VOC Free Paints VS Standard Paints. Effects, Evidence and Solutions
VOC-free paints are paints that do not contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are chemical compounds that are released into the air as gases from certain solids or liquids. They are found in a wide range of products, including paints, varnishes, cleaning products, and adhesives.
VOCs can have negative effects on the environment and human health. They contribute to air pollution and can cause respiratory problems, headaches, and other health issues. In paints, VOCs can evaporate into the air as the paint dries, which can be harmful to people who are exposed to them.
The specific effects of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on human health depend on the type and amount of VOCs to which a person is exposed, as well as the duration of the exposure. Some common symptoms of short-term exposure to high levels of VOCs include:
Eye, nose, and throat irritation
Long-term exposure to VOCs may increase the risk of developing cancer and other serious health problems. Some studies have suggested that long-term exposure to certain VOCs may be linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer, such as leukemia and lymphoma. Other research has suggested that VOCs may be linked to a range of other health problems, including respiratory problems, neurological problems, and immune system problems.
VOC-free paints are made with formulations that do not contain VOCs or contain very low levels of VOCs. They are typically made with water-based formulations or plant-based oils instead of petroleum-based solvents. These types of paints are generally considered safer and more environmentally friendly than traditional paints.
To make VOC-free paints, manufacturers typically start with a base of water or plant-based oils. They then add pigments, binders, and other ingredients to create the desired colour and consistency. The paint is then mixed and packaged for sale. The exact process and ingredients used may vary depending on the specific type of VOC-free paint being made.
Using VOC-free products, including paints, can help reduce exposure to VOCs and reduce their negative effects on human health and the environment. VOC-free paints are made with formulations that do not contain VOCs or contain very low levels of VOCs. They are generally considered safer and more environmentally friendly than traditional paints.
It’s important to note that the evidence on the specific health effects of VOCs is still emerging, and more research is needed to fully understand their potential impacts on human health. However, it is generally recommended to reduce exposure to VOCs to minimize potential health risks. Using VOC-free products, including paints, can help reduce exposure to these chemicals.
What’s our take on this? Probably too early to make drastic changes, but swapping oil based paints for water based ones, will be a good start. Also worth noting, some brands use more chemicals in manufacturing process and some use less. Choose wisely between your common sense, cost and quality required.