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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.

Prevention
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.

Why Paint Ingredient Disclosure is Vital | Avoid Toxic Paints

Know What’s in Your Paint

Why Paint Ingredient Disclosure is Vital

Aside from freshening up a space and adding value to your home, office, or other establishment, a fresh or even dated coat of paint can carry with it a variety of disturbances. From unpleasant symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, and nausea to severe asthmatic and allergic reactions, there can be more to traditional paints than meets the eye. It’s safe to say that these less-than-appealing effects often result from a consumer’s lack of knowledge regarding the chemical makeup of the paint itself. After all, if you knew that harmful toxins were in your house paint, you probably wouldn’t buy the product, let alone use it… right?

Many manufacturers don’t disclose their paint’s ingredients, making it difficult for people who suffer from allergies, asthma, and chemical intolerances to know what harmful ingredients are lurking inside their paint. Depending on the toxic substances and the length of their off-gassing process, these chemicals can lead to immediate and long-term health problems, from headaches and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat to nerve damage!

Why is Paint Ingredient Disclosure Important?

To those who suffer from allergies, asthma, multiple chemical sensitivities, and other chemical intolerances, complete disclosure is a necessity when it comes to purchasing and using paint. Unfortunately, finding a product that fully lists its contents is extremely rare. Whether it’s for health or environmental reasons, without a transparent list of ingredients available, many people find it extremely difficult—if not impossible—to find a paint they’re comfortable using in their home or office.

While some people get a headache, develop a slight cough, or feel nauseous until a freshly painted room is completely aired out, others develop more serious symptoms. For those who are asthmatic or allergic to harmful chemicals, toxic paint fumes can be extremely harmful. Methylisothiazolinone (MI) and methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI) are two very common and dangerous irritants. These and other toxic VOCs can trigger unpleasant reactions, such as airborne contact dermatitis. These reactions, which range from mild to severe, can even require hospitalization in some cases.

If people don’t know what’s included in their paint, they’re either going to buy it and suffer the potential consequences, or they’re going to avoid painting altogether. In some cases, in order to let the worst of the off-gassing process pass, those who are sensitive to chemicals will have to leave their home for a few days or even for a few weeks. Other people simply avoid repainting their homes, knowing that they will be unable to deal with the health effects of traditional paints. This isn’t right.

What is Paint Usually Made Of?

Most traditional house paints contain a slew of toxins that are harmful to people, pets, and the environment. Traditional interior paints and other paint-related products, such as paint thinner and paint stripper, are loaded with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are gases that release into the air the moment you open a can of paint. These chemicals are a big contributor to poor indoor air quality and pose potentially serious health risks.

Many VOC-laden paints also include preservatives such as MI (methylisothiazolinone) and MCI (methylchloroisothiazolinone), which are potent biocides that control or destroy microbes, bacteria, and other microorganisms. While killing harmful microorganisms seems like a good idea at first, the chemicals that enable this to happen are just as, if not more, harmful. Why would you want to breathe these fumes in?

All in all, house paints can potentially contain a wide range of toxic pollutants, depending on the type and brand. Aside from the components listed above, other common toxins found in traditional paints are:

  • Xylene
  • Ethyl acetate
  • Methylene chloride
  • Glycol
  • Formaldehyde
  • Benzene
  • Phenol
  • Quaternary ammonium compounds
  • Carbamates
  • And many more

Do Any Paint Manufacturers Provide a List of Ingredients?

Yes!

At ECOS Paints, we’re spearheading the movement for full ingredient disclosure on all types of paint products, from interior and exterior paints to stains, varnishes, sealers, and primers. We believe in transparency, quality, and environmental responsibility, and we care about the health of our consumers and their families. For these reasons, our products come with a complete list of ingredients. In this way, our customers can avoid the chemicals they’re allergic to, sensitive to, or simply not a fan of. With each ECOS product, you get the assurance of knowing exactly what’s in it.

Why ECOS Paints are Different

At ECOS Paints, we don’t stop at simply providing a transparent list of ingredients. To help you wisely and responsibly pick the perfect product for your space, we go above and beyond to include third-party test results with detailed descriptions of what each result means. ECOS Paints products also include extensive application and performance notes, so everything you need to make an informed purchase is right there in front of you. No more guessing games!

When it comes to the ingredients in paint, we understand the importance of full disclosure. That’s why we’re the only paint manufacturer that provides lists of ingredients, test results, and application and performance notes to our customers. All of our products reflect our belief in well-informed decision making as well as our belief in health-centered and environmentally responsible products. For more than 20 years, ECOS Paints has provided premium paints to environmentally concerned and health-conscious people around the world. From gorgeous stains that highlight your hardwood’s natural beauty to smooth interior paints that provide excellent coverage, you can rest assured that your ECOS product is made from clean, sustainable, and top-quality materials.

