When you’re looking for paint, you might have a few things in mind: your budget, the color, the amount you need, and more. What about how environmentally friendly your paint is? Certain types of paint release fumes that are harmful to people and the environment. You can find some green alternatives, like low-VOC and no-VOC paint. But what is low-VOC paint, and do you need it? Let’s find out so that you can make an informed decision about the kind of paint you’re using in your home.
VOC stands for “volatile organic compound.” These compounds are common in a wide variety of newer building materials. Unfortunately, they release gasses that are harmful to people and the environment, which is why the government regulates their use. When a person uses paint with VOCs, these compounds can build up inside the home. Inhaling them can lead to health problems, including irritation, headaches, nausea, and even damage to the liver, kidneys, or central nervous system. To protect your health and that of your family, you should use products with the lowest number of VOCs possible.
The Differences Between Low-VOC and No-VOC
Low-VOC paint has a lower amount of volatile organic compounds. It won’t release as many harmful gasses as traditional paints. But since there’s no set standard that defines what “low” means, be wary—a “low-VOC” paint might not be as safe and eco-friendly as you might think. When you’re buying low-VOC paint, compare your options carefully.
You won’t find any volatile organic compounds in no-VOC paint, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely free of harmful chemicals. The paint tinting process can add some VOCs. Otherwise, no-VOC paint is a great, environmentally friendly option.
The Advantages of Low- and No-VOC
You know what low VOC paint is, but do you need it? If you’re looking for an odorless, efficient, and eco-friendly paint, then yes! The biggest advantage to low- and no-VOC paint is the lack of odor. Compared to their first introduction on the market, these paints dry quickly, provide good coverage, and offer a durable finish. You can apply them to different kinds of surfaces. And if you’re worried about being able to find them, don’t be—they’re available just about everywhere and come in a variety of colors.
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