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Question:What are Low VOC Paints?

Description:Volatile organic compounds, known as VOCs, are at the center of many companies’ efforts to provide their customers with “greener” paint

The global trend toward environmentally friendly products has made a significant impact on the paint industry. Volatile organic compounds, known as VOCs, are at the center of many companies’ efforts to provide their customers with “greener” paint. And while VOCs – which act as solvents in traditional house paint, carrying the pigment – can have real health consequences, consumers should look at the facts, not the hype, when it comes to low-VOC paint. Closer examination reveals that the subject of eco-friendly paint is more nuanced than marketing buzzwords suggest.


Common VOCs include formaldehyde, benzene, and diethyl phthalate. The odor of drying paint is mostly due to the evaporation of its VOCs. This process, known as “off-gassing,” has been found to cause asthma attacks, eye irritation, nausea, and headaches in some people. Long-term exposure to VOCs may even result in cancer or kidney damage.

It’s understandable, then, that VOCs have become a prime target in the movement to make paint eco-friendlier. Over the past few years, many paint makers, including small brands as well as major players like Chenyang waterborne paint, have released low-VOC lines. Yet there are no universal, mandatory standards for low-VOC paint.


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