If you have any questions about any of our products or the ingredients within them, we’re more than happy to discuss your concerns with you at length. We’re proud to announce that we’re the only manufacturer who will go this extra mile for our customers.

What Are VOCs, And How Do They Affect Your Health?

polyurethane clear coat

Studies have shown that levels of several VOCs average two to five times higher indoors than outdoors, and when inhaled they can contribute to several health problems. That’s why many people have been opting for environmentally friendly spray paints and varnishes for their home painting needs. But before you determine which type of paint is right for you, it’s important to have an understanding of VOCs and how they can affect your health. Here’s a quick guide to understanding the health effects from VOCs.

What Are VOCs?
VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are substances that get emitted as invisible gases from certain solids or liquids, like many paints, stains, and varnishes. These VOCs generally include a wide variety of chemicals, and according to the Environmental Protection Agency, these chemicals can have both short and long term health effects. 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.

Which Products Have VOCs?
Unfortunately, there are thousands of products available today that contain some level of VOCs. The most common are household products, such as paints, aerosol sprays, pesticides, cleaners and disinfectants, stored fuels and automotive products, dry-cleaned clothing, wood preservatives, and more. In addition, certain building materials and office equipment like copiers and printers can give off VOCs as well. Even some materials used to create graphics, such as adhesives, permanent markers, and photographic solutions can emit VOCs.

Health Effects From VOCs
The noted health effects of VOCs come in many different forms, so it can be understandably difficult to determine whether a health problem’s cause can be attributed to their existence. First, according to a report by CBC Marketplace, VOC levels over 500 ppb could cause problems for people with chemical sensitivities. Some other common health effects typically associated with VOCs include allergic skin reactions, nose and throat discomfort, headaches, dyspnea (labored breathing), nausea, emesis (vomiting), epistaxis (nosebleeds), fatigue, and dizziness. Keep in mind that the length and severity of these symptoms is highly dependent on the type and levels of VOCs that you’re being exposed to.

Ultimately, understanding these health effects of VOCs is the key to making the right choices for eco-friendly paints and household products. Fortunately, there are plenty of low VOC options for all types of paints, polyurethane clear coats, primers, varnishes, and more. For more information about polyurethane clear coats with low VOCs, contact Ecos Paints.

How To Choose the Right Color for your Interior Painting Project

color matching

Interior home colors and painting projects are more intense endeavors than homeowners initially realize. Everyone has an opinion, preference, favorite color matching scheme, and project strategy. All this outsider input can make painting more of a chore than an opportunity to creatively display your living space.

Owning a home is enough of a chore, so we want to make painting it as easy and enjoyable as humanly possible. Take a pause and ponder these considerations before you start slapping brush to wall.

Energy is everything
What energy do you want in your house? How do you want your colors to accent each other? Different rooms might call for different energies. Cool colors are calming and have a relaxing energy, whereas bright, bold colors draw people in and are fabulous for entertaining/group gathering spaces. Think about the rooms you’re planning to paint and how you want to feel (and how you want your guests to feel) when you’re in it.

Subtlety
Remember that in any room, the color of the wall isn’t the main event and shouldn’t act as such. Room color should feel welcoming, but should not distract from the layout and actual living area in a living space. Subtle, muted color schemes are often used to add creative elegance to commonly occupied living areas without overtaking an observer’s senses.

Rooms that pop!
Some people will insist that painting and color matching (or clashing) have strictly defined laws you must adhere to. Those people aren’t having enough fun. Guidelines are meant as the initial canvas, but you’re the artist and can do whatever you want. Apparently, in a 2017 survey, houses with blue bathrooms sold for $5,400 more than predicted. Random, right? Throw color matching out and have fun with a room! Do something wild, test new ideas out, make it pop. If you don’t like the result, a couple coats of white primer will reset your canvas. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and try something weird.

When you’re not sure what direction to go, head in to see the pros. Interior painting isn’t as easy as you’re tempted to think. Professionals can help with calculating paint coverage, picking out paint that’s right for your in-home environment, pricing, and recommendations. Never forget that your home is yours to explore your creativity with. Don’t obsess too much striving after perfection. The best part is that in a few years the creative painting bug will bite again and you’ll be right back at it with a different view of perfect.

Parents’ Guide To Safely Painting Baby Furniture (Part 2)

paint safe for baby furniture

In the last post, we discussed some essential safety precautions and workspace preparation tips for safely painting baby furniture. However, while safety is undoubtedly a major priority, painting properly can ensure maximum appeal and lifespan of your furniture. Here’s part two of our parents’ guide on how to safely paint baby furniture.

