Go Green with Low VOC Paints

Paint color can virtually transform a room – making it cool and romantic, vibrant and exciting, or relaxing and inviting. While you may tend to focus on finding just the right hue or determining which finish will work best in a particular space, there are other considerations that should be part of your decision process before you bust out the paint brush.

All About VOCs

Paint can contain unseen elements called VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds – carbon-containing chemicals that can be emitted as gases into the air and impact indoor air quality. VOCs are often found in paint and varnishes and are released when applied and throughout the drying process but can continue to emit gases at low levels.

Formaldehyde, chloride, methylene and benzene are some of the most common VOCs found in high VOC paints and stains. While many adults may not be affected by breathing VOCs, children, elderly adults and people with asthma may be more sensitive to the health impact these gases can have such as headaches, nausea or irritated airways.

But Wait…. There’s Good News

Over the last 10 to 15 years, paint manufacturers – as well as manufacturers of other VOC-emitting household elements such as cabinets and flooring systems – have made great strides to reduce the level of VOCs in their products. High VOC paints can contain anything above 50 grams per liter (g/l), but the government puts the cap on anything above 380 g/l for glossier finishes. The standard for low VOC paints is less than 50 g/l of VOCs.

There are several enticing benefits to using low VOC paints:

  • Eco-friendly – contains fewer solvents and harmful chemicals
  • No strong odors – say goodbye to that fresh paint smell
  • Cleaner air – limits the release of harmful pollutants in the air

When considering building a new home from the ground up, be sure to ask if your home builder uses low VOC paints. David Weekley Homes is proud to use only low VOC paints inside every home we build. You can further protect your family by paying attention to, and eliminating when possible, other VOC containing products such as a wide array of household products like cleansers, disinfectant or aerosol sprays. Here’s to ensuring a healthier quality of life for you and your family for years to come!