depots. It is a durable paint, low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). (You can click to see Behr’s fantastic Color Center)

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that quickly evaporate into the atmosphere. Common examples of things that release VOCs include gasoline, nail polish, and paint. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, some VOCs are known to cause cancer. VOCs add to ozone and smog formation and are linked to memory impairment and respiratory illnesses.

While there are paints that supposedly have zero VOCs, as of this date, they do not rate well for durability and quality. In other words, they do not work well as paints.

If you are looking for a low VOC interior/exterior paint, ask the salesperson for the VOC content on the brand/type of paint you want. If it is 100 gm/liter, or less, you are holding a low VOC product in your hand. If the VOC content is 50 gm/liter, or less, then you are holding a very low, eco-friendly product in your hands. You can always find the VOC level on the back of a paint can.

In general, flat paints, low luster-paints, eggshells, and pastels have lower VOC levels than bright, high-gloss paints.

The good news is that sprucing up your place is safer than ever!

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