Many people know that lead paint is dangerous to our health but fewer understand the dangers that still exist in paints on the market today. Currently, the majority of household paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOC).
VOC’s are a large group of carbon based chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature. Federal and state governments have put a limit to the amount of allowable VOC’s in paint but any level of VOC’s can be dangerous to your health and the environment. Currently these regulations only cover the base paint so if you are to add color to your paint it can contain even higher levels of VOC’s than legal. Studies have shown that VOC levels are generally 2-5 times higher indoors than outside. This is because paint, and varnish, (and several other products such as carpet, vinyl shower curtains and cleaning products) can off-gas VOC’s into your home. Health symptoms from VOC exposure can range from ear nose and throat irritation from short term exposure to cancer and liver damage from long term exposure. Two of our favorite low/no VOC paints are Bejamin Moore Natura Line and YOLO Colorhouse paints because of the ease of application. Whether on a budget or DIYing your painting, ease matters! Colorhouse goes one step further by incorporating sustainable practices in everything from the materials they use to their LEED manufacturing facility. More information about Colorhouse paints here.