Choosing paint colors is a big decision. You want to make sure you choose colors that you can live with for a long time. But it’s important to remember that you’ll be living with more than just the color of the paint: You could be living with “Volatile Organic Compounds” - or VOCs. These are potentially carcinogenic chemicals that can be released during and after painting. Before you get too worried, let’s talk about whether this is an issue that should concern you the next time you’re choosing paint colors.

What are VOCs and where do they come from?

VOCs come from lots of different places. They’re found in paint, but they’re also found in aerosols, disinfectants, and some craft supplies. VOCs can even come from natural sources like trees! But back to your house: The EPA says that the air inside a typical home has VOC levels that are 2 to 5 times higher than the air outside. That’s because a typical home has things like paint, wood-stain, and normal household cleaners. And while you’re painting a room, those levels can temporarily be up to 1,000 times higher. We won’t spend too much time discussing risks; just know that these compounds (like any volatile chemical) are suspected of causing health problems.

But don’t panic!

That doesn’t mean you need to scrape off your current paint! As we mentioned earlier, VOCs come from all sorts of different places, and paint is only one. And the government regulates the amount of VOCs in paint to keep it at levels they consider suitable. Based on these regulations, any paint on the market should be safe as long as it’s applied properly.

Why should I consider VOC-free wall paint?

Even though the government regulates VOC levels in all paint, it’s still worthwhile to look at low-VOC or VOC-free paint. They’re safer during the painting process, and they’re safer with regard to long-term exposure, too. Buying environmentally-friendly paint can give you the peace of mind of knowing that you’ve got one less chemical to worry about in your home. There are lots of Behr paint colors and Benjamin Moore paint colors in this category. But keep in mind that some environmentally-friendly paints don’t last quite as long and could require more re-touching.

If you have questions about which low-VOC or VOC-free paint we recommend, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-888-PAINTING. We can recommend paint that will be the best fit for your project. We proudly serve the Jacksonville, FL area. Our licensed painters are anxious to hear your vision for your home, and they've got plenty of interior design ideas that can help you bring it to life!

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