Non-toxic "Green" Paints
Paints and finishes release low level toxic emissions into the air for years after application. The source of these toxins is a variety of VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) which, until recently, were essential to the performance of the paint.
The three general categories of non-toxic (or low-toxic) paints: Natural Paints, Zero VOC, and Low VOC. Even Zero-VOC formulations contain some small amounts of toxins.
Natural Paints and Finishes These are paints made from natural raw ingredients such as water, plant oils and resins, plant dyes and essential oils; natural minerals such as clay, chalk and talcum; milk casein, natural latex, bees' wax, earth and mineral dyes. Water-based natural paints give off almost no smell. The oil-based natural paints usually have a pleasant fragrance of citrus or essential oils. Allergies and sensitivities to these paints is uncommon. These paints are the safest for your health and for the environment.
The New Trend: "Zero VOC Paints":
Any paint with VOC's in the range of 5 grams/liter or less can be called "Zero VOC", according to the EPA Reference Test Method 24. Many so-called "Zero VOC" products on the market reduce emissions that cause outdoor air pollution, but still contain a host of unregulated toxic ingredients (such as colorants, heavy metals, formaldehyde, ammonia, acetone, exempt solvents, odor masking agents, biocides and fungicides) that cause indoor air pollution.
Ecos Organic Paints: Said to be one of the purest, total actual zero VOC, non-toxic paint on the market. They even sell a paint they claim absorbs and reduces household environmental toxins. http://www.ecospaints.com/index.htm (recommended by Patrick Trewitt Cypress). Address: Unit 19 Heysham Business Park, Middleton Road, Heysham, Lancs LA3 3PP - e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Sherwin Williams - Their No-VOC Paint is called "Harmony". Bird owners are very happy with this product. It is working well and there is no odor.
The Freshaire Choice No-VOC Paint at Home Depot
A truly non-toxic paint, and it's sold exclusively at Home Depot. This is a zero VOC paint. Another innovative feature of this line of paint, is that the tints are also zero VOC. It's the first paint that can make this claim — on average, up to 150 grams of VOCs are added back into paint once the color is mixed. That means that even if you buy a boutique, all natural paint, as soon as you tint it to the color you desire, you just defeated all the work you put into locating and purchasing the paint (except for naturally pigmented paints, like clay paints). The Freshaire tinting system uses pre-measured packets of dry tint that color the paint without adding any VOCs to the paint. This zero VOC system is an industry first. No other tint system for paint can make this claim.
The below paints have been recommended by the "Natural Solutions Magazine" and "Consumer Reports" as an environmentally responsible and healthy alternative to commercial paints:
The following paints contain less than 50 g/l of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs):
- Benjamin Moore Aura
- True Value Easy Care and
- Glidden Evermore low-luster products.
At Safecoat®, developed one of the safest, highest quality and least toxic paints and building products, and has become one of the leading provider of environmentally responsible, sustainable and non-polluting paints, stains, wood finishes, sealers and related green building products.
Safecoat® eliminated toxic ingredients from their paints. Their products are structured to literally create a "safe coat," with a unique molecular formulation designed to seal surfaces (from wood to metal to concrete, carpets, and much more), thus reducing "offgassing," or the emission of toxins into your environment.
The organic paint produced by: The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co is safe not only for people, but also for the environment. The ingredients in the base paint are used in the food and pharmaceutical industries, and are all completely biodegradable.
Their paint is made from milk protein and lime and is based on a centuries-old formula. It contains no volatile organic compounds, plastics of petroleum products and has a distinctive flat finish. It is packaged as powder and the end user simply adds water.
|Milk Paint is totally free of:||Milk Paint is completely safe for:
Benefits of Using Non-toxic Paints:
- Reduced toxins benefit everyone, including those with allergies and chemical sensitivities.
- Little or No Hazardous Fumes. Low odor during application; no odor once cured. No off-gassing. Painted areas can be occupied sooner, with no odor complaints.
- Reduces landfill, groundwater and ozone depleting contaminants.
- Not Deemed Hazardous Waste.
- Cleanup and disposal greatly simplified.
- Low-VOC products perform well in terms of coverage, scrubability and hideability (covering flaws on previous coats).
- Water-Based - easy cleanup with soap and warm water
Non-toxic Paint Strippers
Most paint strippers are work by melting the paint. The active ingredient, methylene chloride, is a potential carcinogen. A new generation of biodegradable paint strippers is now entering the market. They are water-soluble, noncaustic and nontoxic - some can even be washed down the drain. Some examples are:
- Ameristrip - from Safe Alternatives Corp, in Ridgefield, CT.
- CitriStrip - from Specialty Environmental Technologies, in Auburn Hills, MI.
- Peel Away - from Dumond Chemicals, in New York. (212-869-6350)
- RemovAll and Bio-Wash - from Napier Environmental Technologies in Vancouver BC.
- Woodfinisher's Pride - from W.M.Barr & Co, in Memphis, TN.
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