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Life-Changing Paints for Those with Chemical Allergies and Sensitivities

While it’s hard to believe that a can of paint can change someone’s life, we’ve found that this is often the case. At ECOS Paints, we’re privileged to know that our no-VOC, no-odor paints, primers, and varnishes contribute to this surprising yet understandable truth. But, how?

For those with chemical allergies or sensitivities, the idea of having a paint or stain that won’t activate any unpleasant or life-threatening symptoms is revolutionary. Traditional paints wreak havoc on those who suffer from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), allergies, and asthma. Imagine walking in to your brand-new apartment and realizing, to your great dismay, that your landlord used toxic, traditional paints all over your walls, ceilings, and cabinetry. Will you have to rent a hotel room for a week or more until your apartment is adequately ventilated? What happens if you come into the office on Monday morning only to find that the walls and ceilings are coated in fresh, high-VOC paint? Do you take a leave of absence until the fumes diminish? These are just a few of the questions people with chemical allergies and sensitivities must ask themselves on a regular basis.

The Toxic Makeup of Traditional Paints

While individuals suffering from multiple chemical sensitivities, chemical allergies, and asthma have complained about the debilitating effects of paint fumes for decades, their claims were often ignored or disregarded. Today, those claims are taken seriously. Thankfully, an abundance of modern research details the genuine toxicity and negative health effects of traditional interior and exterior paints, primers, varnishes, and stains. Many of these products emit volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, as the product dries. Some of these chemicals include:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Ethyl acetate
  • Xylene
  • Methylene chloride
  • Glycol
  • And others

These contribute to poor indoor air quality and can lead to a wide range of potentially serious health risks.

How Do VOCs Affect People?

While some experts believe that the off-gassing process lets up after a few days, some traditional products can emit harmful fumes for weeks or longer. Adequate ventilation (or lack thereof) also plays a role in how paint fumes affect people. In addition, those who suffer from chemical allergies, sensitivities, and asthma are affected differently than those who don’t.

For the average person without chemical sensitivities or allergies, living, working, or visiting a space filled with high levels of VOCs may experience a variety of symptoms. These symptoms vary depending on how many chemicals are in the air, the toxicity of the chemical(s), and how long the person is exposed to the emissions. Short-term exposure to high levels of VOCs can cause:

  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat
  • Skin-related allergic reactions
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Memory impairment

Meanwhile, long-term exposure to high levels of VOCs can cause damage to the nervous system, liver, and kidneys. Long-term exposure to certain chemicals, such as formaldehyde and benzene, are also known to cause cancer in both humans and animals. These frightening prospects elevate the importance of no-VOC, no-odor paints in homes, businesses, apartment complexes, hotels, and other establishments.

What Are the Symptoms of VOC Exposure?

While mild reactions to chemicals are typically unpleasant for the general population, the resulting symptoms are much worse for those who suffer from chemical allergies and sensitivities. When people with chemical sensitivities or asthma inhale toxins, especially in a room where painting, priming, or staining has recently taken place, a variety of distressing and potentially life-threatening symptoms may arise. These symptoms can include:

  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Sinus pain and pressure
  • Respiratory distress
  • Asthma
  • Shortness of breath
  • Intestinal distress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Heart palpitations
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Confusion
  • Sleep disturbance
  • And more

Misery-Free Painting is Possible with ECOS Paints

The good news is that ECOS Paints has heard the cry of the population suffering with MCS and asthma. Furthermore, our products also cater to those who are concerned about the environment. We understand how difficult it is to live in a world that causes so many health concerns. That is why we’ve developed our fume-free paints, stains, primers, and varnishes. Our no-VOC, no-odor paints are specifically made for those who can’t tolerate traditional paint fumes and for those who wish to minimize environmental damage. Take it from Jay S. of New Jersey who writes, “I am so glad a company like this exists that offers a very healthy and ecofriendly product that is also of great quality! Thanks, ECOS Paints!”

Ciressa M. says, “My husband has extreme chemical sensitivities, so bad that I have to use a no smell deodorant. This is the only paint that doesn’t affect him. There is no smell. I am grateful that there is a company out there that is sensitive for the earth and my home!!!”

A Paint That Changes Lives?

