How Toxic is Your Home? 8 Steps To Improve Air Quality

By Beck Robertson / Lifestyle / March 27th, 2023

8. Use nontoxic paint

Use nontoxic paint

Paints are often high in toxic volatile organic compounds, so when it’s time to redecorate, opt for safer versions that contain low or no VOCs. Everyone’s familiar with the smell of paint – but it’s actually a tell that the product you’re using might have levels of VOCs that could seriously endanger your health.

According to DEFRA, decorating products such as paints and varnishes are major sources of indoor air pollution, due to their high amount of VOCs and semi volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) – and these products are responsible for 14% of all indoor VOC emissions.

It’s not just VOCs in paint that can damage your health, acrylics, formaldehyde, ammonia and oil can also pose a risk, so you should look for paint that gives these ingredients a miss. Avoid paint products that contain plastic too, as they can form a mould trapping layer on your walls. Though paint can only contain VOC levels that are legally considered safe – the amounts of VOCs in many paints can still be a health threat and could damage the liver, lungs, kidneys and nervous system – so it’s not worth taking the risk when there are safer options.

Choosing non-toxic paints with very low levels of VOCs, or even better, water-based paints with none, lets you decrease your chances of developing the health conditions associated with the release of toxic compounds. Farrow and Ball’s line of totally water-based paints are derived from china clay and contain very low levels of VOCs. We also totally heart Lakeland’s organic eco-friendly paints, as they go one better – they’re 100% free from heavy metals, solvents and VOCs and SVOCs!


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