Greening Your Interiors: A Guide to Eco-Friendly and Natural Paints

Did you know that the air you inhale indoors is at least three times more polluted than outdoor air?

What’s shocking though is that your interior paint could be at blame.

Interior paints are the #1 source of indoor pollution today. Why? Because most paints contain chemicals and toxic ingredients that emit harmful compounds, years after your home has been painted. What makes matters worse is that they are also extremely energy-intensive to produce.

The chemicals that kill

Typically, household paint will be composed of formaldehyde, lead, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The problem with VOCs is that they’re emitted up to at least five years after your paint job.

The harsh reality about paint

The truth is, paint is a product of the non-sustainable petrochemical industry, and a litre of paint production can yield up to thirty litres of toxic waste.

Fact: The World Health Organisation estimates that professional decorators are 40% more likely to contract cancer.

Sounds nasty, doesn’t it?

But not all is lost: The emergence of eco-friendly paints

Today, an emerging alternative to chemical solvents are eco-friendly paints. These use water-based solvents to reduce or eliminate the release of VOCs in indoor spaces. Plus, they’re odour-free and have a significantly lower impact on the environment.

But are all non-toxic paints made of pure materials?

Caveats

Here are a few things to know about non-toxic paints.

  1. While non-toxic paints are made up of formulas containing natural raw ingredients like milk, water, casein, plant oils, resins, natural dyes, and essential oils, some of them also include formulations containing VOC’s. 
  2. However, these eco-friendly paints that contain VOC’s have a much lower environmental impact as they contain very low or negligible levels of these compounds.  

Our tip: When you’re out shopping, look for low or no-VOC in both the paint and the colourant.  

Will eco-friendly paint make your home look boring?

Even though the eco-friendly paint market is still emerging, “going green” does not imply sacrificing quality and finishing. These paints are available in a variety of attractive colours, are durable, and provide long-lasting coverage. As of today, all major paint brands offer eco-friendly options and expanded palettes to choose from.

Way forward

A million years ago (okay just kidding… in the last decade or so), you may remember what a pain it was to be painting your home.

All that chemical smell meant evacuating your rooms and turning the fan on for the days the painting work went on. Now, with eco-friendly paints available, that’s no longer the case. So next time you’re getting a paint job done, switch to eco-friendly paints and make the healthier choice for yourself and your family.

 

This article was originally published on www.thehindu.com dated August 24,2017