For those who never thought they would see the day where they could use a beautiful, fume-free paint with great coverage and lasting quality, ECOS Paints opens a whole new world. Not only can customers choose the perfect color of no-VOC, no-odor paint and have it delivered straight to their door, they look forward to applying the product themselves and dwelling in the space without suffering from crippling health complications. Elizabeth O. writes, “Thank you for this product. I am very sensitive to indoor air quality, and this paint has allowed me to make my new office and new apartment livable! I so appreciate that you thought to make it.”

With ECOS Paints, you can avoid having to stay at a hotel while you wait for your space to properly ventilate, or to work from a coffee shop or take a leave of absence while your office is being painted. Our paints will help you to maintain your life while you give your space the updates it needs.

* Zero VOC – Conforms to CDPH 01350 (VOC emissions test taken at 14 days).

**No Odor – No traditional paint (polyurethane) odor, which can cause headaches, nausea, and respiratory issues.

2 Smart Tips For Priming Dark Colored Walls

eco friendly polyurethane

If you’re priming or painting a wall, you should understand the benefits that come with investing in eco friendly polyurethane clear coats and low VOC paints. In fact, in a recent study, participants spent six full work days in an environmentally-controlled office space at the TIEQ lab at the Syracuse Center of Excellence. In this space, VOC levels were reduced to approximately 50 micrograms per cubic meter and 40 cubic feet per minute of outdoor air per person. They found that, on average, cognitive scores were 101% higher than in conventional workspaces.

With that in mind, it’s also important to emphasize proper application, and it can be difficult to apply low VOC or eco friendly primer to certain walls, particularly if they have dark colors. Here are just a few tips for properly applying primer to walls with dark colors.

Choose the ‘high hide’ label
There are countless primers on the market, but some have the distinction of being ‘high hide,’ which means that they’re specially formulated to work on darker shades. To determine how effective a primer will be at hiding your wall’s dark colors, look at the label and check the amount of titanium dioxide, or TiO2. Primers with higher amounts of this compound are typically the best option for concealing even the darkest colors during the priming process.

“Without primer, some of the dark color can saturate the new paint color, causing a blotchy look or creating a different color than you intended. You will find many different types of primer on the shelves of hardware and home improvement stores — look for one recommended for use under a drastic color change,” writes Gwen Bruno on SFGate.

Clean the wall properly
Another important aspect of priming a wall is to properly clean it. This means performing an initial cleanse using an all-purpose cleaner mixed with water. You should then take the time to scrape loose paint and other debris from the surface of the wall. Don’t forget to fill holes and imperfections with a spackling compound to ensure a smooth application.

Ultimately, understanding these tips for applying primer to walls with dark colors is the key to ensuring success during any type of painting job. For more information about eco friendly polyurethane clear coats, contact Ecos Paints.

2 Creative Spray Paint Projects Perfect For The Artistic Homeowner

spray paint

There are countless projects and activities you can perform at home with spray paint, but unfortunately, many people are hesitant to use these paint products because of the health effects of VOCs. However, this issue can be resolved by investing in non toxic spray paints that have a very low level of VOCs. In a recent study, participants spent six full work days in an environmentally-controlled office space at the TIEQ lab at the Syracuse Center of Excellence. In this space, VOC levels were reduced to approximately 50 micrograms per cubic meter and 40 cubic feet per minute of outdoor air per person. They found that, on average, cognitive scores were 101% higher than in conventional workspaces.

With low VOC paints, there are unlimited ways to be creative in your artistic endeavors without putting your long term health at risk. Here are just a few creative project ideas to try with non toxic spray paints.

Desk Fan Restoration
If you have an oscillating desk fan that’s more than a year or two old, chances are, it’s accumulated a decent amount of dust and debris from general use. Give your fan a brand new appearance by restoring it using whichever color spray paints you choose. You’ll be amazed at what the results can provide when it comes to livening up the color scheme of a room. This project is provided by Picklee, and it’s easier than you’d expect.

Barstool Painting
If you have an eat-in kitchen style bar or open floor plan, adding some flair to your barstools will give your kitchen a whole new look. This idea is provided by Honeybear Lane, and it’s as easy as using painter’s tape to create the design and color scheme you want. You can also apply traditional paint to the bottom of the legs using a simple dipping method. Give it a try and prepare to be amazed!

