Paint Chemical

Important Things to Know About Paint Chemicals

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Everyone knows about paint. How paint acts in everyone’s life, how paint changes our mood, and what the important things of paint chemicals are.

Paint. It’s typically the last part of a home renovation, but it’s the first thing you notice when you walk in the door. Certain colors will make a room dance a magical minuet, create a certain atmosphere and other focus resulting from it.

There’s a lot to consider when choosing what brand of paint to go with, and all paints are not created equal. Fillers and harmful chemicals can go from consuming a paint can to consuming you. So here’s the low down on what to look out for just a few things to know about paint chemicals.

What are the Main Components of Paint?

  • Pigments: They provide color
  • Binder: it “binds” the pigment together
  • Liquid (usually called the “carrier”): provides the desired consistency and makes it possible to apply the pigment and binder to the surface being painted
  • Additives: it is optional, but they can be incorporated to provide specific paint properties such as mildew resistance.

Second, there are two categories of interior paint, “water-based” and “oil-based”. Water-based paints are referred to as “latex” paints. The oil-based paints are referred to as “alkyd” paints. In general, water-based paints will emit fewer chemicals and lower levels of chemical vapors. Short-term exposure to solvents from alkyd paints can be significantly higher than from latex paints.

Now for what to look out for. It would be overwhelming to list every potential chemical found in a paint bucket, so we have grouped the two biggies for easier comprehension (and time).

Volatile Organic Compounds

  • Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, are organic chemical compounds whose composition makes it possible for them to evaporate under normal indoor atmospheric conditions of temperature and pressure. Examples include: Formaldehyde, d-Limonene, toluene, acetone, ethanol (ethyl alcohol) 2-propanol (isopropyl alcohol), hexanal, xylene, turpentine, benzene, carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethylene terpenes
  • Use in paint: Paint thinner, alkyd paints, and some latex paints
  • The ability of organic chemicals to cause health effects varies greatly from those that are highly toxic to those with no known health effects. Effects include eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to the liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans. Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include conjunctival irritation, nose and throat discomfort, headache, allergic skin reaction, dyspnea, declines in serum cholinesterase levels, nausea, emesis, epistaxis, fatigue, and dizziness.

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