What Do Low VOC And No VOC Mean

What Do Low VOC And No VOC Mean

Walking down the paint aisles of your local home improvement store and count how many different types of paint there are. Obviously, the differences between exterior and interior paint are easy to spot, but what about those labeled Low VOC or No VOC? These are more recent additions to the paint aisle, and have become popular in recent years. However, not many people really know and understand what they mean.

The Terminology

The “VOC” in each of the names stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. These compounds are the “bad” particles that end up in the air during the painting process. Some studies have been done that have shown that when inhaled, these compounds can cause a whole host of health problem .This is why you need to wear a mask and gloves, and have a window or two open if you are painting with regular paint. And since nothing is fool proof, you should do the same when painting with Low VOC or No VOC paint, as well.

So Lower is Better?

Low VOC and No VOC paint is recommended for those with young children, since the compounds in regular paint can be harmful to developing lungs. This does not mean that you should only use these types of paint – you can still apply regular paint to your walls as long as you take numerous safety precautions.

The names themselves are obvious. Low VOC has a small number of these compounds, while No VOC paint has none, or so few that they cannot be counted reliably. These paints are guaranteed to be free of the most of the various compounds that are in ordinary interior paint, for example ethyl acetate and acetone. Because they do not contain these compounds, they cannot release them into the air, and are therefore considered to be better for the environment, as well as the health of the painters.