Paint has been on the list of unsafe products for many years for those concerned with the environment and finding eco-friendly products to meet their needs. The last really big deal was lead-based paints, and that is considered such a danger that specialized technicians are summoned to remove it in existing buildings. As bad as lead paint is, the paint VOC problem might be an even bigger one.
Paints have many different odors when you open them based on what the primary ingredients are. We usually separate paints into oil or latex based, but there are many other manmade solvents that can be found in containers of paint. Those who work with paint can identify the type just by pulling the lid off the container and taking a whiff.
VOCs are released from standard paints, no matter what base material they have. Some gases are more dangerous than others are, but all paints emit gases that do not have the designation of “no VOCs.”
The most dangerous exposure to paint is when the gases are first released into the air, but VOCs may continue to be emitted for years after the paint has dried on the walls.
After the paints have dried and aired out, the Alen air purifier A350 works well as a room air purifier that will help the VOC situation from paint and other items that emit the air pollutants. While this is an excellent way to guard against the harmful elements, it is much better to buy paints that do not produce VOCs in the first place.
Labels are clearly marked to indicate if paint has no VOCs and no VOC tolerance. One of the primary ways you can tell that a paint emits VOCs is by the odor it has both when the container is opened and after the paint is applied and dried. A newly painted home is no secret when standard paints are used because of the smell.
Quality and Price of Paints with No VOCs
The first question people ask when they are considering safer paint is whether quality is as good as the standard paints that have been used for many years. Manufacturers assure us that there is no difference in the quality of low or no VOC paints. They come in flat, eggshell, semi-gloss, and gloss finishes, and they can be cleaned as well as other paints in the same quality grade.
The next concern is cost, and some people would rather inhale VOCs than spend an extra dollar on paint. Fortunately, many of the manufacturers of safe paints have prices that compare favorably to standard paints with VOCs. As more people decide to use safe paints, there will be more choices, more competition, and lower prices.
Removing existing paints, which still emit VOCs, is a little expensive to consider. This may not be necessary if repainting is done with safe paint more than five years after the old paint was applied. If it has only been a year since VOC emitting paint was applied, it is better to remove the paint before repainting with safe paint.
Because of the difficulty in removing existing paint, many people get a quality Austin air purifier to remove the VOCs that are currently present. This improves the situation until the time it is safe to paint over the walls with “no VOC” paint.