Traditional paints are considered a health hazard because of the chemicals in it. They produce VOCs. Even under normal temperature and humidity conditions, the paint leaves the surface and form ozone that’s not safe. Many people are allergic to the paint smell and fumes. These fumes could cause throat irritation or if they’re asthmatic, could provoke a more severe breathing problem. If you have painted your house recently with regular paint, you would know that off-gassing can be very irritating. Although as the paint dries, the negative effects of these does diminish over time.
The exact composition of the paint determines how it affects health. If the paint is silica based, silicosis and cancer are possible effects. Lead and Mercury can cause hearing loss and impair normal growth, both mental and physical. However, these two elements have been banned now; if your house was built in the 1990s, you don't have to be concerned about lead in the paint. But if you have to repaint, take care to ensure that the lead paint that was scrapped is disposed off in an eco-friendly manner. You can check for the presence of lead by getting a lead test kit that would check the composition of the paint. Sometimes, instead of repainting you could opt for paneling or covering the painted surface with wallpaper. In case you aren’t sure of how to go about repainting, get a painting professional to do the job.
Choose water based paints over oil based; if you can avoid the usage of oil based paints, do so. Look for the least toxic paint. Simply because you have an odorless paint doesn’t mean that it’s zero VOC or low VOC paint. You should check the label and ensure that there are no harmful ingredients. Also, you must follow the guidelines to minimize health risks. A paint that is meant to be used outside must not be used indoors. Whatever be the paint, you must always follow some safety precautions. Ventilate the room sufficiently. If possible, get the painting done during summer when the paint dries off quickly. You could use fans for quicker drying. Get a primer that’s also zero VOC to ensure that the advantage in using zero VOC paint isn’t lost. Including the tint, the VOC must not be greater than 50 grams per liter. We recommend either the Benjamin Moore Aura or the Benjamin Moore Natura as environmentally safe yet very hight quality paint alternatives.
So, you will have to opt for low VOC or zero VOC paints that are also environmentally friendly paints. Paint manufacturers are constantly trying to deliver natural and safe alternatives to customers. Clay based Earth plaster having only non-toxic pigments that come from mineral oxides is one such innovation. This product is non-gassing and hence health concerns are minimal. The only disadvantage is that the finish may not be as great as a regular paint. However, Benjamin Moore offers natural paints that are as effective as regular paints in terms of performance and yet not a health hazard.