Ultimately, non toxic spray paints are just one eco-friendly trend that’s improving global health. According to a study by the Survey Research Institute at Cornell University, 59% of travelers would choose one hotel over another based on availability of allergen-friendly rooms, and consumers everywhere are paying more attention to their health. With that in mind, you can make the best decisions about the painting projects you try and the paints you use. For more information about safe, non-toxic spray paints, contact Ecos Paints.

Importance of Low-VOC, Pet-Friendly Paints

VOCs From Where?

When it comes to air pollution, most of us know that the most common culprit is usually found in vehicle emissions. But what if we were to tell you that while vehicle emissions add to air pollution, there is another major contributor that you likely hadn’t thought of?

According to a BBC article, chemicals from everyday household products are some of the biggest contributors to indoor and outdoor air pollution. In some cases, the chemicals released rival the toxins emitted from vehicles.

What Are These Chemicals?

The pollutants expressed from these household products (and vehicle emissions) are commonly referred to volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These environmental offenders are often found in petroleum-based products, such as cleaning fluids and paints. VOCs are also found in solvents, such as deodorants, pesticides, and adhesives.

The difference between household VOCs and vehicle emissions is an interesting one. For instance, chemicals in most vehicle fuels are burned up and rendered neutral. Household chemicals, however, are released directly into the air. VOCs that are emitted by consumer and commercial products are estimated to be two to three times greater than those of vehicle emissions. The EPA also suggests that these chemical products are the source of 25% of all petroleum-based VOC emissions.

How Do VOCs Affect People?

Because every body is unique, VOCs affect different people in different ways. Some people love using aerosol air fresheners and could breathe in the scent all day, while other people can’t tolerate the fumes for even a moment. This makes it a bit tricky to regulate the chemicals in household products and keep household-related fumes under control. And while most people know that VOCs can affect the health of humans, most people don’t think about how these off-gassing chemicals affect their pets.

Effects of VOCs on Pets

We all like to believe that our home is the safest possible place for our family, including our pets. The alarming truth is that your home can be more dangerous to your pet’s health than any park, yard, or structure your pet could come across. Today’s homes host and emit a surprising amount of chemicals, gases, and natural toxins, all of which pose a health risk to yourself, your family, and your pets.

What Chemicals Are in My Home?

Take a look in your cleaning cabinet. What do you see? From chemical-laden disinfectants to noxious bleach, poisonous air fresheners, and questionable furniture polishes, dangerous products are used on a regular basis to keep your home “clean.” But, while your floors, countertops, and furnishings are sparkling, your air—and your pets—may be suffering.

What Symptoms Will I – And Possibly My Pet – Experience?

Just like human beings, animals can also have strong or mild reactions to chemicals. Since animals live mere inches away from chemical-laden flooring and furniture that’s potentially contaminated with fire retardant, stain protectors, and other chemicals, your pet can experience mild or strong reactions. Depending on the ventilation, room temperature, and time spent exposed to certain chemicals, you and your pet may experience different symptoms.

Chronic or Prolonged Exposure

Pets and people exposed to chemicals on a frequent basis may experience:

  • Cancer
  • Liver and/or kidney damage
  • Central nervous system damage

Short-Term Exposure

Pets and people exposed to chemicals for a short amount of time may experience:

  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Respiratory problems
  • Irritation of the eyes, mouth, and nose

What Can You Do?

Thankfully, there are many things you can do to dramatically reduce the VOCs in your home. For instance, you can install new carpeting with staples rather than toxic adhesives. If you’re painting your home, utilize  low-VOC products from ECOS Paints. Opening a window when you paint or clean is also an excellent idea, as doing so will help ventilate your home. If you’ve recently purchased new furniture, you could cut down on pollutants by letting them air out before you put them in your home. Surprisingly, new furniture, especially pieces that use composite materials, can be laden with chemicals. If you’d like to freshen up the air in your space, use baking soda to neutralize odors, simmer a pot of your favorite herbs and seasonings, or turn on your natural essential oil diffuser.

ECOS Paints Atmosphere Purifying Products

If you’re concerned about the air quality in your home, ECOS Paints offers an excellent solution. We’ve developed our Atmosphere Purifying products to help people with multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), asthma, and environmental concerns.

