Indoor air quality is probably pretty important to you and your family, as you want to know that you are breathing fresh, healthy air. Are you aware that indoor air is far more polluted than outdoor air? Yes, perhaps up to three times more according to the EPA. You may not be aware that paints and finishes are often the culprit to the poor indoor air quality. With this being said, perhaps it is time to take a look at the kinds of paint used for most indoor painting projects.
VOC paint is toxic
Painting the interior of your home can be quite exciting and to keep the experience positive, consider using the kind of paint that keeps you and your family free from many harmful chemicals:
Zero VOC paint.
Many homeowners are simply not aware that typical paint can contain thousands of chemicals, with hundreds emitting toxic fumes into the air. Sure, we are surrounded by toxic chemicals, but there are quite harmful chemicals found in regular paint called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.
VOCs are gasses that when released into the air produce ozone, which can cause a host of breathing problems and in some instances can lead to cancer. Paint containing high levels of VOCs used indoors can cause you to have headaches, burning eyes, and make it difficult to breathe. This is one reason painters will tell you to open windows while painting, so that your home can air out such chemicals.
VOCs releases slowly over time
When paint with VOCs goes on the wall, the VOCs are released into the air at that time, but not all of them. In fact, some say that only half of the toxic fumes are released in the first year. The gasses are slowly released over time, so the need for low or no VOCs is quite high. You may not be able to smell any paint fumes, but the gasses linger for a long time.
Do you have to use low or no VOC paint in order to be healthy? Not necessarily. You want the indoor air quality of your home to be optimal and it takes more than just using low or no VOC paint in order for that to happen. Should you go with a VOC paint, simply make sure you keep your windows open while the home is being painted and regularly air out your home as weather permits. Fresh air is always best when it comes to air quality.
Now that companies are armed with such knowledge about paint, there are plenty of them that are manufacturing low or no VOC paint. It does cost a bit more than standard paint, but the added investment is well worth it. In fact, even the most popular paint manufacturers have reduced the amount of VOCs in their paints.