Action 067: Use non VOC environmentally safe paints

PaintsDate: 08 March
Action: 067
Cost of taking action: £/$/€ LOW

 

Paint companies are improving things, but there is a long way to go

Household paint is changing, but there are still many types and brands of paint that are high in VOCs and are oil-based. Why not switch to one that is better for our environment next time you are repainting a room in your house or office.

What are VOCs?

Paint has to contain a mixture of chemicals to make it stay bright and stuck to your wall! The big difference between eco-friendly paint and the standard stuff is which chemicals are used, how they’re sourced, and whether they will release emissions into your home.

The first thing you should look for is VOCs – Volatile Organic Compounds.

These are the more harmful chemicals in paint that release fumes into your room while the paint dries … and also for years afterwards too. They are the nasty stuff that gives you the headaches and itchy eyes. Exposure to VOCs is, generally, not at all good for your health.

Any good eco-friendly paint will contain no VOCs, or so little that they’re considered negligible.

True sustainably-made paint won’t use fossil fuel based or synthetic materials. Instead, they use naturally sourced ingredients like plant-based oils and waxes, mineral oils, clays, chalks and other extracts from natural sources.

Be careful though about what is claimed on the packaging,  as  “low VOC” (rather than nil) and still non-recyclable packaging might mean they’re simply trying to green-wash buyers.

The cost

Non-VOC sustainably made paint might take a little bit of tracking down, although it is increasingly available as a result of consumer pressures, which is good news. It’s also sometimes a little more expensive; but not massively so, and the differences are closing. So, in reality, there should be nothing to prevent their use.

Why is this important?

We need to reduce our dependency on oil and other chemicals in order to reduce pollution and emissions. Transferring to an eco-friendly paint brings the following advantages:

  • reduced use of fossil fuels and chemicals
  • reduced air pollution
  • less damage to our own lungs and general health
  • puts consumer pressure on companies to improve their products’ eco-credentials
  • brushes are more easily cleaned
  • no toxins entering the waste water system when you wash them
  • … and all this at no disadvantage to the final result – you still get beautiful colours and surfaces!

Take action

So please, next time you are painting, or employing decorators, please insist on eco-friendly, sustainably made paint with no VOCs.

For a more in depth read and examples please visit this link >> The Best Non Toxic Paint for Your Eco-Friendly Home.

Thank you