VOC or Volatile Organic Compounds are chemical compounds that are often found in paint. These chemical compounds add a better and glossy finish to paint and evaporate when exposed to air. However, these chemical compounds are not released all at once, rather, they evaporate and release toxic vapour from walls for several years. Hence, VOC in paints can be harmful to our overall health.
VOC in Paint: Do all paints contain VOC?
With more awareness regarding VOC, many companies are trying to manufacture paints with less or no VOC. Here is what you need to know about VOC quantities in different types of paint:
- Regular Paint: These are traditional paints which usually have high VOC content.
- Low VOC Paint: For those who are more health-conscious but would still like a beautiful finish; they have a low VOC content which reduces (or even eliminates) harmful effects.
- Zero VOC Paints: Usually these paints are made using natural ingredients and they do not have any VOC or a negligible quantity of VOC. However, these paints may not be as vibrant and may require more coats to provide a nice finish.
- Water-Based Paints: Generally, water-based paints have a lower quantity of VOC than oil-based paints, and hence, a better option.
How does VOC affect your health?
Now that you know about VOC content in different types of paints, it is important to focus on why people should avoid VOC. Not only does this chemical compound affect humans, but it also affects the environment.
In the short-term VOC can cause:
- Dizziness, like any other toxic fumes
- Irritation to the eyes, or nose, and can even cause a runny nose
- The fumes may also cause headaches
- The fumes may also cause asthma-like symptoms
In the long-run, VOC may have adverse effects such as:
- Respiratory issues because the toxic fumes are released over several years and you continue to breathe it in.
- It may cause lung, liver or even kidney issues when exposed for a long duration
- In some cases, it has been linked to cancer
VOCs also affect the environment, they worsen acid rains, form smog, are culprits in depleting the ozone layer and increasing adverse effects of global warming. Overall VOCs not only harm our health but our environment as well. Hence, it is crucial to take the necessary steps to reduce the use of VOC and opt for low or zero VOC paints. Well, you can check out the VOC infographics prepared by Mypaintsprayer below.
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