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Non-Toxic Paints Versus Standard

While standard paint no longer contains toxic lead, it is still undesirable by many. That being said, non-toxic paint has a few drawbacks too. Let’s take a look at the two side by side so you can make an educated decision for yourself.

Paint, once it’s on your walls, furniture and floors releases gasses for years. These low-level emissions contain toxins called VOCs or volatile organic compounds. Non-Toxic paint does not emit these toxins and is thus preferred by many, particularly those who are chemically sensitive or suffer from illness.

The benefits of non-toxic paint include:

  • Health benefits including a reduction in toxins released into your home.
  • Environmental benefits because these toxins are not contaminating our soil, water supply or depleting the ozone. And you don’t have to call the hazardous waste folks to come pick up your leftover paint.
  • Generally considered to be durable and effective. In comparison to standard paint, non-toxic paint generally covers well, is easy to clean and is durable.

The drawbacks of non-toxic paint include:

  • Non-toxic paint can be difficult to find. While it’s becoming more and more popular, it’s not carried by all paint stores.
  • Non-toxic paint can be difficult to match. Non-toxic paint just doesn’t come in the same variety that standard paint offers.
  • Non-toxic paint is also more expensive than standard paint. In fact, if you’re employing someone to paint your home with non-toxic paint you can expect to pay up to 25% more.
  • Non-toxic paint isn’t regulated and some manufacturers are misleading about the ingredients in their paint. Buy from trusted retailers who carry familiar and trusted paint brands.

Buying Non-Toxic Paint

Understand the difference between paint options. In addition to standard paint you can buy:

  • Natural Paint made from water, plant oils, clay, and chalk. This type of paint offers the safest and healthiest option but can be extremely difficult to find.
  • Zero VOC Paint isn’t really zero VOC but contains 5 grams or less of VOC per liter.
  • Low VOC Paint offers anywhere from 250 grams per liter to 6 grams per liter. If choosing this option look for 50 grams per liter or less.
  • When buying non-toxic paint be sure to read the ingredients carefully. The ingredient list should contain only natural, non-hazardous items like plant dyes, essential oils, milk protein, clay and resin.
  • Look for natural pigments. Standard color tints are what increase the paint’s emissions or VOC content. Purchase premixed colors or add natural pigments even though they’ll limit your color choice.
  • Non-toxic paint is better than standard paint for reducing chemical emissions and if you have any type of chemical sensitivities then it’s a good idea. It’s better for your health and for the environment.