Consumers now have more choices than ever when making a decision to buy paint, including many environmentally conscious paints and coatings. Driven by regulatory and market demand, the U.S. paint and coatings industry has responded by producing a broad range of offerings that deliver excellent quality while minimizing impacts to indoor air quality. Indoor Air Quality is defined as the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants.
All consumer paints on the market are safe to use, but as with anything, the best way to ensure a safe paint job is ALWAYS read the product label, which offers appropriate precautions and guidance on ways to protect yourself during use. Manufacturers are required to list certain ingredients and use warnings, so follow the label instructions, including the following:
- Always ensure adequate ventilation of the painted space, both DURING and AFTER application—open windows and doors wherever possible.
- Use appropriate personal protective equipment—this is particularly important if you are sanding or scraping a space before a paint job.
- Buy only what you need to for your paint job to minimize waste and prevent unnecessary disposal.
In addition to following the rules of thumb laid out above, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides suggestions to address indoor air quality concerns while painting here.
Architectural and industrial maintenance paints and coatings in the United States are regulated because it is thought that volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions contribute to ground-level ozone formation. With the recent increased growth of Green Building standards, there is now increased emphasis on the emissions from paints and coatings that occur after application.
ACA recently commissioned an Indoor Air Quality Emission Study to gain a deeper understanding of emissions from interior paints and their potential impact on indoor air quality.
Indoor Air Quality Emissions Study
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