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Old 12-27-2012, 04:59 AM   #1
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VOCs in paint


I have noticed some paints promote low or zero VOCs, what are they and why is having less or none better.

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Old 12-27-2012, 05:30 AM   #2
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VOCs in paint


Red, VOC's are basically all the carbon based additives. The primary concern is not releasing carbon atoms into the environment, global warming don't you know. But, the oceans, our breathing, and farmers tilling soil all release carbon atoms into the air, along with every other thing comprised of or reduced to carbon atoms. We're replacing them with chemicals/plastics, which I believe will end up a problem down the road. You tell me of the necessity.
From the health veiwpoint, it's supposedly beneficial to those with breathing difficulties, which seem to be more prevalent in spite of our ever more sterile personal environments. That may be so, it doesn't affect me. But, I can tell you this if they were a health danger. With the amount of my exposure to VOC's, I would be dead. I'm like the lab rat that's been exposed to ten thousand times the amount that an average human would experience. Other than the facial tic, and the drooling, I'm fine.

As to whether it's beneficial to the paint quality, only time will tell. From my experience, it's a mixed bag. Early releases were pretty much a failure, and supposedly reformulations were done successfully. I know a lot of products don't perform as they once did, and I had a long time coatings sales rep agree with that. My concern is for performance products like primers and specialty products, and exterior finishes. My fear is that over the next ten years we might find out that coatings made of fruit juice extracts won't match the performance of the good old building block of life, the carbon atom.

While it's supposedly all the rage, in twenty-five years I've had only one customer even ask about low/no VOC paint. She wasn't even my customer. I went in and primed some drywall as a favor to a contractor friend and the lady wanted "green" primer.

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Old 12-27-2012, 07:13 AM   #3
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VOCs in paint


Here's the Wiki on VOC's
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volatile_organic_compound
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:30 AM   #4
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VOCs in paint


VOC content in paints is primarily related to solvents and extender content, not carbon. VOC's are regulated in the US by the EPA, and vary depending on their origin. Carbon-based content comes from cleaning solvents, while benzene and hydrocarbons come from car exhaust. Paints in the past used to have >250 grams per liter, but now they are generally under 150 g/L (or lower). Oil-based (alkyd) paints are generally in the 350-500 g/L range.

Extenders in paints (latexes) are done primarily with polymer ingredients instead of solvents and additives. As jsheridan states, the early no-VOC products did not perform well, although technology has improved, which in turn, improved product performance. There are application and performance characteristics (curing time, need to extend with water when brushing), which are unique to these products. Research and implementation continue on no-VOC colorants on the market (as addition of regular glycol colorant may add VOC content to paint products). There are several third-party entities (LEED- United States Green Building Council, GreenSeal, Greenguard, MPI Green) which are used to select paint products for application on specific projects (primarily government and school jobs).

When used indoors, low-VOC products (many on the market today are <50g/L) may be beneficial to people with respiratory sensitivities.

I hope that this is helpful.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:26 PM   #5
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VOCs in paint


All organic compounds contain carbon. Volatile Organic Compounds. It's the carbon release, in its various forms, that so troubles the EPA, and supposedly the environment.

All VOC's contain carbon,
The EPA regulates VOC's,
Therefore, the EPA regulates carbon

I'm not a scientist, but I am a thinking man. My explanation may not suffice at a scientific symposium, but I think we'll get the idea at the DIYChatroom. I welcome a scientist to set me straight if I'm wrong.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:38 PM   #6
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VOCs in paint


The most vile Voc of all-..

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Old 12-27-2012, 06:06 PM   #7
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VOCs in paint


The VOC issue is related mostly to indoor air quality. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has made rulings that exceed the requirements of the EPA. The number used in VOC ratings is expressed as Grams Per Liter or gpl. Flats require<50 VOC and non-flats <100 VOC. There are exemptions for specialty products.

Demand and the concern for air quality has made manufacturers to turn their architectural product lines toward Zero-VOC. These perform better than they used to. By reducing solvents in latexes (Coalescing solvents, etc.) VOCs can be formulated out. They will dry a little slower and enamels won't be quite as hard. The products hit the most are the high-solvent industrial coatings markets.