ECOS Pet-Friendly Paints

With all of this information in mind, we understand that it may seem intimidating, and even frightening, to clean or paint your home with pets around. The good news is that this doesn’t have to be the case. Natural cleaners will help you get your home squeaky clean without off-gassing any harsh chemicals, and ECOS Paints’ non-toxic pet paints and primers enable you to refresh your walls, floors, and furniture without negatively impacting your pet or your indoor air quality.

ECOS pet-friendly paints and primers are uniquely designed for safe use around your pets, whether they’re dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, or rodents. Don’t believe us? Just check out our comprehensive data sheets. ECOS Paints leads the way in transparency. We place ingredient labels on our non-toxic pet paints and primers, so you can ensure that harmful VOCs won’t negatively affect you and your family. If you have multiple chemical sensitivities or are merely concerned about the health of the environment, you can trust our low-VOC products.

Our Pet Dwellings Paints are odorless, water-based, and quick to dry. You can even apply these paints with your pet in close proximity! Our pet-friendly primers are hard-wearing and can be applied even in occupied areas. ECOS Paints’ Pet Dwellings products can be applied indoors and out, so you can freely freshen up your pet’s cage, house, kennel, and play pen. With ECOS Paints, you don’t have to feel guilty while you freshen up your home. Ask Harold to find the best product for your space today!

Recent Study Shows High VOCs in Household Products (Part 2)

low voc paint

In the last post, we discussed some results from a recent study reported by BBC News and conducted by Colorado University. We explained why investing in low VOC paints and similar products is an option that’s absolutely worth considering.

As mentioned in the last post, our air contains such a unique mixture of chemicals and compounds that it is nearly impossible to determine which specific elements cause which health effects, if any. What’s worse is that while some products that emit VOCs must be sprayed into the air to be used, many of these products’ VOC testing has been neglected due to the primary focus being on vehicle emissions.

“Air fresheners are loved by some people – but they make others choke. Cleaning sprays are useful – but they make some people’s eyes run. I know someone whose childhood asthma is thought to have been provoked by chemical emissions from flat-packed furniture in his bedroom. This is a neglected field of research as public and media attention has focused on cars outdoors at the expense of chemicals indoors,” writes BBC Environmental Analyst Roger Harrabin.

This notion reflects the fact that according to Sweden’s Dampness in Buildings and Health study, children with bedroom PGE (propylene glycol and glycol ethers) concentrations in the top 25% (of the study participants) had a 100% higher likelihood of having asthma, a 150% higher likelihood of having eczema, and a 320% higher likelihood of having rhinitis.

While the figures from the study undoubtedly indicate an alarming portion of VOC exposure being attributed to household products, there does seem to be a silver lining. The EPA had previously estimated about 75% of petroleum-based VOC emissions to be from vehicle fuels and 25% from chemical products, but this study shows that the split is closer to 50-50. While this is certainly cause for concern, some see it in a positive light because air quality regulations have done so much to limit vehicular emissions.

In short, while the study has negative implications in the short-term, it could help organizations like the EPA craft new regulations specifically targeting VOCs. If these measures are as successful as measures targeting vehicle emissions, then the world could soon be a safer place.

“In some ways, this is a good news story that, as we control some of the bigger sources in the past, the other sources are emerging in relative importance, such as these consumer products,” says lead author on the study and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) affiliate Dr. Brian McDonald.

Ultimately, painting with low VOC paints and using other products with low levels of VOCs is the best way to protect yourself from the negative health effects from VOCs. For more information about low VOC paints wood primer, contact Ecos Paints.

Homeowner’s Guide To Properly Applying Wood Conditioner

all inclusive event packages

Wood conditioners are intended to help even out the shades of the wood when it’s new and bare. What does pre stain conditioner prevent? As its name implies, it’s meant to be applied prior to staining, and without it, some woods will appear blotchy and uneven when the stain job is complete. But before you apply wood conditioner, it’s important to understand the process and how to make it as efficient as possible. Here’s a quick guide to help you understand how to apply wood conditioner before your staining project.

Preparing For The Application
First, make sure the wood you’re staining is lightly sanded and free of any dust, dirt, or debris. Make sure to remove the sawdust as well. You should then wipe down the wood with a slightly damp cloth to ensure complete cleanliness, which is essential for a proper condition, and subsequently, a proper stain.

