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Earth-Friendly Painting

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 11 months ago

PAINT IT GREEN

 


WHY WORRY ABOUT PAINT?

Household paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a large group of carbon-based chemicals likely to exist as a gas, like benzene, formaldehyde, and toluene. Some of these VOCs have been linked to eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, and cancer. VOCs can "off-gas" from the walls into the air as the paint is applied or dries, which can cause people who are living or spending time in freshly painted houses to be exposed to as much as 1,000 times greater than the normal amount of VOCs. Of traditional household paints, latex or water-based paints have lower amounts of VOCs than oil-based paints, flat finish paints have lower amounts of VOCs than glossy paints, and white or pale paints have lower amounts of VOCs than brightly colored paints. "Low VOC," "zero VOC," or "no VOC" latex paints have VOC levels lower than 100 parts per gallon (or less than 5 grams of VOCs per liter for "zero VOC" and "no VOC" paints), but these paints still emit some VOCs in the air, depending on the brand. "Natural" paints made from materials like balsam- and pine-derived turpenes, chalk, lime, minerals, plant pigments, and linseed, citrus, and soy oils may still emit significant amounts of VOCs from ingredients like turpenes or citrus oils, which can cause eye or lung irritation in some people. "Milk-based" paints emit no VOCs, but take a long time to dry and require frequent repainting.

 

HOW CAN MY HOUSE PAY FOR PAINT?

ICC houses may purchase paint only after consulting with one of the Maintenance staff. The cost of paint -- but not supplies like brushes, drop clothes, and rollers -- are covered under socialized maintenance funds. Paint must be purchased at a business where the ICC has a charge account, including Anderson Paint (2386 W. Stadium Blvd. in Ann Arbor, telephone 734-662-6690) and Sherwin Williams (5204 Jackson Rd. #D in Ann Arbor, telephone 734-761-2488).

 

WHAT KIND OF PAINT SHOULD MY HOUSE BUY?

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