Is painting the inside of my home or office harmful to my health?
Let’s have a go at testing our memory and senses to begin the day…
I want you to imagine the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning; let that warm, rich, and nutty scent consume you.
Think about the scent after rain has freshly fallen. It’s earthy yet clean, refreshing, and calming.
I want you to imagine the smell of freshly applied paint.
It’s not pleasant, is it? No doubt you have imagined a chemical-like, pungent odour that would be bound to cause a headache if you had to be around it for too long. It’s the memory of this smell that often causes people to ask whether painting the interior of their home or office can be harmful to their health.
Historically, paint has contained a higher quantity of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) than it does today. VOCs are compounds that seep into the atmosphere as paint dries, which in high quantities can cause short term health problems such as headaches and nausea, long term health issues (with ongoing exposure) such as organ damage, as well as environmental damage and pollution. VOCs are also the cause of “that paint smell”!
Thankfully, VOC levels in paint have been significantly reduced in the last 10 years, meaning the health and environmental risks that once were associated with having your home or office painted have also decreased substantially. As well as the general level of VOCs in paint being reduced, there are manufacturers making paint with even lower levels of VOCs, which you will see specifically marketed as “Low VOC” or “No VOC” paint.
We always aim to use these low-VOC paints in our day-to-day work, though endeavour to do so especially when painting the interior of a property. If for any reason the paints we use are not low-VOC (special finish coatings for example), we will work with you to ensure adequate ventilation is created, with as little disruption to your senses as possible.
Rest assured that even we are using paints not specifically labelled as low-VOC, the risk to the health of your family, staff or yourself as a result of having your property painted every few years is very minimal. In addition to ventilating the area, we will also avoid working around people when possible, and ensure that paint is stored safely and securely for your peace of mind.