Nowadays, everybody’s going green; there’s even eco-friendly paint, so you can paint green while you paint green. Traditional paint is full of a variety of additives and substances that can have impact on both the environment and your health. There are often heavy metals used for pigment in paint; think of Bob Ross’ “Cobalt Blue” to get an idea where some of the colors are derived from, as well as a variety of synthetic chemicals, often derived from petrol.
The most worrisome culprit of all are volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These compounds, including substances like formaldehyde, are defined by their low boiling point, meaning they exist as gas at ambient temperatures and are inhaled through the respiratory system. VOCs don’t tend to be toxic at low doses; if they were, they certainly wouldn’t be suitable for the painting industry. Plants emit VOCs regularly, and most scents are caused by these compounds. The problem is that VOCs accumulate in your system, and if you’re indoors surrounded by the compounds, the cumulative effect speeds up. Have you noticed the “fresh paint” smell in a newly refurbished room, the one that causes you to open windows and leave the room? That may well be caused by the organic compounds in the paint, which can continue to be released after the paint has dried.
The growing concern caused by heavy metals and VOCs has caused paint manufacturers to update their formulas in an effort to make more environmentally friendly, health conscious paints. This can be done by reducing the number of organic compounds in the paint, or by changing the types used to improve health. Others might opt to use entirely synthetic materials in order to eliminate VOCs, but this can create a need for heavy metals as pigments.
The short of it is that environmentally friendly paints can mean a variety of things; it can mean improvements in production and compound sourcing, a reduction in synthetic materials and VOCs, or it could mean a paint that applies more easily and creates better results with less volume. Anything that reduces the amount of paint that needs to be manufactured to complete a paint job could be considered more environmental, so long as proportionally there’s less of the aforementioned materials used; almost all improvements to the industry, then, are environmental in nature.
A great way of reducing the environmental impact of your renovation is to hire professional painters. Professionals can help you find the most eco-friendly paints for the materials you need painted; they’re also going to be much more efficient at applying the paint, and will waste less material. This means less paint will need to be manufactured, which will reduce the environmental impact of your project. There are trained painters in Winnipeg who are keenly aware of the various health and environmental concerns you may have, and are ready to plan your project with you, so your green house (or even a blue one) can be a green home.