Director of Environmental Affairs, Dunn-Edwards Corporation
For more than three years, the Dunn-Edwards® Color Lab has worked closely with our colorant supplier to develop a high performance line of Zero VOC colorants. These new colorants will perform to the same exacting standards as our conventional colorants, but with no added VOC solvents.
Low-odor Zero VOC paints – made without any added Volatile Organic Compound solvents – have been available at Dunn-Edwards since the 1990s. When these paints are tinted, however, using conventional colorants to make custom colors, some amount of VOC is added. Although on average the amount is small, in certain deep-tone colors the amount is enough to give a Zero VOC paint the VOC content of conventional paints.
With our new environmentally-superior Zero VOC colorants, our Zero VOC paint will remain Zero VOC even when tinted to the deepest colors. When used to tint VOC-containing waterborne paints, the Zero VOC colorants will ensure that paint odor remains held to a minimum. Also, unlike colorants used by some other paint companies, Dunn-Edwards® Zero VOC colorants are free of any U.S. EPA “Chemicals of Concern.”
The VOC content of paint is regulated to minimize potential impacts on outdoor air quality. VOC emissions may also be an indoor air quality concern, as most VOC have an odor, and some VOC may have health effects. For regulatory purposes, the VOC content of paint is calculated “excluding any colorant added to tint bases” at the point of sale. At least one local air quality agency will begin regulating the VOC content of colorants beginning in 2014. In keeping with our greener by design® philosophy of being as eco-efficient as possible, Dunn-Edwards has planned to introduce its Zero VOC colorants during 2012, well in advance of any regulatory mandate.
By spring of 2012, Zero VOC colorants will be in use at all 16 of our Northern California stores, and rolled out to our remaining 92 stores over the course of a year. Zero VOC colorants will also be used for making factory-tinted colors at the LEED® Gold-certified Dunn-Edwards manufacturing facility in Phoenix, Arizona. For more information about VOC in paint, see our “Frequently Asked Questions About VOC.”