What Are VOC Paints?
As the name implies, VOC paints contain volatile organic compounds or VOCs – organic compounds with low solubility and high vapor pressure at room temperature. VOCs used in paints serve as a medium to help the paint glide onto surfaces. They also improve paint flow, helping ensure hassle-free application.
While some might believe that exterior paints, which can emit VOCs for half a year, pose no problem as the harmful fumes dissipate into the air before they can reach harmful levels, environmentalists hold a different opinion. Studies show that some VOCs can contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone.
Exposure to VOC vapors can cause various health effects, such as headaches, nausea, loss of coordination, and eye, nose, & throat irritation. Prolonged exposure to VOC vapors is associated with damage to vital organs such as the kidneys or liver as some VOCs are carcinogens. Thankfully, paint producers have found ways to decrease or eliminate VOCs from paint products without compromising quality.
Zero-VOC paint contains less than or equal to five grams of VOCs per liter. You may wonder why is zero-VOC paint called so! After all, it contains some number of VOCs! VOCs present in trace amounts in no-VOC paint are usually found in the dyes that provide color to the paint. If the amount of these colorants exceeds 5 grams, the paint cannot be considered zero-VOC.
If you want to use zero-VOC paint for your project, it is advised to consult a reputable painting contractor near you to confirm that the paint you are planning to opt for is indeed zero-VOC.
If you choose VOC paint for your project, the interior must be evacuated until it dries and the VOCs are no longer present. VOC-free paint does not require a separate drying stage, making it ideal for businesses that cannot afford any downtime.
Low-VOC Paints Explained
Simply put, low-VOC paints contain lower amounts of VOCs than regular VOC paints. Paints that contain less than 50 grams of VOCs per liter are considered low-VOC paints. Because the concentration of VOCs is lower in low-VOC paints, they are considered safer indoors.
Some paint companies manufacture ultra-low VOC paints. According to some definitions, ultra-low VOC paint contains between 5 to 30 grams of VOCs per liter. This is a common characteristic of water-based paints.
No-VOC and low-VOC paints do not off-gas as much as VOC paints and are, therefore, less damaging to the environment. They release fewer compounds and do not produce odors that can affect employee productivity and health.
Mike Chavez Painting offers residential and commercial painting services in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. Our ability to customize painting solutions to meet the unique needs of our customers sets us apart from other Santa Rosa painting companies. To consult a professional cabinet painter near you in Santa Rosa, call (707) 623-5850.