If you have a baby or children, you may want to create a nursery or update your child’s room with a fresh coat of paint. Because the safety of our children should always be paramount, I want to share some safe painting tips and help you chose an eco-friendly paint that will be safer for the environment as a whole and safer for your family.
Why Chose An Eco Friendly Paint?
If you are wondering why an eco friendly paint is an important choice and how it is better for you and your family, I will help provide answers to the those questions. First, it is imperative to be aware of the dangers of traditional paints.
Growing up, I always knew that house paint did not smell good but I didn’t realize exactly what that smell meant. The smell that most paints give off is actually from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are escaping into the air.
According to the EPA, “VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.” This means that painting your house can greatly increase the indoor air pollutants. If you are thinking, you will open just up some windows to avoid this hazard, then consider that elevated chemical concentrations can persist in the air long after the activity of painting is completed. In fact, paints can release low levels of toxic emissions for years!
Another point to consider is that VOCs present an even greater threat to children and babies. Babies tend to be particularly exposed because everyone always wants to paint the nursery in excitement (I know I did!). However, as OEHHA points out, “Exposure to toxic air contaminants during infancy or childhood could affect the development of the respiratory, nervous, endocrine and immune systems, and could increase the risk of cancer later in life.”
In other words, choosing an eco-friendly paint with low or no VOCs is not only a healthier choice for the environment as a whole but also for the health of you and your family. Children and pregnant women are especially sensitive to the VOCs found in most paints.
Zero VOC Paint is A More Environmentally Friendly Paint And Safer Choice
There is great news though. There are many new environmentally friendly paints that are no VOC paints! Many manufacturers have recently come out with their own line of zero VOC paints which are proving to be durable and less harmful to our health and environment.
There is no odor and no off-gasing with zero VOC paints and they help reduce landfill, groundwater, and ozone contaminants. These new no VOC paints are great for everyone but a must for people with allergies, chemical sensitivities, or with children and babies.
I would suggest that no VOC paint is the best eco-friendly interior paint. There lots of great brands that are now offering zero VOC paint and non-toxic paints. Examples include: Enso Paint, Benjamin Moore Natura, Behr Premium Plus, and Homestead Paints.
Safe Eco-Friendly Painting Tips:
There are a couple more things to consider before you begin painting. Paint older than 1978 may contain lead and should not be sanded (thereby released into the air) without first testing a sample.
If you have old paints that you choose not to use because you want to use no VOC paint in your house, then it is important to dispose of it in an eco-friendly manner. Charities such as Habitat for Humanity may be glad to put your old paint to good use.
Don’t buy more paint than you need. Calculate the area to be painted and know that one gallon should paint about 400 square feet.
We used no VOC paint for our children’s bunk bed and I am so pleased with how well it has held up even on the high traffic ladder. Have you tried no VOC paint yet?