VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) are unstable, carbon-containing compounds that rapidly vaporize in the air. As soon as they enter the air, they react with other elements to produce ozone, which causes air pollution and result in possible health issues like breathing problems, headache, eye irritation and nausea. Some VOC’s have been linked to cancer, as well as other organ problems.
Environmentally, this is a big issue in the paint industry. VOC’s can be found in many sources like fuels, cleanings agents, cosmetics, aerosols and paints. They accelerate the rate of which nitrogen oxides react with sunlight and create low level ozone and photochemical smog.
As the paint dries after application, these harmful VOC’s are released into the air at pretty high levels. If you are painting indoors, the VOC levels are ten times higher than what it will be when you are painting outdoors. The VOC are at its highest just after painting, but they continue to seep out for several years and studies have shown that only about 50% of VOC may be released in the first year after painting (source: Green Seal “Proposed”).
Paint brands like Dulux have implemented a voluntary industry agreement for carrying out VOC reductions in products and for displaying VOC content information on product labels, as to encourage clients to choose products with a lower VOC content. Currently, there is no legislation concerning VOC’s.
At Pro Paint we aim to use low VOC and no-VOC paints. These products are widely available and we recommend the usage of more eco-friendly products.