What exactly are VOCs?
VOC stands for 'Volatile Organic Compound'. Typically these are solvents that will evaporate into the air at room temperature and were traditionally used in paint to help the drying process. VOCs are released from many everyday sources including fuels, cleaning agents, aerosols and even cosmetics. VOCs contribute to poor air quality when they react with exhaust fumes and sunlight.
Water-based vs solvent-based paints
One of the easiest environmentally friendly choices you can make is to choose water-based paints rather than solvent-based paints. This will ensure you are minimising the solvent emissions from you're decorating project, helping protect the quality of the air that you breathe, and reducing your carbon footprint. Solvent-based paints were traditionally used on wood and metal. Typically, these types of paints provide a gloss finish but have long drying times and a strong odour. This smell is caused by the evaporation of the solvent or VOC as it’s often referred to, into the atmosphere. Water-based paints have improved dramatically in recent years and now offer a high-performance alternative to traditional solvent-based paint. Water-based paints contain low levels of VOC, which means faster drying, less smell and much easier cleaning up! Brushes can be cleaned with soapy water rather than white spirit or solvent cleaners further reducing the impact on the environment. Most modern products and finishes are now water-based and manufactures are now actively working to reduce our VOC (solvent) levels in our solvent-based products.
Why use low VOC paints
We recommend using a waterborne low - zero VOC paint, this has numerous benefits, with being the greener choice for our environment, with low - 0% toxin emissions, fast drying times, non yellowing properties, child friendly, and almost no smells whats not to like?
Paints and finishes release low level toxic emissions into the air for years after application. The source of these toxins is a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which, until recently, were essential to the performance of the paint.
New environmental regulations, and consumer demand, have led to the development of low-VOC and zero-VOC paints and finishes. Most paint manufacturers now produce one or more non-VOC variety of paint. These new paints are durable, cost-effective and less harmful to human and environmental health.
Benefits Health. Reduced toxins benefit everyone, including those with allergies and chemical sensitivities. Environment. Reduces landfill, groundwater and ozone depleting contaminants. Effective. Low-VOC products perform well in terms of coverage, scrubability and hideability (covering flaws on previous coats). Water-Based. Easy cleanup, wtih soap and warm water. Little or No Hazardous Fumes. Low odor during application; no odor once cured. No off-gassing. Painted areas can be occupied sooner, with no odor complaints. Not Deemed Hazardous Waste. Cleanup and disposal greatly simplified.