Thursday, October 7, 2010

Painting green for a healthier home

New Paint
Image by Moosicorn via Flickr

A few decades ago, painting a room involved a major process of opening windows and doors, sleeping in other rooms, and hours and hours of dry time. Little did the consumer know, the walls they were painting were laden with lead, and high concentrations of VOC's.
Now the homeowner has options like never before to make their home beautiful, healthier and Eco friendly. Why go low or no voc? Volatile organic compounds, release a breathable gas into the air that is filled with cancer-linked carcinogens. It is safe to assume any paint that has a strong odor is probably harboring a high concentration of this volatile organic compound. The higher the level of volatile organic compounds, the more likely one is to experience headaches, health problems in the very old, the very young and in those with chronic illnesses or allergies. Always check the voc levels on all paint you purchase and if you hire a paint contractor, insist on low voc or no voc paints to be used.
Good News- Due to the wave of new environmentally conscious consumers emerging, low or no v-o-c paints are now being sold all over the country. Paint manufacturers like Benjamin Moore, have these great choices readily available. Be prepared though, the cost is higher per gallon. Depending on what manufacturer you chose, the cost could vary as much as 20 dollars per gallon. As with any varying degree of cost, there are also varying degrees of quality, so a smart approach for the homeowner is to do some research if following a budget.

For the truly Eco minded
- Strict green enthusiasts need not worry,  there are  a few companies also offering recycled, post consumer paints. The Kelly Moore Company offers brand E Coat and it is available in flat latex as well as semi gloss finishes. It is comprised of a minimum of 50 percent post consumer waste paint. Research on this type of paint is also recommended to find the best price versus quality offered. As with all home projects done by the home owner, make sure to use every safety precaution, and make sure you know all the facts and warnings associated with any home renovation project, small or large.
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