Sanding
Before you start painting, you’ll need to disassemble the furniture and lightly sand the edges. For cribs, it’s suggested to take them apart completely for maximum coverage. It’s also a good idea to wear a mask in order to avoid inhaling the dust from sanding. The sanding process will help the paint for the nursery adhere properly. You don’t need to remove the entire surface layer of the furniture; just ‘roughen it up’ a bit. Afterward, give the piece of furniture a final wipe down with a damp rag or tack cloth.

Painting
For a nursery, low VOC paints and/or low allergy paints are ideal. According to Sweden’s Dampness in Buildings and Health study, among children with multiple allergic symptoms, PGE-exposure nearly doubled the odds of developing sensitivities to other allergens.

When painting, use a small brush or roller and take your time to apply an even coat. If you’re painting bare wood or any puttied surfaces, you’ll need to apply a primer first. Many experts recommend choosing a paint safe for baby furniture that is specifically labeled as a trim paint, since these paints have more hardeners and are generally better for furniture applications.

Incorporating Creativity
Don’t be afraid to get creative with the painting process as opposed to simply adding color. For example, painting a simple design such as some stars and a moon, polka dots, a quote, or even the baby’s name can serve as a beautiful symbol of your love and care for your baby. Don’t be afraid of making small mistakes — let your creativity run free!

Drying and Reassembling
Finally, once the paint job is complete, it’s recommended to wait a full 48 hours before reassembling the piece. If you have any doubts, don’t be afraid to let the piece dry even longer.

Ultimately, understanding what makes paint safe for baby furniture and safely applying it is the key to welcoming your baby into a home that always has their health and happiness in mind.

Parents’ Guide To Safely Painting Baby Furniture (Part 1)

satin varnish

Preparing to welcome a new baby into your life and home should be a special and unique experience for all parents. That being said, it’s important to do everything you can to make sure your baby is as healthy as possible. However, 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. If you’re preparing to welcome a new baby into your life and home, we’ve got you covered. Here’s part one of our parents’ guide to safely painting baby furniture and preparing a safe and healthy nursery.

Precautions
Before you dive right into your painting endeavors, it’s essential to do some basic safety checks. First — and this should be a given — make sure that the paint or satin varnish you’re using is free of lead, which has been proven to be toxic to brain development and has no safe levels. Fortunately, it has been banned from paints and satin varnishes since 1978, so it’s very unlikely to appear in any materials you’ll be working with.

Another quick precaution to take prior to painting involves giving the piece of furniture a quick but sturdy shake. If you notice that it’s wiggling or seems otherwise unsteady, it may be a good idea to tighten it up before you get started.

Finally, you should also be aware that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission does not recommend the use of cribs that are more than 10 years old. You can easily access their official website to check for any crib recalls and ensure that the one you have selected is up to code and safe for your baby.

Workspace Prep
Once you’re absolutely sure that you have a piece of furniture that is safe and ready for painting, prep your workspace by laying down a sheet or protective drop cloth. Then, gently wipe down the piece of furniture you’re painting to remove any remaining dust and debris. If the piece of furniture has many compartments, such as a dresser, vacuuming the drawers is a good way to save time and maximize efficiency.

Ultimately, understanding how to safely paint baby furniture can help keep your baby happy and healthy for years to come. Keep an eye out for the next post, where we’ll discuss the remaining steps of safely painting baby furniture. For more information about satin varnishes and other latex free, low VOC paints, contact Ecos Paints.

3 Essential House Painting Rules All Homeowners Should Follow

Adding a coat of high-quality paint to the interior or exterior of your home is one of the easiest and most effective ways to spruce up your house, and increase its value. However, there are a number of important rules all homeowners should keep in mind to ensure the effort they’ve put into house painting doesn’t go to waste. Here are just a few rules for painting that all homeowners should follow.

Proper Tools Are Essential

If your flooring is more than a year old, many of the VOCs will have likely dissipated already. But if you’re installing new flooring or painting your existing floor, go for an organic option and use VOC-free materials. While choosing the right paint is obviously the most important step of any paint job, making sure you have the proper tools on hand to get the job done isn’t far behind. For smaller or more detailed projects you should use a high-quality brush or paint roller. Many environmentally friendly paints can also be applied using with an airless sprayer, so consider renting a good quality one to maximize paint uniformity and make the job much easier. Just head to your local home improvement center or tool rental outlet. Finally, you’ll also need painter’s tape and some sheets or tarps to protect surfaces from paint drops.

