Do you know what one of the top 5 leading health risks are in the US according to the EPA? Try indoor air. That's right, the air in your house. And one of the leading causes of that problem are the paints, varnishes and solvents we use containing VOC's. VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compound and has been a key component of the composition of oil based paint and can be a problem even in traditional latex based paints.
Exposure to VOC's in paint can trigger asthma attacks, eye irritation and respiratory problems, nausea and dizziness among other symptoms. Prolonged exposure has been linked to kidney and liver disease and even cancer.
Given the health concerns of consumers and new government regulations, alternative paints have been coming on the market over the past few years and now present a well rounded, economical choice over VOC intensive paints. Voluntary standards for VOC content in alternative paint products have been established by Green Seal®, an independent non-profit who sets standards for environmentally responsible or "green" products. The Green Seal certification for Standard GS-11 is based on VOC content, the absence of chemicals, durability and performance among other criteria.
The different types of healthy alternative paints include:
- Low Odor or Low VOC Paint
- Zero VOC Paint
- Non-Toxic or Natural Paint