Green, environmentally friendly professional painting products for a healthy planet and you!
At Emerald Painters, we paint with nature in mind. We are strongly committed to using Low V.O.C paint on projects. We always inform customers on how we can help the environment together while painting their properties. In every job, we ask customers if they would like to upgrade to ZERO V.O.C paint which is very environmentally friendly. There are numerous brand names of Zero V.O.C paint - the images of the two we like to use are shown on this page. Benjamin Moore provides the Natura and Sherwin-Williams provides the Harmony. These two paints are eco-friendly and high quality; that's what makes them favourites at Pro Painters Toronto.
What are V.O.Cs
Typical household paint contains up to 10,000 chemicals, of which 300 are known toxins and 150 have been linked to cancer. Some of the most harmful chemicals found in paint are volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These chemicals aren't something you want to spray on your body or potentially even keep inside your house.
VOCs are unstable, carbon-containing compounds that readily vaporize into the air. When they enter the air, they react with other elements to produce ozone, which causes air pollution and a host of health issues including breathing problems, headache, burning, watery eyes and nausea. Some VOCs also have been linked to cancer, as well as kidney and liver damage.
More info on V.O.C
As paint dries, these harmful VOCs are released into the air at high levels. Indoor VOC levels are routinely 10 times higher than outdoor levels, and up to 1,000 times higher immediately after painting. Although VOC levels are highest during and soon after painting, they continue seeping out for several years. In fact, only 50 percent of the VOCs may be released in the first year.
So perhaps it's not so hard to believe that paint-related products are one of the worst environmental offenders. They're the second largest source of VOC emissions into the atmosphere after automobiles, responsible for roughly 11 billion pounds every year. Painters regularly exposed to paint vapors have an increased incidence of several types of cancers, impaired brain function, renal dysfunction and other health problems.
Armed with this information, consumers have begun to demand safer alternatives. Enter low-VOC and no-VOC paints, which are now widely available and sold by most major paint manufacturers.
Although paint is available in a rainbow of colors, not all paints are green. As a rule, it's easy to spot the difference between an eco-friendly paint and a conventional paint: just pop open the lid and take a whiff. The familiar fresh paint odor of a conventional paint consists of a variety of greenhouse gases and other environmentally harmful chemicals that are released to the atmosphere as the paint is applied. In contrast, eco-friendly paints emit little or no environmentally unsafe materials into the air.
Conventional Paint and VOCs
When you open a can of conventional paint what you'll see is a creamy blend of plasticizers, adhesives, hardeners, pigments, biocides, drying accelerators, solvents and more. The solvents used in conventional paints are Volatile Organic Compounds. VOCs help hold the ingredients in a blended state while the paint is liquid, but they escape to the air when the paint is applied. Outdoors, VOCs combine with other airborne pollutants to create smog. Indoors, VOCs and plasticizers contribute to unhealthy indoor air, and extended exposure to these hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) can lead to respiratory and metabolic illness, headaches and a host of other disorders. Conventional paints may continue emitting trace portions of VOCs, biocides and plasticizers for more than a year after application.
EPA regulations allow interior water-based house paints, for instance, to contain up to 250 grams of VOCs per liter of paint. Many communities have set the bar lower; in San Francisco, flat wall paint is limited to 50 grams per liter (g/L). Some paint brands feature house paints with 50 g/L VOCs, and paints that are free of VOCs altogether are now common as well. Paint companies often tout these products as an environmentally friendly option, but the eco-reality is a bit more complicated. These products may still contain HAPs, and adding colorants to some low-VOC paints can kick the VOC measurement up as high as 190 g/L.
Certified Green Paint
While paints with reduced levels of VOCs are more eco-friendly than conventional paints, some house paints have an even lower environmental impact. Homeowners can select premium-grade zero-VOC paints that also use VOC-free colorants, are free of vinyl and other plasticizers and include no toxic biocides. Independent organizations such as Green Seal, Greenguard and Ecolabel test paints to ensure that they have met the highest standards of eco-friendly performance. You can recognize these paints by the environmental certification seal on their label.
Casein paints are made primarily from milk proteins, lime, and non-toxic pigments. This may be the most eco-friendly paint available, but it's not without some practical drawbacks: the paint is not nearly as durable as modern coatings and color choices are limited. Casein paints are usually supplied in powder form and should be mixed with water immediately before application. These paints were commonly used in 18th and 19th century American homes in locations such as colonial Williamsburg