On Monday I shared how most paints are filled with dangerous ingredients. There’s good news, though – there are some safer options. Granted, they’re not completely safe. Just less dangerous.
If you remember, volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are dangerous chemicals used to help paint’s durability and spreadability. VOCs are largely responsible for the awful “new paint” smell. Once the paint dries and the VOCs evaporate, they cause health problems and pollute the ozone (as well as the air in your house). Oil-based paints commonly use VOCs and include carcinogens like formaldehyde and toluene.
Many low-VOC and no-VOC paints are available, though – usually as water-based latex paints. So if you’re planning to paint your home, you many want to choose those varieties.
It’s important to note that low-VOC paint only means that the paint is lower in VOCs than a regular paint. Plus, the low-VOC paint still is full of toxic chemicals. For example, hazardous heavy metals like cadmium and chromium are commonly present in paint’s pigment.
Natural paints are another option, and they are made without synthetic oil products. Often made with clay, lime, or chalk, they’re still not the safest option, because some of the natural materials (like cadmium) are hazardous.
The safest paint option
If you’re very concerned about finding the safest paint choice, look for the Green Seal. I have to warn you, though – there’s not a huge selection.
Green Seal paint products have low VOCs. Plus, hazardous ingredients like heavy metals, carcinogens, and toxins, are forbidden.
Technically, the safest option is to forget about painting. But I’d gladly take a risk just for the sake of personalizing my home with fresh colors.
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