Paint odor can spread throughout the rest of the building while the job is in progress and linger for several days. Although the smell may not be necessarily unpleasant to most people, traditional paint contains hundreds of known toxins and several VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. Below is a closer look at the effects of VOCs and your options for low-VOC alternatives for interior painting.
What Are VOCs?
VOCs are unstable carbon-containing compounds that release into the air and produce ozone. Ozone is a known greenhouse gas and has a variety of health symptoms such as respiratory issues, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Ozone exposure can affect lung function in as little as 8 hours of exposure. Other toxins in paint have been linked to several types of cancer, impaired brain function, and renal dysfunction.
Indoor Air Quality and VOC Levels
Indoor VOC levels are typically 10 times greater than outdoor levels normally, but they can skyrocket up to 1,000 times immediately greater after painting. In fact, paint is the largest source of VOC emissions after automobiles. Even with proper safety measures and ventilation, paint can continue to emit VOCs for several years after application. Some studies estimate that only 50 percent of VOCs are released in the first year.
Low-VOC vs. Traditional Paint
Most major brands sell low-VOC or no-VOC alternatives to traditional paint with virtually no variation in performance or appearance. California VOC restrictions for normal paint are 150 g/l for nonflat finishes and 100 g/l for flat finishes. Low-VOC paints vary between different manufacturers, but many contain less than half of the maximum levels.
Browder Painting Company has extensive experience in both commercial and residential painting projects throughout San Luis Obispo. We’ll work with you to achieve the results you want at a competitive cost, and our project managers will maintain constant communication from planning to clean-up. Call (805) 544-0547 today to request a quote.