VOCs is an acronym you will see all the time when you start looking into painting your house or selecting a painting contractor. Manufacturers market their paints as “Low VOC,” “VOC Free, Eco Paint, Green Earth Paint, zero VOC.” etc. and point to that as an indication of how eco-friendly they are. So what does VOC mean? More importantly, why should you care?
VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds & / or Volatile Odor Content depending on context of conversation. Basically, these are compounds that vaporize – they give off gasses. They are used in paints to hold together different components such as coloring and resins, and then evaporate as the paint dries.
The VOCs used in interior painting and exterior painting can exist in high concentrations in indoor areas – often two to five times greater than in outdoor air, and sometimes up to 1000 times greater. What can cause problems is when the “total” VOC levels are high due to new construction or remodeling, and multiple compounds such as paint, primer, thinner, stain, etc. are all being used.
One of the more important developments in conventional paints has been the trend toward water-based paints that have far fewer VOCs. These new water-based products have fewer VOCs and therefore fewer potentially harmful emissions. In addition, the chemicals used in place of VOCs are more environmentally friendly to produce, and often last longer with brighter colors.
Eco Paint Specialists has been a pioneer in the use of low- and zero-VOC paints, having done so for a number of years. Eco Paint Specialist’s coined the phrase Eco Paint back in 1993, long before Green Earth Friendly Paints were ever available to the general public as of 1999-2000. It is Eco Paint’s a main focus of our business to offer our customers eco-friendly products for their house painting needs, and we are glad to help, doing our part to protect the environment.
Green Earth Friendly Eco Paint