Applying The Wood Conditioner
When applying the conditioner, use a brush or cloth and spread liberally. Always work in the same direction as the grain for the best results. Afterward, let the stain stay on the surface and penetrate the wood for between five and 15 minutes and wipe off any remaining product.

Be aware that most conditioners direct you to apply the stain within about two hours to prevent the product from losing its effect. Some even say that waiting longer than the typical two-hour period can cause worse-looking results than if you hadn’t used a wood conditioner at all. Clearly, timeliness is essential when it comes to using wood conditioner prior to staining.

A Final Note
Once you have a good idea of how to apply your wood conditioner, make sure to consider the product you’re buying. Most traditional wood conditioners and stains, in addition to paint for decks, spray paint, and other paints, have high levels of VOCs unless otherwise indicated. Studies have shown that levels of several organics average two to five times higher indoors than outdoors, and when inhaled they can contribute to several health problems, so it’s always best to opt for low VOC paints and stains whenever possible. Considering the fact that according to a study by the Survey Research Institute at Cornell University, 83% of travelers say they would choose an allergy-friendly room if they had the option, there’s definitely something to be said about the need for the best possible indoor air quality.

Ultimately, understanding how to properly apply wood conditioner is the key to ensuring maximum quality and satisfaction with your end result. For more information about low VOC paints and stains, contact Ecos Paints.

Recent Study Shows High VOCs in Household Products (Part 1)

picking out paint

According to BBC News, new research has shown that chemicals present in common household products are one of the ‘key contributors’ to urban air pollution — and some of these products even compare to vehicle emissions.

The study was conducted at Colorado University and focused on the presence of VOCs — volatile organic compounds — which are present in countless household products, from paints to cleaning supplies and more. According to a report by CBC Marketplace, VOC levels over 500 ppb could cause problems for people with chemical sensitivities, so many people have started being cautious when picking out paint and other household supplies.

The health effects of VOCs have not gone unnoticed, but scientists do say these sneaky toxins have been ‘underestimated.’ However, many also say the results of this study come as a surprise because by weight, fuel usage far exceeds the everyday usage of other chemical products.

Reducing Your VOC Use And Exposure
BBC News says that about 95% of raw oil ends up being incorporated into the production of fuels. On the other hand, the remaining 5% is refined for further use in other chemicals and substances included in everything from adhesives to deodorants, pesticides, and more.

According to Dr. Jessica Gilman, these numbers may imply emission rates that are deceiving, because vehicle fuels are burned, while a major portion of the household products are sprayed or otherwise intended to be wafted into the air.

“Most commonly, they’re used as solvents – things like nail polish remover, the hairspray I used this morning; they are used in many cases as cleaning agents like carpet cleaners…It would be difficult to remove them because the alternative is to use straight water, which as you know doesn’t work for all stains,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist told reporters.

With the results of this study in mind, it’s essential to do what you can to limit your personal exposure to VOCs. One of Dr Gilman’s colleagues, Dr. Brian McDonald, suggested simply minimizing your use of these products whenever possible.

“Use as little of the product as you can to get the job done,” he said.

However, there’s more to the story — the air we breathe is filled with such a wide range of compounds and chemicals that it’s rarely, if ever, fully possible to ascertain which one is causing an adverse effect. That’s why it’s also best when picking out paint to select low VOC paints.

Keep an eye out for the next post, where we’ll talk more about this study and what you can do to limit your VOC exposure. For more information about picking out safe paint for decks, anti slip paint, or porch paint, contact Ecos Paints.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities | Accommodations for Renting

Finding a home can prove to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for renters who suffer from multiple chemical sensitives (MCS). While property owners usually refresh apartments with a new coat of paint before the tenant moves in, these paints are often loaded with noxious chemicals called VOCs. VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, release into the atmosphere after paints, stain-blocking primers, and gloss varnishes are applied. For individuals with MCS, this off-gassing process can trigger a variety of symptoms, some of which can be severe enough to require hospitalizations.

Aside from health concerns related to fresh paint, MCS sufferers may also face skeptical landlords who aren’t willing to make necessary multiple chemical sensitivity accommodations. Because the general population doesn’t react as strongly to the chemicals found in paint fumes and other products, many property owners haven’t even heard of MCS and therefore don’t take these requests seriously.

