Painting the World Green

Posted on May 18 2016, By Admin

We only have one place we call home and that's this planet we are living in today. In order to preserve the only place we live on, we need to do something so we can't add more damage to what has already been done.

Most industries today are looking for different ways to help the environment heal and recover from all the damage we humans have done for centuries. Technology has also helped us in a lot of ways in finding out better alternatives to what we are used to.

When it comes to our profession, we make sure that everything we use are safe for the people who would be living in it as well as the environment around it. Who would forget various reports for years about people getting sick because the paint becoming too toxic to humans when exposed to it for a long time? Would you want something that horrible to happen again to the ones you love?

You see, the kind of paint that we commonly use usually contains chemicals that can pose harm to the people exposed to it as well as the environment that surrounds it. Would you believe that paint is one of the many culprits behind the thinning of the ozone layer? So what can we do to minimize damage we are inflicting while still getting the best out of the paint we use?

The answer is simple and that is by using paints and other materials that are environmentally friendly. Nowadays, it is all about fresh and clean indoor air because that is one of our priorities as a professional indoor and outdoor painter.

Take note that we have advanced well when it comes to technology which is why paint companies have been coming up with better versions that are now available in the market (these were not much of a thing back in the day). Most of them have the following qualities:

  • Lasts longer than commonly used ones
  • Minimal to no toxic chemicals added
  • Looks vibrant
  • Has a lot of colors to choose from
  • Affordable
  • Easy to apply
  • Dries quickly
  • Has little to no foul smell (when drying)
The simplest way to know if a particular paint is not environmentally friendly is by checking the ingredients found in it. Most toxic paints contain the following:
  • Volatile Organic Compounds otherwise known as VOCs - these are a class of chemicals that evaporate readily at room temperature. These chemicals last for weeks and that also depends on the type of paint used. It is a known cause of dizziness, nausea, eye irritation, respiratory tract irritation, heart, lung and kidney damage and even cancer.

Sadly, if the paint used is polluting your indoor air, it can make its way outside which can contribute to the pollution the world has been living in for decades. Studies show that oil-based paints do contain more VOCs than the water-based ones because VOC are primary solvents. That simply means that VOCs are used to dissolve and disperse other ingredients found in the paint we use. Water-based ones however contain five to ten percent than oil-based ones that are around forty to sixty percent.

  • Fungicides and biocides - In order to prevent mildew growth, paints also have toxic fungicides. While biocides are used to extend the full shelf life. These toxins last five years lingering on your indoor and outdoor air (much like VOCs). The most alarming part is that these toxins have to be disposed properly because they have the ability to seep into ground water which can eventually poison the living things that thrive from it.
  • Pigments - These are the chemicals used in paints that give the ability to add color. Make sure that you go with an all-natural pigment than the chemical ones because they are toxic to our health as well as the environment.

Since you already know what to watch out for, here are the following things you should look for when looking for the right paint whether you will be using it indoors or outdoors:

For interior paints:

Go for milk paints (for it gives off a rich, deep color that allows the grain to show through) and other natural paints that are commercially available. Some are derived from minerals, citrus and balsam. Make sure that the paint is also petroleum free. Most contain terpenes but do not give off the nasty biocides and fungicides.

Never forget to keep a room well-ventilated when letting it dry of course.

For exterior paints:

Choose paints that have zinc oxide as its fungicide or ones that have very low to zero VOCs (acrylic, latex, and recycled water-based paint). As much as possible, avoid oil-based ones because they have high VOC as well as old cans that have mercury or lead.

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