Advantages of Eco Friendly Paint
When redecorating your home you may have purchased new furniture and thought you need a few accent walls to match the color scheme. When you are looking for just the right color and brand just keep in mind not all paint is created equally. There are real advantages of eco friendly paint:
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) puts paint on their top-five list of environmental hazards. Even after the paint dries or finishes, it continues to release petroleum-based solvents. Not to mention the CO2 emissions from the paints during the manufacturing process highly contributes to petrochemical smog. Disposing of paint is also a major environmental concern. Overall, from production to application, it’s bad news for your health and our earth.
Recently I moved to a new apartment complex and as I was walking my dog around the corridors one day I noticed a sign that sort of rubbed me the wrong way. It was a warning sign posted on the side of one of the buildings. It states “Warning: This area contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.” Also there was a web address to investigate what types of chemicals may be included.
When I looked up prop 65, I found that for apartment buildings more specifically the sign may mean that pesticides are used in the nearby landscaping or the building materials contained toxic chemicals. The other possibility is lead from the paint that was applied. This was quite alarming to me and made me wonder if every complex I’ve lived in had the same levels of toxicity but just didn’t advertise it.
The next place I choose to rent I plan to do a little more investigating in regards to this topic before moving in. I will likely choose a more eco-friendly complex and question management on what kinds of paints, materials, and pesticides are used and if they implement “green practices” on their grounds.
Businesses and apartment buildings should consider the advantages of eco friendly paints because there is a market out there of people that care to live in a toxic-free environment…Like ME!
Conventional Paint Risk Factors
Most conventional paints in the market today are processed using harmful chemicals usually called VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds. These chemicals produce fumes, which can cause very serious health problems such as emesis and lung cancer, when exposed for prolonged periods. You usually smell these fumes during the painting process and even long after they are dry.
Eco friendly paints should be considered especially for those who handle paint often. The World Health Organization has found that there are a 40% of professional decorators who develop lung cancer after prolonged exposure to the conventional paint.
A majority of eco paints cost 10 – 25 percent more than ordinary paints, but it is a small price to pay to spare damage to your health and the environment.
Besides being earth friendly, most eco paints are odorless or smell much less than conventional paints. These low VOC paints are perfect to be used on homes or when repainting a child’s or infants room. Most of the premium eco paints can be applied with one coat only which can save and energy in painting too.
Another advantage of eco friendly paint eco is that most types exceed the requirements for the best quality paints such as paint coverage, paint color retention, elongation, viscosity, spread capabilities, elasticity and tensile strength. The premium types may cost a little more but definitely surpass paint qualities that conventional paints have.
So if you want to do a little painting yourself you now know the eco choice is the obvious better choice. A common mistake people make when assessing a painting project is they overestimate how much paint they are going to need and ends up being wasted. Try to make an accurate guess and if you are unsure than always buy less to avoid having to dispose of the extra materials.
Before purchasing your eco paint make sure to check on the labels or ask for a local paint expert on what the best choice would be for you for the type of job you are working on. There should be a good number of displays available in the local hardware store on brand names of eco friendly paint options. Also, there are usually technical data sheets provided for customers to look at; detailing how safe the paint is. By purchasing eco friendly paint, you are making an important step towards wellness for yourself, your family and the earth.
Photo Credit: Some rights reserved by Angie Tarantino, The Environmental Blog
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