Nontoxic Paint 101
If it has to do with finishes and paints, “nontoxic” identifies people that have little to barely traceable quantities of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs — poisonous compounds found in conventional paints that may be released into the air for years after the paint has dried. VOCs have been known to cause respiratory problems like asthma and various types of cancer. Knowing the distinction between the many types of nontoxic paints and finishes is essential before you choose which one to use in your home.
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Natural paints and finishes. Natural paints and finishes have little to no odor and are produced from organic raw ingredients: water, plant dyes, essential oils, plant oils and resins, milk casein, natural latex, beeswax. Read the label and you will see ingredients that you can more or less announce.
Individuals with allergies and sensitivities to traditional paint should consider utilizing natural paints and finishes, as they’re regarded as the safest. The butcher block counter above was sealed with a wax and mineral oil mix from The Real Milk Paint Company; its organic ingredients compensate for the fact that the sealer wax must be reapplied a few times a year (though that might be a burden for people on a budget).
General contractor John Whipple states, “Many of my assembles cater to a senior clientele, that are far more affected by the strong odors of paints, adhesives and lacquer clear jackets. Reducing scents goes a very long way to making my clients happy if they are living in the property through the renovation.” Whipple and his staff use Honeywell HEPA filters and circulate fresh air in their smaller houses.
Brands: Anna Sova, Green Planet Paints, Experts Combination, the Actual Milk Company
Zero VOC. The title is a bit misleading: In accordance with the EPA, paints with VOCs in the assortment of 5 g or less are known as zero-VOC paint, and some producers still use biocides, fungicides and colorants with VOCs within their paint although it’s known as zero VOC. The fantastic news is that producers have upped the quality of the paints in the last several decades, reducing the need for frequent reapplications or several coats. Zero-VOC paint can be tinted any color, however it’s vital to make sure the tint can be VOC free.
user annierag says she used Benjamin Moore’s Natura line to repaint the majority of the rooms in her home while she was pregnant and can attest the zero-VOC paint she used was odor free and dried quickly.
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Brands: Benjamin Moore Natura, Earthpaint, Frazee Paint Envirokote, Olympic Premium Interior Paint and Stain, Yolo Colorhouse
Low VOC. Rather than using petroleum solvents as a carrier, low-VOC paints, stains and varnishes use water, which emits lower levels of harmful emissions compared to solvent-borne surface coatings. Low-VOC brands usually take very low levels of formaldehyde and heavy metals (or none at all). Assess your paint can to see the VOC level of the specific brand, since it changes across different low-VOC products. Low-VOC paints emit an odor until dry.
Another element to take into consideration when reading labels is the solids material: Solids or trademarks may range in concentration (25 to 45 percent by volume). The greater the percentage, the less volatiles in the paint.
General contractor Kirk Schilling utilizes low-VOC paints since California law requires using paints and finishes that don’t worsen the air quality; from January 1, 2014, it is going to restrict VOC content to 3% of their product’s burden. However, Schilling does not feel the laws are actually helping the environment that far. “Low-VOC paints don’t last as long as the higher-VOC paints, therefore jobs have to be refinished and touched more frequently, which ends up being more costly for the homeowner. I am all for sustainable design, however this must mean that materials ought to have the ability to endure the test of time, stress and age. If we’re rebuilding twice as much due to inferior products, we’re just adding to the problem of the environment.”
Inside this kitchen remodel, interior designer Lisa Kauffman Tharp used Mythic nontoxic paint for the kitchen cabinets, a brand that includes ultralow odor and premium paint quality, durability and protection — minus the off-gassing. It is a smart choice for a room that needs to be used and lived in during the painting.
user elainelan asked the community if it’s all right to repaint her flat with non invasive or low-VOC manufacturers while pregnant — and it’s really best to err on the side of care. Writer Becky Harris said it best: You are better off asking your OB.
Brands: Benjamin Moore Aura, Miller Acro Pure, Oikos
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