Many changes have been made to our industry and there are more to come. The Cradle to Cradle business model is creating a large market for lower-cost re-manufactured and recycled paints.

The hysteria-driven changes will and are spilling over from state-to-state. It is coming your way

The Zero-VOC architectural paints are pleasant and safe to use. Like all buckets of chemicals, they are not odorless. Your rooms will have a fresh paint odor when painted.
Enjoy!
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:11 PM   #8
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VOCs in paint


The voc regs have no relation to indoor air quality- that is the assumption. The fed regs are all about reducing ozone depleting chemicals .
But most people THINK it is about indoor air quality, a point not lost on the PR dept at the big paint co's.
So they parade the low voc thing like it means really clean, really safe, really green.
It has helped, but isn't all that.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:39 AM   #9
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VOCs in paint


I am impressed with everyones knowledge and helpfulness.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:02 AM   #10
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VOCs in paint


On the list of residential environmental hazards, VOCs are in the top 10 of concerns. However, if you aren't concerning yourself with the top in the list ... then I doubt you would have that big of concern on VOCs.

Some VOCs are carcinogens. Some simply irritate. Others may have no known affect. It really depends on several variables.

The main thing about VOCs is that they begin melting at room temperature. This produces gassing. Depending on the chemical(s) gassing, depends on your concern level. If you don't mind breathing in some chemicals ... don't worry. If it concerns you ... consider reducing the amount of chemicals you are breathing in by limiting your intake of VOCs.

VOCs come from a variety of things, but paint is one of several major sources.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:46 PM   #11
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VOCs in paint


I have found there is not a good replacement for oil based primers. I recently painted a basement with a laundry list of problems that only oil based primer or paneling would cover. Never again. Products in our future will not be required to last, labor will be ten times cheaper than products.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:36 PM   #12
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VOCs in paint


Quote:
Originally Posted by paintdrying View Post
I have found there is not a good replacement for oil based primers. I recently painted a basement with a laundry list of problems that only oil based primer or paneling would cover. Never again. Products in our future will not be required to last, labor will be ten times cheaper than products.
I agree. I think that in the long run, when we're in the George Jetson age, technology will connect function/performance with "green" ideals. But in the short term we're screwed. They've got the ratchet on us now and they're going to slowly tighten down whether the paint cos and technology are there or not. Your concerns and needs are of no concern to them, period. Screw off peon. Look at the oil companies.

Back in the mid 2000's the government mandated that gas companies begin adding a certain additive to fuel, much like ethanol, by 2011 or so. Well we're there now and the oil companies are paying stiff fines because they aren't adding the required additive. Why? Because the additive just couldn't be created. The government doesn't care. Pay up biatch! That means you, the fines are reflected in the cost of your gasoline.

We've turned our lives and destinies over to the government bureaucracy, and it has its own agenda outside of ours, get used to it.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:29 AM   #13
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VOCs in paint


[quote=jsheridan;1082822]I agree. I think that in the long run, when we're in the George Jetson age, technology will connect function/performance with "green" ideals. But in the short term we're screwed. They've got the ratchet on us now and they're going to slowly tighten down whether the paint cos and technology are there or not. Your concerns and needs are of no concern to them, period. Screw off peon. Look at the oil companies.

Back in the mid 2000's the government mandated that gas companies begin adding a certain additive to fuel, much like ethanol, by 2011 or so. Well we're there now and the oil companies are paying stiff fines because they aren't adding the required additive. Why? Because the additive just couldn't be created. The government doesn't care. Pay up biatch! That means you, the fines are reflected in the cost of your gasoline.

We've turned our lives and destinies over to the government bureaucracy, and it has its own agenda outside of ours, get used to it.[/quote]


wow!
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:15 AM   #14
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VOCs in paint


You sound surprised, are you not paying attention?
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:58 AM   #15
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VOCs in paint


Now I remember about ten years ago I tried to buy some paint for my motorcycle ( outside of California), I asked the guy for lacquer. He looked at me like i was crazy. Something about lead. He sold me some stuff I needed a full suit and respirator to spray. Told me one time exposure could be the end of my painting career. I agree this government regulation is just ridiculous. And let us not forget mtbe additive to our gas

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