Thirty years ago, if you went to the hardware store to buy paint, you would have one, maybe two options when it came to brands and formulas. Over the past thirty years, paint technology has changed a lot, making formulas more effective and making coating a surface easier. But where most paint still fails is in protecting the environment. Not only are the fumes dangerous for humans, they are actually very bad for the environment, and the processes used to make most paint is not very environment friendly. Most paint itself is not very environmentally friendly.

What Makes a Paint Not Environment Friendly?

Sarasota certified paintersThere are three factors that come along with typical paint that can make them extremely toxic, not just to the environment, but to the people who live in those environments. VOCs is one of the biggest problems with traditional paint. These volatile organic compounds are volatile at normal room temperature and will continue to off gas even days and weeks after a wall is painted. In some instances, a person living in that space might not even be able to smell the fumes. They will, instead, only experience the symptoms, which include nausea, eye and lung irritate, and dizziness.

Many types of paint also contain fungicides and pesticides, for the purpose of killing any mold or mildew and warding off any pests that might try to grow on or under your layer of paint. Many people see these ingredients as a positive addition to a paint’s formula, but if you are looking for paint that is as environmentally friendly as possible, it is probably not a good idea  These are toxic not just to the mold and pests that they are designed to kill off, but also to just about everything else. These ingredients will off gas, just like the VOCs and if rained on, could be carried into the ground water.

The final element that makes most paints not environmentally friendly are the pigments themselves. Some companies will use toxic chemicals to color their paints, instead of using natural pigments. While this might not be the biggest issue with paint, just like with the previous two factors, those chemicals do not just stay in the paint. They get on your hands and are breathed into the lungs where they can affect the body.

What Does Make a Paint Environment Friendly?

exterior painting in SarasotaPaint can be made more environmentally friendly by not including those ingredients that are listed above. Many of these ingredients, however, are added to paint to increase its shelf life and to help prevent mold, which can be very dangerous to humans, especially when it grows inside a home, from taking hold. One of the biggest complaints about eco friendliness when it comes to painting is not actually with the paint itself, but with how excess paint is disposed. While there are plenty of things that can be done with extra paint, if you have no use for extra or very old paint, look for a place where you can dispose of your paint safely. Never pour it into a drain and never just throw it into a landfill. Instead, look for a facility that has the capability to dispose of that paint properly.

What to Look for in Environmentally Friendly Paint

Siesta Key paintingThere are lots of brands that have formulated paint specifically to be environmentally friendly, often that will not contain the fungicides or biocides that make these other types of paint dangerous. If you are concerned about those chemicals, look for a brand that does not contain them. The same goes for chemical pigments. If you do not want artificial chemicals to be used in your paint, look for a brand that uses natural pigments instead.

A great deal of ensuring that your paint is environmentally friendly has to do with how a room is painted and what is done with excess paint. Just about every can of paint will tell you to open a window or door while you are painting your Sarasota home. It is important to continue to do that for a few weeks after the paint has dried, to help clear out any fumes that the paint might still be giving off. To mitigate this process, consider looking for a brand that promises low VOCs.

It is also important to make sure that you lay the right ground coverings, especially when painting outside. Splashes and spills might not seem like a big deal, but if they are carried into the groundwater, they can significantly contaminate it.

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