What is MCS?

MCS is a real medical diagnosis that’s given to individuals who experience adverse reactions when they inhale, touch, or ingest certain chemicals. MCS is also referred to as environmental illness, idiopathic environmental intolerance, and sick building syndrome. MCS sufferers can experience a wide range of unpleasant to severe symptoms, such as:

  • Respiratory complications
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle pain or stiffness
  • Digestive complications
  • Confusion
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Mood changes

While most people only experience a mild headache or dizziness, inhaling even small amounts of noxious paint vapors can send someone with MCS to the emergency room.

How Prevalent is MCS?

While chemical sensitivities may be an interesting topic to read about, you may wonder how many people actually suffer from MCS. Since it’s considered a diagnosable illness, you may also wonder how many people are actually diagnosed with MCS by a medical doctor. Researchers at PubMed had the same questions and conducted a study that yielded surprising results.

In 2004, PubMed studied 1,054 individuals who were randomly selected from across the United States. Researchers examined both etiology, which is the cause of a condition, and symptomatology, which is the symptoms experienced by a patient due to a certain condition. The study revealed that 11.2% of the test population reported an adverse reaction to a variety of common chemical-laden products, including fresh paint. 2.5% of the test population reported that they had been medically diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.

While the PubMed study revealed that there is indeed a sizeable portion of the United States population that suffers from chemical sensitivities, not all of these people share the same reactions or sensitivities. For example, some people are sensitive to paint fumes but not to air fresheners. Other individuals are sensitive to paint fumes and experience a nagging headache, while others are so sensitive to paint fumes that they must be admitted to a hospital.

How Legitimate is an MCS Diagnosis?

As a condition that prevents or makes everyday activities extremely difficult or impossible, MCS is legally defined as a disability. According to a 1992 HUD memo, MCS and other related environmental illnesses are considered to be actual medical conditions that are valid and diagnosable. The memo went on to state that multiple chemical sensitivities “causes us to reach not for a Kleenex but for the telephone to summon an ambulance.”

How Should Property Owners Respond?

While MCS can sound far-fetched to some, it’s important for landlords to educate themselves on the reality and legitimacy of these sensitivities and those who suffer from them. It’s helpful if property owners respond in an understanding and professional manner to prospective tenants with MCS. Accommodation requests by these future tenants should be taken very seriously. Although it might seem like a hassle to accommodate requests for MCS-friendly paints, stain-blocking primers, gloss varnishes, and stains, it couldn’t be easier. ECOS Paints has a variety of MCS-friendly products that landlords can use to refresh their properties. By using ECOS products to try to fulfill MCS requests, landlords can help to prevent a wide range of negative and costly consequences, such as:

  • Costs spent on advertising the apartment or townhome
    • When a property is uninhabited, money is quickly lost. It’s important that landlords quickly find renters, and the best way to do this is through advertising. Advertising for long periods of time, however, can become expensive.
  • Negative press
    • Word spreads quickly, especially when reasonable requests for health-oriented accommodations are denied. This could turn future renters off and make renting out the property very difficult.
  • Loss of rental income
    • If an individual who suffers from MCS rents out your space and falls ill due to VOC off-gassing, many times the person will have to move out in order to maintain their health. If renter accommodation requests are denied at the outset, an apartment seeker with MCS will choose to live elsewhere. Both of these situations result in the loss of rental income.

What Can Property Owners Do?

If you’re a property owner and have a prospective or current tenant with MCS, there are three simple things you can do.

  1. Listen to the person’s requests
  2. Take their multiple chemical sensitivity accommodations requests seriously
  3. Use products from companies like ECOS Paints

Why Use ECOS Paints?

ECOS Paints provides a range of MCS-friendly paints for individuals who suffer from multiple chemical sensitivities. As a manufacturer of premium-quality paints, stains, varnishes, and other related products, we care about the health of our customers and the environment. That’s why we lead the movement for transparent ingredient lists. Each ECOS Paints product includes straightforward data sheets that include Declare Labels and third-party verified Health Product Declarations. These ingredient labels and test results allow you and your tenant to see exactly what’s in the product before you paint. In that way tenants can specifically look for any chemical which they know causes them issues.

