Q: What does low-VOC mean in paints?
I realize this has something to do with the environmental-friendliness of the paint, but I don't really understand what low-VOC means? How is low-VOC better than regular paint? Does it hold up as well? Does it hold its color? What is the difference in price?
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.
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A: Good Answer PTS!
Would like to add, when picking out Green Earth Friendly Paints, pay attention to the colorants added to the paint. Benjamin Moore is coming out with Zero Colorants very soon, making a true Zero V.O.C paint even with color still Zero V.O.C
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Man that guy has a lot of time to burn. As a painting contractor I reconmend going with a low voc paint.if you have kids and you don't want to deal with the fumes (smell) and/or you just want to do your part of leaving less of a carbon foot print. Dose it hold up ? Yes very well actualy. Is it more money? Well of course, you know how the scam works for these green product.As far color gose it just the same. I am trying to do my part too by going 100% acurlic (water base materials only) by twenty ten. Good luck man.
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