New Paint formulations offer less VOCs
Architectural paints are generally split into two categories: water-based and oil-based. Oil-based paints are sometimes referred to as solvent-based and water-based paints as latex paints. VOCs are in all oil-based paints as solvents. Many latex paints also contain some VOC as part of their paint chemistry. VOCs are chemicals that easily evaporate during the application and curing of paints. Once paint is applied, the carrier evaporates leaving behind a solid coating.
Volatile Organic Compounds are toxic chemicals that easily evaporate into the air and accumulate in the indoor environment where you breathe. VOCs can also escape into the atmosphere and form smog. When inhaled, these chemicals can cause a variety of health problems like nausea, dizziness, irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract, and more serious illnesses including heart, lung or kidney damage and even cancer. Many people are particularly susceptible to these effects, including those with weakened immune systems or chemical sensitivities, asthmatics, young children and the elderly.
Newer formulations contain more paint solids and less VOCs, and there is a shift away from oil-based to water-based or latex paints. Because they do not use solvents as the primary carrier, latex paints emit far fewer VOCs upon application. Latex paint requires only water, not toxic solvents for the cleaning of tools and equipment. Lastly, fungicides and preservatives are added to latex paints to combat mildew.
Purchasing paints with no or low-VOC will result in improved air quality both indoors and out. A big benefit for many companies that choose no or low-VOC paint is the reduction in paint related odors and associated complaints from building occupants and visitors. This results in less down time for businesses and reduced liabilities.
Talk to us before you buy your paint. We know the best brands and can offer suggestions which are just right for your project.