How do Paints Actually Impact Indoor Air Quality?
07/21/2020 | dunnedwards |
Just how much does paint impact our indoor air quality? It’s a good question to ask, especially if you are about to have some painting done.
Paints, and many other household products, may contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These are carbon-based liquids that evaporate into the air under normal ambient conditions. While some VOCs are harmless, others can have short- or long-term effects on your health. VOCs in paint are released into indoor air during the application, drying, and curing of the paint.
Dunn-Edwards has a long history of manufacturing high-performing products while reducing or eliminating potentially hazardous ingredients. Almost 20 years ago, Dunn-Edwards introduced its first “Zero VOC” interior paint line, called Eco-Shield; about ten years later, Dunn-Edwards announced the launch of “Zero VOC” colorants, which eliminated a significant source of added VOCs in paint. This new technology allowed Dunn-Edwards to make greener paint and to comply early with future regulatory limits on VOC in colorants used for tinting paint.
A major challenge in the paint industry is to produce lower VOC paints without adversely affecting their performance. Many of the industry’s early low- and no-VOC paints had performance deficiencies, but the introduction of new raw materials and advancements in coatings technology has improved our product development processes. We now have our deluxe interior paint, EXQUISITE, which is low-VOC and our ultra-premium interior paint, EVEREST, which is “Zero-VOC.” Both have excellent application performance and long-term durability characteristics. Certain VOCs are responsible for most paint odors, which is another reason why customers are increasingly asking for low- or no-VOC paints.
Health effects from breathing VOC vapors depend on different factors, such as the type of VOC, level of exposure, duration of exposure, and individual response.
Some immediate short-term symptoms that may occur in people promptly after exposure to VOCs include:
• Eye, nose and throat irritation
• Headache, loss of coordination and nausea
• Blurry vision and memory impairment
Some steps to reduce exposure can be:
• Open windows and doors for better ventilation of the area being painted
• Keep children, pets, and people not involved in painting work out of the area being painted
• Wear a respirator that is recommended for the type of paint being used
• Follow label instructions carefully and read the product Safety Data Sheet
It’s important to know how to avoid over-exposure to VOCs, not only for your own health and comfort but also for that of the people around you. These guidelines can help remind us to keep an eye out for symptoms and how to be prepared when painting indoors with paints that contain VOCs.
For more information on VOCs click here: https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/volatile-organic-compounds-impact-indoor-air-quality