VOCs All You Need To Know

VOCs All You Need To Know

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According to a report by CBC Marketplace, VOC levels over 500 ppb could cause problems for people with chemical sensitivities. It means that a can of paint has what it takes to adversely change an individual’s life if they are not cautious. For persons with chemical sensitivities or allergies, the advent of health-focused paints such as odorless eggshell paints that keep life-threatening symptoms or unpleasant symptoms at bay is revolutionary.

Truth be told, traditional paints are a no-go zone for individuals prone to asthma attacks, multiple chemical sensitivity, and allergies because health effects from VOCs are likely to worsen their conditions. Picture moving to your new apartment only to realize that the cabinetry, ceilings, and walls coated with traditional, toxic paints. You’ll probably have to stay at a hotel for a couple of days to allow adequate ventilation, right? What if you get to your office and to your great dismay realize that the ceilings and walls are soaked in high-VOC paint? Will you have to take a leave and return after the fumes diminish? These are some of the questions that cross the minds of persons suffering from chemical sensitivities and allergies. It is such concerns that paint a clear picture of the importance of odorless eggshell paints.

1. What Makes Traditional Paints Toxic?

For decades, the plight of people who have asthma, chemical sensitivities, and chemical allergies regarding the devastating effects of paint fumes seemed to fall on deaf ears. However, the narrative is different today thanks to the introduction of low VOC odorless paint. Now that the market today offers eggshell paints without the dangers of VOCs is sweet news to the ears, correct? With research showing the bad health effects and genuine toxicity that comes with traditional stains, varnishes, primers, and paints the importance of health-focused paint is indispensable.

The better part of these products produce VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, during the drying process such as:

  • Polyurethane
  • Xylene
  • Formaldehyde
  • Glycol
  • Methylene chloride

As you have probably guessed, these chemicals are infamous when it comes to causing health risks as well as poor indoor air quality. Polyurethane side effects, for example, can worsen asthma symptoms among other issues such as shortness of breath, coughing, headaches, vomiting, nausea, and eye/throat irritation.

2. How Are People Affected By VOCs?

The gassing-off process dwindles after several days in most cases, but some traditional products continue emitting toxic fumes for weeks down the line. Sufficient ventilation, or the lack of it, additionally takes on an important role in how people are affected by paint fumes. What is more, a person prone to sensitivities, asthma, and chemical allergies is affected differently compared to others.

When it comes to individuals immune to allergies or sensitivities, visiting, working, or living in an area containing high VOC levels might result in various symptoms. The symptoms will vary depending on various factors such as the duration of exposure to VOCs, the toxicity level of the chemical, and the number of chemicals in the air. Symptoms associated with short-term, high-level VOC exposure are:

  • Memory loss
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Allergic skin reactions
  • Eyes, throat and nose irritation

Long-term VOC exposure, on the other hand, can result in nervous system damage and even affect the functioning of vital organs such as kidneys and liver. It is along the same lines that chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde do cause cancer, both in animals and humans. Such alarming prospects are a constant reminder about the need to incline towards low VOC odorless paint in businesses, homes, hotels, apartments, and any other establishment. Insisting on low VOC eggshell paints, for example, is a step in the right direction.

3. Signs of VOC Exposure

Though minor chemical reactions are generally irritating for some people, the same cannot be said for anyone having chemical sensitivities and allergies. When an asthmatic or chemical sensitive person inhales toxins, particularly in an area with recent staining, priming, or painting, several troubling and even life-threatening symptoms could arise including:

  • Sinus pressure and pain
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Asthma
  • Respiratory distress
  • Intestinal distress
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Heart palpitations
  • Muscle and joint pain

4. Final Thoughts

High-VOC paints should, therefore, be given a wide berth. With the costly healthcare today, it would be advisable to go for health-focused paints such as low odor paint that will help you avoid negative health effects from VOCs.

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