Don’t Rush!

It’s understandable to be excited about the new look your home will have once the paint job is complete. That being said, you shouldn’t rush, especially if you’re doing exterior painting. This means waiting for conditions that won’t compromise the quality of the paint job. Experts say you shouldn’t paint outdoors on hot days, in rainy weather, or in dusty conditions. Ideally, any day between 50 and 90 degrees should be suitable. Hot weather and direct sunlight can cause the paint to dry too quickly and lead to surface imperfections that can ruin all your hard work.

Protect The Surrounding Areas

Finally, whether you’re painting your home’s interior or exterior, make sure to properly protect the surrounding areas. Take the time to put down some sort of covering on the floors, as well as nearby items. Indoors, that might mean furniture, appliances, and doors, and outside that means bushes, shrubs, and other landscaping features. This is particularly essential when using any type of paint sprayer to apply your environmentally friendly spray paint, since over-spraying is quite common, and too much could even cover your neighbor’s cars!
Ultimately, knowing these simple rules can help you complete any home paint job as quickly and efficiently as possible. For more information about porch and floor paints, or paint for almost any other project, contact Ecos Paints.

9 Ways Paint Shopping is Easier with ECOS Paints

Shopping for paint online should be just as easy, if not easier, than shopping for paint in a brick-and-mortar store. Through our simplified and informative shopping experience and concierge service, we’ve eradicated the following difficulties often encountered in big box stores:

• The nearest store doesn’t have the color you’re looking for.
• You’ve found the perfect color, but you have chemical sensitivities and need a low VOC paint that’s not available in stores.
• You’re an expecting mother, and hauling heavy cans of nursery paint is just too much for you to handle.

We know that these challenges are frustrating. That’s why we’ve taken each of these situations and others into account to create the world’s easiest way to shop for paint.

9 Ways ECOS Paints Makes Paint Shopping Easy

1. Transparency
2. Superior customer service
3. Extensive color library
4. Free paint chips
5. Small color samples
6. Color matching
7. Professional advice
8. Variety
9. Doorstep delivery

Transparency

Unlike most conventional stores and paint brands, ECOS Paints considers transparency to be a very important part of our shopping and product experience. While you browse our carefully crafted paints, you’ll notice a Data Sheets tab for each product. Each Data Sheets tab contains a complete list of ingredients, a safety data sheet, test results, and more. You’ll also discover application notes that help you decide on the perfect paint for your project. These Data Sheets are especially useful for expecting parents who are concerned about the chemicals that are going to be in their child’s nursery paint.

If you have any general questions or would like to learn more about our beyond zero VOC paints, our experts are here to help. They can even advise you about proper application methods to ensure superior paint coverage and discuss any health concerns. Shop for paint online at ECOS Paints for the best, new way to purchase exceptional, eco-friendly paints.

Superior Customer Service

Are you tired of waiting around for assistance in brick-and-mortar stores? Are you fed up with asking important questions about color choices, health hazards, and ingredients only to receive vague answers, or even worse, no answer at all? At ECOS Paints we pride ourselves on our paint as well as our customer service. We offer numerous ways for you to contact our friendly and knowledgeable customer service agents–and you can expect to receive a fast, relevant, and thorough response. From the comfort of your own home, you can:

• Call us toll-free at 866-587-3586
• Fill out our form for an email or telephone response
• Ask Harold about virtually any paint-related topic
• Browse our FAQ

With the guidance of trained professionals, ECOS Paints makes it easy for you to shop for paint online. The days of being left in the dark regarding the real ingredients in your bedroom, living room, and “baby safe” paint are over.

Extensive Color Library

Standing in front of a product display with hundreds of paint chips can be daunting, especially when you’re expecting. At ECOS Paints, you can browse our color library at your leisure without worrying about taking too long, getting interrupted by other shoppers, or becoming fatigued. Choose from nature inspired palettes or classic palettes in a color category of your choice. You can even search for a color by name. Whether you’re looking to brighten up your space with a soft neutral or add some pizazz with a bold hue, you’re sure to find the perfect color at ECOS Paints.

Free Paint Chips

At ECOS Paints, we will send you FREE paint chips to help you visualize what our product will look like on your walls, floor, and furniture. Just select your favorite hues and we will mail the chips straight to your door.

Small Color Samples

While many stores supply inexpensive paint samples, not all of them can offer samples for eco-friendly paints or products that help purify the atmosphere. When you shop for paint online, we believe that it’s crucial for you to be able to test a product before you buy it. To give you the best possible idea of how our paints look, we make our samples in color controlled batches, rather than small containers which are individually tinted in stores and come with the disclaimer that “the color might not match the actual paint”.

