The Dirt on VOCs

Greener Choices

VOCs – volatile organic compounds that evaporate at room temperature – are the chemicals in paints cause them to be durable and to provide good coverage.  VOCs are also the chemicals that give you headaches, make you feel dizzy, make you cough, and make your eyes burn.  Long-term exposure to these chemicals can cause cancer in humans and in animals.  VOC emissions contribute to the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

It seems that the negative effects out-way the benefits of these chemicals.  The good news is that there are low-VOC options available which still perform well!

  • When selecting a product, read the label – the VOC levels should be less than 250 grams/liter for latex paint and less than 380 grams/liter for oil paint.  Lower is better!
  • Work in a well-ventilated space.
  • Have your crew wear masks when they work to cut down on the VOCs they inhale.

Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, and many other retail brands offer a variety of paints that are better for everyone concerned:  your crew, your clients, and our environment!

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