Harmless Banter by Beverly Taylor Design

What Are VOC’s?

September 14th, 2010

Something that you really need to know about!

Green paints can vary quite a bit.  VOC’s are volatile organic compounds that are released into the air for years after the paint has dried.  VOC’s, under Green Seal Certification, are considered methane and benzene, both of which are greenhouse gases and highly toxic.  While all low or zero VOC paints do not have methane and benzene evaporating into the air, many low/zero VOC’s contain ammoniaformaldehyde, fungicides, and other chemicals to make the paint harden faster, cure faster, create a mold resistant barrier, and other properties.  These chemicals are highly toxic and many are carcinogens that pose serious health risks if applied in the home.  FreshAire, Harmony and Aura lines made by the big paint companies are some of the green paints that contain some or all of these chemicals.  While these paints are low or zero VOC on the label, they are not true green paints due to their chemical composition.  Every product must have a Material Safety Data Sheet, which lists the actual chemical ingredients of the paint, stain or sealer. 

There are three paint companies that make paint products that do not contain ammonia and formaldehyde.  These companies are AFM Safecoat products, Bioshield and Yolo Colorhouse.  AFM Safecoat is a company that was started thirty years ago to make paint products, stains, and sealers for people with chemical intolerances to VOC’s and other chemicals found in paint. 
From www.bgreentoday.com




Listed below are non VOC and low VOC paints on the market today-



Benjamin Moore Pristine EcoSpec Paint: contains less than 10 grams of VOC’s per liter. Low odor, low VOC, 100% acrylic latex paint that comes in flat, egg-shell and semi gloss. You buy Eco-Spec as a base white and then get it mixed to color, which includes off-whites and neutrals, but does not include the darker and brighter colors.

Bioshield Clay and Casein paints: natural raw ingredient paints; just add water to ready-to-mix powder. Be sure to check out their closeouts section (we like the Mandarin Milk Paint).


Yolo Colorhouse: water-based, Green Seal certified, and zero-VOC paint created by Portland, Oregon-based artists, Janie Young and Virginia Lowe. Available in a palette of 40 hues are specifically designed for interiors and categorized by nature’s spectrum of air, grain, leaf, water, stone, clay and the bright hued petal range. Love their packaging!


Harmony Interior Latex: A Good Housekeeping choice, the Harmony line uses sustainable raw materials, like soy and sunflower oil in their formulation to keep solvent content low and VOCs in the zero-VOC range. Advertised as mildew and bacteria resistant.


Green Planet Paints: Soy-based resins with clay formulations and mineral pigments keep this line of paint as organic as your farmer’s market produce. We like that disclose all ingredients in their paint formulas right there on the can.


Homestead House Paint Company: a 100% acrylic paint formulated to perform well ontop of existing previous applications and has the appearance of milkpaint.


Dunn-Edwards EcoShield: an MPI Green Performance Standard rated product, the low odor EcoShield line was created initially for use in schools, hospitals, hotels, homes and other closed-ventilation buildings, and is ethylene glycol free.


Devoe Wonder Pure Interior Latex Odor-Free Paints: available in flat, eggshell and semi-gloss, the Devoe Wonder-Pure line is advertised as odour free and can be applied without sanding.


Olympic Premium: A Green Seal Certification “Class A” paint also awarded the Home Safety Council’s Commendation Awards for Product Innovation for Consumer Safety.


Anna Sova Latex Wall Paint: the eco-branded Healthy Wall Finish contains 99% food grade ingredients, making this non-VOC paint a good choice for interior with children and pregnant women.

Originally posted by Gregory on AT:LA.

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