With ECOS Paints, multiple chemical sensitivity accommodations are easy, affordable, and convenient. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have; we’re here to help!

3 Top Mistakes To Avoid When Staining Concrete

staining concrete

Staining concrete is becoming a popular home improvement option due to the number of color and style options available. Whether attempting to do it yourself or hiring a professional, there are virtually countless ways to improve your home using a concrete painting or staining method. But before you even so much as visit a paint store to start picking out paint, it’s important to understand the process of staining concrete to help you determine the most effective products and methods. After all, the process does take some time, and one slip-up can sacrifice the integrity of the entire project. Here are just a few mistakes to avoid when staining concrete.

Contamination of Surfaces
Surface contamination is a common issue for those who don’t know exactly how to look for it. But the truth is that there is a multitude of particularly stubborn stains, including wine, pet urine, and oil, that simply may not become visible until after you’ve started, or even finished, the entire concrete staining process. The solution is rather obvious, albeit difficult — to access and remove the stain. Fortunately, once you access the stain, it can be removed easily, but getting to it can come with some difficulty.

To avoid this issue entirely, experts recommend spraying the concrete with water before starting the staining process. As mentioned, many stains may initially be invisible, but water will temporarily darken the concrete surface and reveal their locations. This allows you to remove these stains and improve the quality of your concrete sealing application.

Prolonged VOC Exposure
VOC exposure is a growing threat to respiratory and cognitive health, yet a shocking number of homeowners still use traditional stains and paints containing the toxic compounds. If your flooring is more than one year old, many of the VOCs will have dissipated already. But if you’re installing new flooring or painting your floor, go for an organic option and use VOC-free painting materials. Investing in eco-friendly stains and low VOC paints is investing in your and your family’s health and future.

Sealer Failure
Finally, some homeowners staining concrete themselves experience a failure of their sealer. This typically occurs because the surface was not prepped properly or the stain was not applied correctly. If the spots are small, consider hiding them with spray paint. For larger spots, an entire reseal may be warranted.

Ultimately, understanding the concrete staining process is the key to ensuring your satisfaction with the results. For more information about eco-friendly stains, contact Ecos Paints.

Polyurethane Fume Exposure And Your Health: What You Need To Know

ideal treatment for hardwood floors
It’s no secret that many paints, varnishes, and clear coats emit VOCs and other harmful compounds after they’ve been applied to a surface. But of all types of fumes and toxins, avoiding polyurethane fumes may be the most essential due to their potential for harmful side effects. Here’s what you need to know about polyurethane fumes and how they relate to your health.

Respiratory Issues
First, polyurethane is a petrochemical resin that contains known respiratory toxins called isocyanates. When left uncured, polyurethane can cause asthma and other breathing problems. Those who spend time in rooms that have uncured polyurethane floor treatments may also experience health issues like throat and eye irritation, nausea, vomiting, headaches, coughing, and shortness of breath. You should also keep in mind that children who are exposed to polyurethane fumes may be more prone to developing these issues because of their sensitive immune systems. Those with existing respiratory issues are also disproportionately affected.

While these health hazards are definitely troubling, remember that these are only the known health risks of polyurethane fumes in the home.

Eco friendly options are always the most ideal treatment for hardwood floors, but polyurethane exposure can also be limited by allowing proper curing before re-entering the affected area. Curing times will vary based on the type and quantity of the product as well as the type of floor and air flow. If you aren’t sure when it will be save to re-enter the treatment area, it’s best to be conservative. Better to wait too long than too little.

“If you live in a humid climate, the product can also take longer to cure. Water-based polyurethane typically takes less time to fully cure. Over time, the polyurethane will become less and less toxic,” writes Josh Arnold on SFGate Home Guides.

Ultimately, VOCs are considered harmful to human health and should be avoided when possible. In a recent study, participants spent six full work days in an environmentally-controlled office space at the TIEQ lab at the Syracuse Center of Excellence. In this space, VOC levels were reduced to approximately 50 micrograms per cubic meter and 40 cubic feet per minute of outdoor air per person. They found that, on average, cognitive scores were 101% higher than in conventional workspaces.

Overall, investing in an low VOC or eco friendly polyurethane clear coat is the ideal treatment for hardwood floors because it’s the only way to keep your home free of unnecessary toxins and fumes.