Color Matching

Did you stumble upon a stunning paint color at a box store that’s just perfect for your project, only to find that the color isn’t in our collection? Don’t panic! Unlike most stores and other paint websites, we can match any color with precision and incorporate it into our environmentally-engineered paint. You’ll get the best of both worlds when you shop for paint online at ECOS.

Professional Advice

Box store paint departments aren’t always staffed with paint experts. Inexperienced crewmembers may lead you down rocky roads by steering you toward the wrong paint, suggesting a less than desirable color, or giving improper application advice. ECOS Paints is comprised of experienced and qualified paint professionals who can help you navigate through all of your paint dilemmas. Our experts can recommend the perfect product for your project, and they’ll even tell you why. They can also teach you how to properly apply your paint of choice for the best results.

Variety

Physical and online stores may have a large section of paint colors, but a disappointingly small selection of products for you to choose from. At ECOS Paints, you’ll discover a variety of expertly crafted, environmentally-engineered paints for your home and office. We offer the following paints for you to purchase:

  • Atmosphere purifying paint
    • Our atmosphere purifying paints are uniquely formulated for those who suffer from chemical sensitivities, allergies, and asthma. These paints turn your walls into massive filters as they trap volatile organic compounds which are circulating in the indoor air.
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Nursery paint
    • Our baby safe paints are excellent for use in your little one’s nursery. Specially formulated with health in mind, these products are nonetheless extremely durable to withstand repeated touching and washing.
  • Porch and floor paint
  • MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities) friendly paint
  • Pet-friendly paint
    • Our pet-friendly paints are designed for you to use around your pets. Each container of Pet Dwellings Paint can be applied to bird cages, dog houses, kennels, reptile enclosures, and more.
  • Self-priming paint
  • Organic paint
  • Latex-free paint
  • And more!

Doorstep Delivery

Perhaps the most remarkable way that ECOS Paints has transformed online paint shopping is through our exclusive Concierge Service. Hauling heavy paint cans around can be frustrating, if not exhausting, and it’s even potentially dangerous. Why risk injury lugging cumbersome buckets from the store to your car and from your car to your home? At ECOS, our Concierge Service brings your order straight to your door, so you can put your feet up and relax until your paint arrives.

ECOS Paints – the Easiest Way to Shop for Paint

The next time you need paint and are dreading the thought of going to the store, shop for paint online at ECOS instead. Through our easy selection process, professional color matching, and doorstep delivery, we truly provide the world’s easiest way to shop for paint.

Homeowner’s Guide To Choosing Eco-Friendly Paints (Part 2)

In the last post, we started to discuss the serious health risks associated with the use of chemicals and paints that contain VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. Fortunately, there are viable alternatives that can limit or completely alleviate these risks, and picking out non toxic paints that don’t contain harmful chemicals is the key to protecting your family’s long-term health.

But where can you find non toxic paints? Here’s part two of our homeowner’s guide to choosing low VOC and eco-friendly paints.

What constitutes ‘low’ and ‘zero’ VOC?
‘Zero VOC’ is a term used to describe non-toxic paints made with natural ingredients as well as other substances with a VOC concentration of fewer than five grams per liter.

Keep in mind that most ‘zero VOC’ paints still use trace amounts of certain biocides, fungicides, and colorants. This means that even though they’re considered non toxic, they’re typically better to avoid for infants and small children.

Low VOC paints are those that use water as a base as opposed to any petroleum products. This decreases toxicity compared to traditional solvent-based paints. Low VOC describes non toxic paints and other paints with less than 50 grams per liter of VOCs.

Alternative Ingredients
When looking for ‘eco-friendly’ paints, focus on the ingredients. If the intense odor of traditional paints is overwhelming, choose a water based-option that is almost entirely odorless. Oil based natural paints often give off a slightly sweet smell as well. Both of these options — water-based and oil-based — are ideal for preventing allergy attacks and VOC health effects. Some ingredients more commonly found in natural paints include bees’ wax, casein from milk, natural latex, plant oils and resins, talcum, clay, chalk, and other mineral-based dyes.

Painting with non toxic paints and low VOC substances can make a noticeable difference in health. Those who suffer from allergies may notice a reduced severity of associated symptoms. But more importantly, studies show these components can have a major effect on cognitive functioning as well. 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.

When all is said and done, it’s up to you to make the right eco-friendly decision for your home and your family. Understanding the facts about traditional vs. environmentally friendly paints can make all the difference in keeping your family safe. For more information about health effects from VOCs, or to order non toxic spray paints, low odor paints, and safe coatings, contact Ecos Paints.