What Low VOC and No VOC Mean

June 4, 2012

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In the very competitive world of painting there exists a lot of terminology that many people do not understand. One of these terms is VOC. VOC stands for “volatile organic compounds”, and that term refers to paints that are mixed and created with little to no toxins that are often found in other common paints. 
One of the most important movements in the past 10 years has been the movement toward using and creating environmentally friendly products. One such industry that has been moving toward becoming “green” has been the painting industry. Many businesses or box stores that sell paints use paints that have a lot of toxic compounds or elements that comprise the majority of the ingredients. Many people that have purchased paint just believe that as long as the paint is lead free that their paint is safe to put on walls or in any kind of business. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many modern paints contain Volatile Organic Compounds that can damage skins, organs, or tissue. The American Heart Association, a very trusted non-political organization, has come out and said that many paints that contain these volatile compounds can damage kidneys, lungs, and the skin of people who come into contact with these types of paints. 
These newer types of paints that do not contain these volatile compounds are known as “green paints”. These green paints offer the same coverage, the same color palates, and often at the same price as their more toxic and less-green paints. Many environmentally friendly paints are also odor free. Think back to a time when painting a room, business, or manufacturing plant and the pungent odors required an open window, ceiling fan, or open door. These fumes from paints containing volatile compounds often give off odors that are breathed in, even with cheaper face masks. These odors go directly to the lungs, and over time, can cause irreparable lung damage. This lung damage, while sometimes minor, affects the way that the blood in the body is saturated in necessary oxygen. Just slight damage to human lungs can cause a drastic drop in oxygen blood saturation, which can lead to illness, loss or breath, and the development of asthma or asthma-like symptoms. With “green” paints, there are virtually no odors, which makes being in the same room or office during painting possible. 
As the owner or property manager of a hotel, motel, condominium complex, or resort it is definitely worth the investment to be able to tell customers that the area is void of volatile paint compounds. Many customers, especially younger generations, are especially conscious of businesses that practice environmentally safe practices. These practices are important to any customer base, and many people want to know what kinds of paints are being used in their apartment, business, or vacation rental. These environmentally safe painting practices will last a long time, and help protect customers from harmful compounds.

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