Volatile Organic Compounds: Why Buy Paints with Low VOCs?

What do you check when you set out to buy paint for your house? Maybe you look at the shade card and search for that perfect colour combination. You probably also look at how long the paint is going to last and how much it will cost you. But did you ever check whether the paint has VOCs or not? If the answer to that last question is no, you are not alone. So, let’s show you why you need to check the VOC content before buying paint.

What Exactly is VOC in Paint?

The term VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds, and it is typically one of the components of the paint used on buildings. These are considered harmful substances because their carbon element vaporizes at room temperatures and enters the atmosphere. This substance goes through a process known as off-gassing, whereby it releases such chemicals into the air.

The reason for concern is that off-gassing of VOCs has been known to cause a host of health problems, such as fatigue, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, and breathing difficulties. Since oil-based paints were the norm around forty years back, you would find a high quantity of VOCs in all colours.

However, the awareness around the presence of VOCs and their harmful effects have increased. Thus, the shades used for Indian house colour combinations outside and inside have either low or no VOCs.

What Does ‘Low VOC’ Mean for Common Colours?

Thanks to strict government regulations and greater consumer awareness, most paints you will find these days have low VOC. These paints have the least bit of VOC present in them. Thus, when you use these paints for Indian house colour combination outside or inside, the off-gassing will be a lot less.

Low VOC Paint vs. No VOC Paint

In other words, these paints are safer for both indoors and outdoors. If you use these paints outdoors, you can be assured that you are not harming the environment. In terms of indoor usage, the paint is safe for the people and the pets in the house.

Typically, most of the VOC from paints release within the initial six months of application. If the paint is low VOC, it will release so little that it will not impact the health of the residents.

Paints that contain VOC are even more harmful for pregnant women because the exposure to such chemical fumes can cause deep-rooted health issues. Thus, if you need to go for a paint job during this time, particularly in the interiors, always go for low VOC paints.

How to Buy Low VOC Paint for Your Home

Buying good quality paint is not just about getting the right shades or making sure it lasts long. Whether the paint affects the health of your family members or not is equally important. With that in mind, remember three things when you buy paint:

  • Always ask for low VOC common colours. Even the tint that you use to form the colour has to be low VOC.
  • Look at the VOC count/liter written on the paint. If you are buying paint for interiors, the product should have a VOC count of fifty grams or less for each liter.
  • Check the paint box for any additional information on Environment Clearance guidelines or checks that they have lived up to. It will assure you that you’re making an environmentally sound choice.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, you will make a more informed decision about buying paint from here onwards. After all, your decision will impact not just the health of your family, but also the health of the environment. So, make the wise decision of staying away from VOCs.

News Reporter