Saturday, September 03, 2011

VOC-free paint - safer for pregnancy and babies - let the nesting begin!


While I've been busy with my baby (now 8 months, 4 teeth, and virtually eczema-free - more on that soon!) and 5 year old, I've asked some friends to write guest blog posts. Here is the first, from Melissa Wittig, an eco-friendly interior designer at Relish Designs and author of the very informative Healthy Home Insight Blog.  Enjoy :-) 

Ahhh... everyone loves the excitement and anticipation that comes from a freshly painted room, a change of colour and scenery can be as good as a holiday.  With the bombardment of reality renovation shows and spring just around the corner [in Australia at least] great painting weather is fast approaching.  While being inspired by the plethora of colours available take a moment to consider the contents of the emulsion that will be painted throughout your space.  Buying paint can be likened to food choices, some cause health problems and others contribute to a healthy future.

Paint formulas all vary,  brands are made differently and use different ingredients. These ingredients can vary in their performance, durability and ease of application along with a vital difference – potential for indoor air pollution.  Most paints on the market once applied have that new paint smell that we are all familiar with. This new paint smell is the paint off-gassing which is referred to as VOCs - Volatile Organic Compounds, essentially a health warning from your nose.

Paint within the home environment has been a silent contributor to unhealthy homes for far too long, a fact that has conveniently escaped many colourful marketing campaigns. It is only in recent times that VOCs are being understood by the wider public as detrimental to human health.  Paint fumes have the potential to cause and worsen respiratory conditions among other illnesses and once paint is on the wall it has the potential to off-gas for years after application, long after the new smell has gone.

There are “healthier choice” paint options available in the market place although some detective work is required to cut through green washing.  There are low VOC paint products on the market, but make sure that the product is still low VOC after the tint (colour) has been added. The ultimate “healthier choice” is to buy paint that is ZERO VOC. There is a ZERO VOC product on the market that is comparative in price with other paints, is Australian made and uses a recycled ingredient: Ecolour. The company is a smaller corporate identity than some in the paint world but a company with a commitment to healthy people and a healthy environment. 

The biggest decision when you are about to paint is not the colour, it is what the paint is made from and how it may impact on your indoor air quality for years to come.  Energy efficient homes are important, but healthy homes should be sharing the spotlight.  Ecolour have stockists around Australia, but they have just opened a Melbourne store and are offering a 10% discount valid until the end of October 2011. Contact the Melbourne store at 3 Evans St, Braybrook, 1300 937 686  and let them know that Melissa from Relish Designs sent you.

1 comment:

natural meat winnipeg said...

Interesting I didn't know this type of non toxic or at least safer paint existed. I'm really scared of being in a room that being painted with regular paint for long periods of time. I could imagine it giving you a headache.