Friday, June 13, 2008

Going Green-Product Review of the Week - Paints

According to the EPA, the air inside our homes is about two-to-five times more polluted than the air outside. Paint is a large contributing factor to poor indoor air quality and emits dangerous chemicals, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), even years after application. Choosing the right paint for your house can be a long and complicated task, as it was for me. There are paints that do not have VOCs at all, paints with claimed low levels of VOCs. What I found out is that color tints add about 150g of VOCs back into the paint; so if you add color you get the VOCs. Therefore, one needs to be really careful, because you can get paint with no VOCs and when you add the color you desire, you just made you paint unvalued.

It seems that Freshaire Choice (sold exclusively by Home Depot nowadays) claims that their tints are also zero VOC. It is also at a good price compare to other paints I found on the market. I am curious to see how it works. I included a table below with paints claiming to have zero or low VOCs and some natural paints. This is not an exhausted list, of course, but it can provide a start in case someone is searching for paints. Even though these paints are natural and free of VOCs, they are not free of toxins.

Some reasons for which I have chosen to look for zero-low VOCs paint:

- it is good for our health; the fumes from the paint produce rash, watery eyes, neurological problems, headaches, lung irritation; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.;

- it is good for the environment; the VOCs increase the greenhouse gases.

Check to see if the paint has the Green Seal on it!


Sandra said...

I used Yolo Colorhouse paint on the interior and exterior of my home. I could not be happier with the end result. The colors are wonderful and the coverage was great!

I highly recommend it!

Lucia said...

Thanks Sandra, I will look for it!