VOCs stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. These photo-chemical compounds react in the air we breathe creating ground level ozone (smog). VOCs may continue to react in the air we breathe for days, months and even years. These harmful gases are emitted by conventional paints, stains, solvents, and many more toxic substances. VOC related air pollution causes eye, nose, throat and skin irritations, leading to respiratory problems, headaches and/or nausea. Prolonged contact with VOCs can lead to liver and kidney cancers, as well as damage to the central nervous system (brain).
When searching for the most Safe & Durable paints and finishes, it is best to look for both “Zero-VOC” and “Non-Toxic”, using a “Zero-VOC” tinting system for adding colorant. Buyer beware, many paints are being sold under false pretenses as “Zero-VOC”. If you stop to read the fine print on the can, it is spelled out that this claim is for the paint only (not the colorant). No one buys paint off of the shelf and goes without adding colorant. These claims are ultimately false advertising, known as “Greenwashing”. The sale of conventional stains, sealants & finishes are also slippery, seen sold as “Lower VOC” due to the reduced quart sized can (versus gallon) as per newly enforced EPA restrictions.
Please do not forget the importance of a product being Non-Toxic. Non-toxic is a keyword not freely discussed in the painting industry because many paints, stains and solvents involve the use of known toxins, many cancer causing, along with heavily polluting manufacturing processes.
Premium quality Non-Toxic and Zero VOC paints and primers have proven durable in our business and hold up to other less safe premium paints. Our favorite brand is American Pride Paint by Southern Diversified Products. In our own painting practice we have seen paint color fading minimalized with the continued use of these premium paints. The price difference is minimal, typically a few dollars/gallon.
Is this answer helpful?