Why use no-VOC wall paint?
Regular paints often are a source of indoor air pollution. They contain harmful substances called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs released into the indoor air negatively affect indoor air quality.
Concentrations of VOCs are often ten times higher indoors than outdoors. According to the environmental protection agency (EPA) of the United States, VOCs may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.
VOCs are mostly released during the painting and drying process. And it takes a few weeks before your VOC levels are back to normal.
How long until the VOCs are gone?
There will always be some traces of VOCs in the air, both indoors and outdoors. However, if you have painted, concentrations are much higher than normal because they release from the drying paint.
The international journal of indoor Environment and Health published a study on this topic based on real-life situations. This study concluded that 14 to 60 days are required before VOC levels are back to their natural background values.
Although this study concludes that a waiting period of 60 days is optimal, a waiting period of 14 days is possible with increased ventilation.
Since waiting for 14 days is a difficult task and might not even be sufficient, no-VOC paint is an excellent option to protect your health.
Other chemicals in paint
There are thousand of different chemicals used in paints to give them their colors and desrired properties. Most of these chemicals are never tested on toxicity and, believe it or not, it is very rare for a paint manufacturer to know all the chemicals that go into their paint.
This is the case because so many chemicals are being made each year that it is basically impossible to test them all. Additionally, it is impossible to test what the effects are of mixing these chemicals.
Of course, not all chemicals are of immediate danger to your health. However, there are paints available that have undergone high quality testing and redesign to make sure they are as healthy as possible.
Certified no-VOC paints
The best paint currently available is Airlite paint. This paint not only is a zero VOC paint but also actively reduces air pollutants.
Airlite Purelight Interior paint
Airlite paint is a zero VOC paint, meaning it has a VOC content of less than 0.1 grams per liter. That is more than 300 times lower than the limits set by European legislation (EU Directive 2004/42/EC).
Certified for material health
Airlite paint is a cradle to cradle (c2c) gold-certified paint, meaning it has some of the highest standards on material health. All 22 chemicals in Airlite paint classify as either optimal or acceptable for use. Therefore, no components classify as highly problematic, unknown identity, or lack of toxicity information. You can read down below what cradle to cradle certification is all about.
On top of its material health properties, Airlite paint is ASTM (American Standard Test Method) certified for mold and bacteria resistance. And, according to the European Union: ‘Airlite’s paints reduce [air] pollutants by 88.8% and eliminate 99.9% of bacteria and viruses from the treated surfaces.
Airlite also reduces the energy consumption needed to cool indoor spaces as it reflects the hot component of sunlight, avoiding that rooms overheat.’ (source)
What C2C is all about
Airlite paint is cradle to cradle gold-certified, meaning it has some of the highest standards on material health, water use and social fairness. Additionally, Airlite paint is produced with 100% renewable energy and lowers its CO2 emission by coming in powdered form, therefore reducing weight during transportation. Just add water to make the paint ready for use.
The full cradle to cradle report pdf on Airlite paint can be found via this page.
Additional ways to improve your indoor air quality
Other than using healthy materials such as Airlite paint and often ventilating the house, some carpets can considerably improve indoor air quality.
If you don’t have a carpet, you will continually kick up fine dust that lingers on your floor. Laying a carpet can help reduce this issue, as carpet collects airborne fine dust and therefore reduce air pollutants. When you clean your carpet regularly, your indoor air quality will improve significantly.
However, some carpets are actually specifically designed to help improve air quality. You can read all about how carpets can improve indoor air quality in our article.