What is VOC? Why reduce VOC?

June 28, 2012

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The term VOC refers to volatile organic compounds. There are compounds that react to air and produce ozone harmful substances. Federal restrictions limit the use of these compounds in paint and many other types of products. Paint that contains these compounds can be up to 10 times higher when they are used inside compared to outside. Compounds in paint will dissipate as it begins to dry.

Product Warnings

The danger of these compounds is that they are harmful to humans. This means that paint used on the exterior of a building should not be used indoors. Paint that is applied to the walls of a building during a renovation will need to be ventilated. The room should remain unoccupied for a day or two after the paint is applied.

Health Issues

Exposure to volatile compounds in paint can cause breathing and eye problems. Headaches, nausea, and a feeling of dizziness are also effects of being exposed to these compounds. Individuals with asthma are at risk of feeling these affects as are young children. A Latex paint will have a 5 percent to 15 percent concentration of these compounds. This level is about 450 parts per gallon. The manufacturers of paint are now attempting to reduce these levels in the new paint products they produce.

Easy Cleanup

The reason that some paints performed well over the years is that these compounds were added into the paint formula. Paints that that are labeled as a low compound product need to have a maximum amount of 100 parts per gallon. Paints that are non-toxic products are water-soluble. This will mean cleanup can easily be done by using soap and water. Empty cans can even be thrown away in the trash. Most of the paints that are obtained from a supplier include many non-toxic brands.

Compound Levels

Government limits on the amount of toxic compounds used in paint is based on the potential issues that impact a person’s health. The biggest source of these compounds released into the air comes from a building that is being repainted. Products of all types contain these compounds such as bases and tinted paint. Paint has a higher level of toxic compounds because tints are treated separately from bases. This means bases and tints that are mixed together will have an increased level of compounds.

New Formulations

The development of environmentally friendly products is beneficial to professionals and any individual that works with paint products. These products were purchased in limited quantities in the past because they often did not work as well as existing products. A new technology in the production of a non-toxic product has led to paints that are just as durable as older paints. Applying this paint to a building means that no extra precautions will need to be taken when working on a new painting project.

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